The Habits of Wads

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Wads* aren’t like you and me. Well me anyway. They have focus, they get shit done.

Think about it, if you can climb 8a then the vast majority of established problems, even in hardcore areas, are warmups for you. It’s inevitable that once you reach a high standard your focus shifts to a small number of harder problems.  The question is are they a good climber because they focus on problems or does focusing on problems make them a good climber? It’s a bit of chicken/egg conundrum.

So what are the habits of wads?

  1. They have goals. Wads don’t just ‘go climbing’, they have goals and everything they do is designed to bring them closer to that goal.
  2. They are extremely motivated. They get up early in the morning, they bring their head-torch with them. They fit more in.
  3. They love climbing. It would be pointless to dedicate themselves to something like climbing without the love.
  4. They make sacrifices. A lot of climbers who have chosen (that’s the key word here) a more conventional life with full time job, family, mortgage look wistfully at the full time climber, thinking “lucky bastard getting to climb all the time”. The reality is less glamorous. Bar a handful of top climbers they make very little money. You don’t get something for nothing. They probably aren’t going out on the piss, eating in fancy restaurants, buying big cars.
  5. They try hard, look at Ondra, rather listen to Ondra, slightly annoying as his screaming and huffing and puffing may be, there can be no doubt that he is trying hard. They get in the zone. They prepare really well. They never waste each go because they have mud on their shoes.
  6. They go the extra mile. You know all those things you promise yourself you are going to start doing tomorrow? They do them – stretching, core work, eating right. When you are sitting in front of the tv that’s what they are doing.
  7. They wear scarves. They are always cold, I think it’s because they are so skinny.
  8. They use every trick in the book, you know all those small things that when added up tip the balance in your favor, sanding your tips, brushing the holds between every go, waiting for the wind to pick up, cleaning their shoes, resting properly etc…
  9. They do those unglamorous things. You know spending a day cleaning a boulder, sorting the landing, carrying multiple pads in to remote areas.

* Wad is a slang term for a very good climber.

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