I stumbled across Crux Crush's blog today. (P.S. I'm sorry that I didn't find you sooner!). Back in January, Cate wrote a post discussing the wisdom we learn along the way. If only we could tell our younger selves.
One piece of advice really resonated with me. Lesson #2, The Seven Try Rule.
The rule goes like this. If you try a hard move and fall. Try it 7 times before giving up and coming down. John, my partner, is a good 4 inches taller than me. There are times that I try something he has done, fail and think, that's a really long reach. Just this past weekend, I tried to lead a route and got scared off due to a really wide reaching traverse move. I went back up on top rope, found an intermediate crimp and pulled it. After that, I finished the route easily. Granted, I did come down and retry with the added mental security of top rope. But I did it!
Seven is a good number. We all give something one more go. Who has the ability to stay mentally focused on a move to try it 7 times before giving up? This may improve my climbing in two ways.
1. Perhaps I will land that tricky move by giving myself more time to try.
2. My mental grit will be pushed to new levels.
So tell your belayer to sit tight and deal with you attempting that hard move 7 times. I bet they will think you're awesome!
P.S. Major thanks to my friend Markus for taking photos of me while climbing. I am generally the one taking the pictures. It's wonderful to have a few good ones of me... even if I am falling all over the place.