Just a friendly discussion - we're all a bit younger than these guys but it's essentially what is happening with people discussing. Add a pint glass and this could be Ireland :) Image credit: flickr.com
It looks like it's that time of year again - the winter is starting to close and people are starting to wake up from the winter slumber, cause the Internet is abuzz again with discussions and chatting! :) I've can't remember who started it all off but Dave, Trish (who wins the award of "Best Newcomer Irish climbing Blog in 2010" in my eyes) and (especially notably for the last post) Pierre's blogs have been having some great, fascinating discussion over the topic of achievement and voicing said achievements.
Like Dave already said, Pierre's post is the classic of the lot, but all this discussion is valid for many other reasons. Firstly, when can people remember as much discussion going on in a very public manner on blogs before? Don't get me wrong, climbing.ie has been doing forum chats for years (with some fantastic debates at that too) but a blog is a much more public domain, people are openly commenting and writing (and recognising) people's activities which I feel is relatively unheard of in the Irish climbing scene. So something feels like it's changing, not just in the fact that (also as Dave alluded to) that there is a new generation of climbers coming through that seem to be shaking up the scene with hard sends both in the bouldering and trad scene (ignoring those who are pursuing sports climbing abroad - Caroline, Dave, Eddie, anyone with the letter F next? :o). Will we call it the Facebook effect, that everyone is just more willing to write thoughts online?
There's definitely a line that can be crossed about talking, or maybe emphasising, about grades too much (I'm sure if I bothered to go back through this blog I'd find I've done it myself) but 'normal' climbers showing that it's possible to push yourself to new levels (be it 5a or 9a) leaves a sub-conscious mark that can feed other people's own activities. At least this is my belief anyway!
I mentioned this on Dave's latest post that I essentially had two reasons for starting this blog back in March of 2006 (jeebus, 5 years next month!!!!!!!)
- one: because my job at the time was looking at new tech and I've a natural fascination with the Internet for communication/discussion/chatting
- two: (which is pretty obvious from the first post) I wanted to share my motivation for climbing. I imagined that it would promote and hopefully motivate others to get out and be active themselves. I remember around the time of late 2007 when I planned my first trip away (And when I really started writing a lot), the Irish scene was very quiet. Yes, there was people climbing (and at all levels), but there was just. no. motivation. So I stuck my neck out and started writing, and posting to climbing.ie what I was doing. In many ways I wanted to show that I was pushing myself really hard but also that staying motivated (either for pushing grades, or just for staying really active in the climbing scene) was critical to enjoying climbing over the long term (who remembers when it was seen as strange to campus and use a fingerboard - it wasn't that long ago!). I also hoped that it would be an inspiration to get others to get out, and also to promote what they were doing.
At the end of the day, who cares what arbitrary grade you're climbing so long as you're enjoying it, and other people know you're enjoying it. But I do care if people are really motivated and talking about what they're doing! I may keep an eye regularly on the mainstream climbing news, but I'd much rather hear about the 'local' happenings as it's more relevant.
If all these blogs posts and comments are a sign of the healthy motivating scene that exists now, long may it last!
As ever, take all of this with a grain of salt - I've been writing too long to have a clear perspective anymore :o)
Go forth and happy climbing everyone!!!!!!!