I love to wire a route. Memorize every single move: The cross-through, the lock-off, the three-finger jam. The mono and the side-pull edge.
Every hold: The sloper up left, the hidden crimp, the foot that allows me to drop-knee right.
It’s fun to be able to send a route in 29.3 seconds, or slow motion as a warm-up.
And for headpointing – especially scary trad leads – nothing is more important than wiring.
But lately I’ve been thinking about muscle memory and stagnation, how memorizing a route only helps me to climb that one route. Sure, I can climb it better than the next guy, but does that make me a better climber? Does that help me go to a new location and get on a route of the same grade?
So I’ve decided to start unwiring what I have wired. Renew my mind and body even on local climbs. Go right-hand where I obviously must go left. Avoid the jug, get my feet out of sequence.
Go against my tendencies.
At my school’s gym, I got on the wall that I haven’t climbed on in more than a year. Then I went and ran “backwards laps” at my local crag. Instead of climbing twenty routes I can do blind-folded, I climbed six routes out of sequence. And it was more difficult than doing twenty laps the other way.
This idea can be expanded. Lead when I feel like top-roping. Boulder when I feel like leading. Climb sport instead of trad.
My new mantra: Every once in a while, we must “suffer out of sequence.”