What In­spires You?

Climbing - - APPROACH -

“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


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