i (kinda) feel bad for mutant strongmos

22 04 2009
good luck 5.15'ing your way past this thing

good luck 5.15'ing your way past this thing

seriously.  first of all, i’ve read a bunch of X-Men comics and from what i could tell being a mutant wasn’t all shooting energy beams out of your eyes or throwing explosive playing cards.  nope.  in those books, the ‘man’ sent giant robots (see above) to kill their mutant asses.   sorry, but no thanks.  terremer looks like a rad problem, but i see no reason to get chased by a robot army any sooner than i have to.  and trust me, if what i’m reading at geekologie proves to be even partially true, then we will all be looking over our shoulders for pissed off Roombas in the years to come:

As a pioneer in the emerging robot industry, iRobot’s goal is to drive innovation, serve as an industry catalyst and change the world by fueling the era of robots. (http://www.irobot.com/sp.cfm?pageid=74)

editors note: OMFG!  RUN!

there are other reasons to feel bad for mutant strongmos aside from their forthcoming demise in the era of robots.  like, have you ever been to an outdoor comp where the Sharminator made an appearance.  wow.  climbing for a living sounds cool, but when you see chris sharma (the real person) come face to face with the Chris Sharma (the hyper-commodified posterboy for climbing) under the wilting gaze of his fan-people throng, you can’t help but feel terrible about humanity.  almost makes you want to buy a squadron of Roombas.  almost.

but mostly i feel bad for strongmos because they are forced to travel to get their climbings fix on.  sure, forced to travel sounds like an oxymoron, but they are literally forced into airplanes to get on lines they can’t do.  indeed, behind every sponsorship lies a tiny hard-to-see cow prodder.

but not in my world.    see, in the realm of non-strongmo-ness (aka weakness) i live a life untouched by cow prodders, i have close to 30 boulder problem projects (likely hundreds more i haven’t seen yet), and thousands of unclimbed routes about an hour away.  but if i were a strongmo?  i’d have zero.  none.  nil.  nada.  zilch.   i mean, as amazing as it probably is to climb v15/5.15b it seems like the average distance between problems at my limit would increase like a thousandfold.  this sounds like a lot of traveling for a fix i can get 3 times a week with a total transit time of about 5.5 hours.

“wtf?  tissue.  are you high?”

no.  of course not.  getting high is so 90’s.  but it doesn’t take a bongload of schwag to figure this out:

if i could tick every boulder problem in kentucky i would be forced to 1) find more hard local problems (hard), 2) travel (which is inversely proportional to labor, which is inversely proportional to climbing) or 3) come up with a back up plan.  grown ups call this back-up plan ‘moving’.  yeah.  i’d have to move – chattanooga, boone, the ‘front range’, it doesn’t matter: i’d need more problems and the easiest way to get more is to live near some you haven’t done.

but the thing about moving is: it sucks.  especially when you have a house full of shit you couldn’t afford (and are still paying for), 2 dogs, 5 (yes five) omg six friggin’ cats, and a bouldering wall.

of course, if i had always been a strongmo it is possible this whole moving thing wouldn’t be an issue.  i probably wouldn’t be married to my totally awesome wife, we wouldn’t have all this crap, we wouldn’t be oppressed by animal hair, and i wouldn’t have NBA 2k8 totally pwned on association mode (or would i?).  i would be a free-floating being of pure energy running amok on cliffs and free-standing boulders all over the world.  just shikidanging my way to total awesomeness and whatnot.

but the thing is – and i think i’m right here – either way it’s all relative.  i still remember sticking the jug on my first project almost a decade ago, and to tell you truth it didn’t feel a whole lot different than sticking my project last week.  sure, my critics might say “that’s because they are the same grade”, but the thing is, the numbers are different, the locations couldn’t be more dissimilar, and yet they still share a common denominator: both involved crossing the threshold between impossible and possible.

sometimes i think we get so focused on getting stronger and pushing our limits with regard to the the limit itself we forget there are benefits to being weaksauce.  of course, this whole proximity argument is the only one i can come up with at the moment.  but i am confident there are plenty more.  i’d bet my weaksauce ass on it.

weekly post?  check.





6 responses

23 04 2009

Boston Dynamics = SkyNet. Book it.

23 04 2009

Oh, and I hear ya on the whole rather be weak than strong. Only problem is that I’d rather be getting stronger than not getting stronger. Yeah, there’s a practical limit to my strongmo potential, but getting closer to it is more fun than getting farther from it. Non? (That’s French.)

23 04 2009

agreed. progression is the most awesome part of doing stuff. having made no less than 10 comebacks from injury, i can attest to the non-thrill of falling off old warmups. of course, once i accepted my weakness they became projects again. projects – warmups – projects

*cue ‘circle of life’ song from The Lion King*

23 04 2009
peter beal

A brilliant, well maybe kinda scintillating, morceau of rationalizations, an apologia for not moving to the front range. Is it the sh*t you can’t afford or the house? Come to Boulder and it can be both!

Climbing for weakmos is like diplomacy, it is the art of the possible, emerging from negotiations between antagonistic parties. The sausage-making analogy is also compelling.

23 04 2009

LOL. being poor is so funny.

23 04 2009

I soooo totally am on board with this. As a famous rock climber/philosopher once said: sucking at climbing takes almost none of the fun away from climbing.

Case in point: the most beautiful, quiet little crag you can imagine: overhanging sandstone, peaceful little lake 30 feet away to swim in, nice free campsites all around, and routes that are immensely fun all of them, between 5.8 and 5.13, around 25 of them. I’ll be climbing there for years: there are 8s and 9s for my noob friends to have fun on, nice 10s to warm up, a few challenging 11s in different styles, a and a few classic 12s to project.

Friend of mine is one strongmo to behold. Poor guy, went there once, flashed everything, went back to put up a 5.13 link-up or two, climbed those in a day or so, and then boom, he was done with the place.

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