Selective Learning: The Shortsighted Approach

Through many conversations about training with friends and other climbers, I've discovered one common thread... you can almost always find a reason to continue training the short sighted way that you have been.

What I mean, is that if you get attached to your method of training, the method that has worked for years and gotten you to where you are (and where you've been for 5 seasons), then you're probably missing out on some great advice.   That is, of course, unless your method is to constantly look for new methods and target new weak areas in your climbing.  If that's you, you can just skip this post.  If you're the one who has done exactly the same workout for years, and have been stuck at the same grades for years, then you may want to read on.

Just be advised that you might not read exactly what you hope to.

I understand the draw to this style of "learning".  You pick up a training book, you flip through until you find a passage or a chapter that echoes what you've based all your training on, and you latch on to it.

"That's me!  I KNEW I was doing this the right way!"

It's true, you are doing THAT the right way.  Thing is, there are hundreds of other facets to you training that you're not paying attention to at all.  Not to mention, they are all listed right there in that book... you're just looking past them.

You see someone stronger than you, maybe even a pro, doing exactly what you've been doing.

"YES!  Sean McColl  trains this way, so it MUST be right!"

Absolutely it's right... for him in that specific moment.  I'm betting Sean trains more than just the one thing you've latched onto.  You can look at his climbing and see that it's far more complex than just a circuit on an adjustable wall, but you choose to look past that.  It must be that one thing that's elevated him to those heights.  Of course it is.

In the immortal words of Joe Kinder, "C'mon Son!"

Here's what I urge you to do.  Reread your training books.  Reread this blog.  Reread the other training blogs that you frequent.  Completely ignore all the things you already know, and really take a deeper look at the things that make you uncomfortable. The things you say you don't need.  That won't help you.  Look past your fears, your hangups, and your preconceived notions.  Chances are, you know what you're missing.  You know because you've argued with yourself about it, and you always win.  Let the other you win this time, or at least give him a chance.

He just may suprise you and climb harder than you ever have.