The Value Of Temporary Defeat

By | November 25, 2011

I went climbing yesterday after more than a half year absence from scaling walls. Missed it a lot but life happens and I have to honor its tumbles with as much dignity as I can muster. Oh well, a few months are not a major setback, I thought. Plus I’ve been training in the meantime so as you can guess smugness got the best of me. My first climb was good, the rest not so much. I slid off the walls like they were covered in butter. Fingers and forearms refused to listen, falling off the wall like dead flies and there was nothing I could do about it. Not sure about others but physical defeats such as this makes my blood boil in a most interesting way.

Temporary defeat makes me angry. There is value in getting angry like that though. It powers up the engines, you know. If anything, it is a good opportunity to reexamine limitations and get working on overcoming them. I’d say the first stage of temporary defeat is disappointment, and then anger sets in.  Much like a thunderstorm. It comes, gets the job done and then the sky is clear again. Getting stuck in disappointment means giving up. That’s not good. Getting angry enough to get back in the game once you figured out a way to better yourself is good. Then again, too much anger backfires, you lose momentum and the good energy goes “poof” all over the place. It’s like a dial you have to learn to turn just enough to get cranking at the right pace.

Next week I’ll hit the climbing gym again. New training routines are in place, there is enough humbleness to know where I stand and enough ambition to not give up. Nothing like being temporarily defeated by a wall, right?

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