I was climbing at my local gym a couple weeks back and I couldn't repeat some problems that I have already done. Without hesitation I blamed it on something that would have an immeasurable effect on my failure because there is "no way I shouldn't be able to climb that problem again!" The next day I was able to repeat the problems. This, of course, can be explained if enough thought was given into why certain problems are easier on one day and impossible on another. But this is not the issue! It's the excuses I or others have made for why they did not send a problem/route either outside or in the gym.
Fell due to "the sun being in my eyes" (photo by Tommy Durant)
We've ALL had those days where we're climbing below our limit but for some reason just can't quite finish that problem that should go down with ease. What causes this? It could be from a number of reasons but for the most part, we don't know! But what we do know are the number of excuses, whether real or fake, that are tossed around right after we take the fall. Here is a list of the excuses that I've heard and/or guilty of using:
-Not enough skin on my tips
-hold is all greasy
-It's a high gravity day (sometimes the world just wants to keep you down!)
-Shoe rubber is bad (on this day/climb only though)
-Rock is too warm/cold
-Not really my style of climbing (say what??)
-I would've but I wanted to save my energy for something else
-I didn't drink enough water
-I drank too much water
-too much chalk on my hands
-I got it before so it doesn't matter (sureeee)
-Not enough chalk on my hands
-My foot doesn't want to stay on
-I climbed the day before (even though you didn't!)
-I'm not focused (very legitimate excuse though)
-I'm hungover (drank 1 light American beer 2 days ago!)
-I'm just not feeling it today (usually after multiple attempts and embarrassingly awkward falls)
-I was super sketched on that move (that was 3 feet off the ground)
-I got chalk in my eye!
The list above is only a sample of the excuses that are tossed around like chalk bags in the gym or outside. Whatever the excuse is that you have for not sending your problem, it doesn't matter. We all know that you'll get it again when the chalk on your hands is just perfect, when you are perfectly hydrated, and when the earth lowers its gravitational pull upon you. Our egos keep the excuses flowing upon failure to send. Sometimes our bodies just aren't in climbing mode that day and some of us refuse to accept the possibility of being weak, even if it's temporary. The excuses are great to hear, and at times very humorous, so keep trying hard and eventually you will get your repeat/send!