What Inspires You?
“HOW CAN YOU NOT FIND IT INSPIRING?!” my friend exclaimed. “It makes me want to try really hard!” We sat in my van at the Red River Gorge, waiting out the rainy weather and arguing over whether Adam Ondra sending the Dawn Wall was inspiring or not. I was underwhelmed by the feat because it’s Ondra—there’s never really a possibility of failure. He sends everything.
“I’m not wrong for thinking it is inspiring, though,” my friend said. “It’s just a matter of opinion.” Of course, he had a point. If my friend told me his favorite color was blue, would I list the reasons why he was wrong? A few weeks later, when editing the feature on Ondra’s achievement (“New Dawn,” p.72), I realized just how monumental it is to climb a 32-pitch 5.14d on El Cap in eight days, especially with no experience on big walls or Yosemite granite.
The Dawn Wall ascent didn’t stoke my fire at first, but another person’s accomplishment on the same formation blew me away immediately. In August 2016, Miranda Oakley became the first woman to rope-solo the Nose in a day (“A League of Her Own,” p.26). She’s also established routes in Patagonia and onsighted 5.13 in Indian Creek, all without an ounce of spray or self-promotion, which is the most inspiring part.
But sometimes inspiration comes from where you least expect it. In this issue’s in-depth story on training (“Train Smart,” p.54), writer Brendan Blanchard demystifies the science of how and why training works, which makes getting stronger seem achievable. I hadn’t given a single thought to training in almost a year, but within an hour of reading the first draft, I was on my hangboard.
Inspiration is a fickle beast. It comes and goes—some days it hits you over the head like a hammer, and other days you couldn’t find it if it was delivered to you in a box. Our purposes in making this magazine are to educate, inform, entertain, and, most of all, inspire. Whether it’s boulders, bolts, or big walls, get psyched and go get after it. JULIE ELLISON, EDITOR
AN INSPIRING VIEW OF THE LOWEST BOULDER PROBLEM IN THE WORLD, DEAD SEA, JORDAN.