No Kings, No Way

"Comparison is the thief of joy."  -Theodore Roosevelt

Around here, we like to use the hashtag #webuildmachines.

However, I'm acutely aware that you could just as often substitute with the hashtag #webuildmonsters, and I don't mean that in a positive way.  Anytime that you are working to build up bodies and spirits, and help people break into new personal levels, it's inevitable that some egos will overinflate.  They'll grow bigger and bigger, heavier and more cumbersome, and eventually, those Hindenburgian egos will come crashing down.  

And it's going to hurt.

Let me start by saying this:  I've never had a bad day rockclimbing, and I've never had a bad day training.  Have I performed poorly?  Absolutely.  Have I sucked at climbing sometimes?  Definitely.  But I'm in the woods climbing rocks, or I'm at the gym, working to better myself.  I CHOSE those things.  What could possibly make me upset to be there?

You failed on your project, lowered off dejected, and then somebody warmed up on it.  You suck, you'll never be good, you may as well quit.  

Don't be an idiot.  

That person was once where you are.  That wasn't always their warmup, and their project is someone else's warmup.  

Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle.

While I was projecting "Transworld Depravity", the hardest route I've sent, I had the PLEASURE of watching a (then unknown) Alex Megos flash it as a warmup.  I watched several friends send it much faster than I did.  This didn't diminish at all the feeling I felt when I finally clipped the chains.  

There's another thing it didn't do.  It didn't diminish the psyche I felt at seeing a random person send their first 11b, which, incidentally, was my warmup that day.  They were inspired to see me climb and downclimb it without chalking, same as I was to watch a young Megos walk "Transworld Depravity" a year prior.  

For the last couple of years I've listened over and over to the album "No Kings," by one of my favorite hiphop collectives, Doomtree.  Its concept is simple, one we could all do well to live by.

There are no kings.  There are no peasants.  

Your battle on your project is no different than Sharma battling on First Round First Minute, or Nalle on his multi year Lappnor Project.  It's no different than a beginner slapping and clawing their way up their first 5.9. 

This is a personal struggle.  If, for some reason, you believe that yours ranks higher than that of someone else, then your biggest struggle isn't on the rock at all.

I've built machines.  I've also built monsters.  Frankly, I feel bad about it.  Climbing can't be much fun when you're mostly concerned about how you compare to everyone else.  

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