They're Mutants, All of Them

We love being surrounded by the naturally gifted, the people who have been climbing all their lives, and the genetic freaks.

Max Marlowe, at age 15, sending Ultra Perm 13d at the Red River Gorge back when this was still a stand alone route . Photo Nathan Drolet

Max Marlowe, at age 15, sending Ultra Perm 13d at the Red River Gorge back when this was still a stand alone route . Photo Nathan Drolet

If someone has an unfair advantage over us, we don’t have to compete on the same level as them. By placing them on the pedestal of 'gifted', we make their accomplishments irrelevant to us. We no longer have to acknowledge the work they do or the work that we aren’t doing for that matter.

When someone who has been climbing half as long as you is performing as well as you would like to be, do you write them off as being ‘a natural’? Or, do you take an honest look at yourself and admit that maybe you haven’t been putting in the work necessary to become the climber you want to be?

You don't have to look very hard to find people from all different walks of life and with vastly different physical builds who have managed to climb at a high level. Which is to say that the level of natural talent required to achieve the goals you have right now probably isn't very high.

People love to throw around phrases like

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”

But what if you are the talent that isn't working hard?