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“It’s all down to motivation”; Ben Moon’s wise words from the TV series Pennine rock. Motivation is the most important strength, but it’s hard to measure, and isn’t always where you’d expect to find it. Success is a great motivator, success in the form of ‘to become successful’, not as in ‘having already succeeded’. The potential of success is what really drives us forward, pushing us to raise our game and make it happen. During actual redpoints there could be many failures, but these must be used as a stepping stone. That is the difficulty, to see these mini failures as steps to the ultimate prize. That is the joy of redpointing, you can try again.
But sometimes trying again isn’t that simple, there is way more too it. Life stands in the way. There are many cases of success being snatched from the jaws of victory. If a route is at your limit it’s just that – at your limit. To hit the belay requires more than just another go; it requires everything to be in place: conditions, well rested, on form. And that’s before we even consider the challenges of simply being there, planning around work and family.
But these challenges are the motivators. As I clipped the belay and soaked up the view I could already feel my motivation moving on to the next. I’m not driven by what I’ve done, but by what I want to do. This project felt at my limit, but simply because I’ve done it means there must be potential for harder…. My Easy easy project beckoned.
But for that day I was already looking for the next route. An ‘Alzheimer’s’ flash* of Unjustified (8b+/c) felt almost as satisfying. In a different way though; I was beginning to wonder if I’d actually forgotten how to climb, and this ascent felt amazing.
‘Alzheimer’s’ flash* = route done before a while ago where the moves have been all but forgotten. Particularly relevant for the over 40’s, and even more so for the over 60’s,with all redpoints achieving this status as at that age all the moves will have been forgotten in the space of an hour anyway.