Lovely set of words hidden at the very end of a great interview with Adam Ondra.
After all these years, pushing your limits on all these routes, what does climbing mean to you now?
My love for climbing has always remained the same. Sure, it varies from time to time, depending on how tired I am, on the weather and so on, but my love for climbing runs deep and the motivation level remains the same. Perhaps this is because of uniqueness of every single route, of every single hand hold. No matter how many routes I have done, I will continue to discover something new. The 100th 9a or harder is a good example: it was totally different any other 9a I have done in the past. It had such complex and surprising sequences, it was in an area I have never been to, I climbed it on a totally splendid sunny day after many days of low clouds and fog. And after a day like this, I just feel an immense satisfaction take over me, I feel like this is living at its best.
For me, it is also important to feel that I can switch my mental modes. When I'm in training mode, when I have a certain goal in my mind (e.g. World Championships), I just go for it 100%, no matter what it takes. The goal is to finish the next training session and go home feeling I've trained well. I love it even when the climbing itself might be super painful due to sore skin, aching muscles or total body fatigue. But I know that the training will make me stronger and a better climber. And then, I just go out there climbing, have days like yesterday when it is just so much fun. For some reason I find climbing harder routes more satisfying, usually a 9a looks more impressive than an 8a next to it, and the feeling of climbing smoothly through the crux section of a 9a or 9b is just incomparable. Combine this with the landscape, the friends you are there with and, all in all, it just adds up to a great day. And for day like these, it is worth living and climbing for.