Everyday Dirtbag #96.

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?

Clearly not.

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.”


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