Climbing is a slow, arduous process. It feels like you’re consistently taking two steps forward and one step back. You nail a hard move, and then you get a massive flapper. You send the problem you’ve been working on for weeks, and then you twist your ankle falling off an easy warm up. Shit like that.
It feels like you can work and work and work, and nothing changes.
But the 12’s will come.
When I started my climbing journey (so cheesy I know), I was bouldering. And holy shit never try to start bouldering first you’ll be so bad and it’s so hard and discouraging. When I started top-roping, I was climbing at 5.9 level at best. At BEST. And these days, I’m somewhere in the 5.11’s.
So obviously you get better. But if you’re trying to see yourself get better, you’re going to be disappointed, because it’s not something that is going to show up in the day-to-day. It’s something that happens in the long run. Something that you need to put the work in for.
Life is a lot like this. Sometimes things are just plain hard. And it’s frustrating and you feel like you’re putting a lot of work in to improve things and you just don’t see it happening. But then suddenly, out of nowhere, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and you look around and realize that everything is falling into place.
The 12’s will come.
I read somewhere that everyone has the ability to be a 5.13 climber, regardless of gender or size or muscle mass. You just have to combine the right amount of mental toughness, skill and strength. The same, I believe, applies to life. We’d be nowhere without a healthy combination of mental toughness, skill and strength.
The 12’s will come, friends. Just keep working for it.