get angry, onion

Climbing lessons – from a Burger King Whopper:

I’ve been falling on this project for quite some time. Atreyu has already taken much longer than anticipated and I’m still not done. Be the angry onion. There are levels to climbing performance, as I’m sure there are in any sport, which require us to change dramatically before passing. Before such a change we feel a plateau in performance. That extra little bit of juice needed to edge past this lull in progression can come in a variety of ways, such as increased training volume, training intensity, or mental focus. As far as performance stimuli go, mental focus has been the most interesting to me as of late. Enter the ‘angry onion’. I think sometimes about the last little bit of business on Atreyu, this big-ass throw to a crimp after what amounts to a pumpy 5.13a. Its hard to motivate for that throw. And that’s lame. That makes me a wanker. As if climbing isn’t hard enough without your mind preventing your body from doing what it should, I’ve sabotaged myself for more than a few days by letting my thoughts get out of control. Yeah, the move’s hard. Sure, I’m tired. What do I expect? It’s a hard route and representative of the style of climbing I enjoy most. There’s nowhere else I would rather be than confidently throwing for that hold after climbing through some of my favorite moves on rock. And I know I can do it. So what’s the problem? Answer: I haven’t been the angry onion. The next level waits for me beyond my current mental stage. Before I get to climb harder routes I need to own this one, and this route is summarized in one move – that long, right-hand throw around a gently rounded bulge to a positive crimp. When I get angry enough to set up for that last move, hands matched on that sloping rail, and kick up knowing – knowing – I will hit and hold the crimp, then I can move on. It’s going to take a little more focus. I’m going to need to be the angry onion for a minute.

…and this one’s rad too:


  1. Or maybe you need a little more Bosco in your life.As you surely know, improvements come super, SUPER slow sometimes. I hadn’t seen you on Atreyu for months, but you looked somehow better on it even though you’re still being a wanker on that throw. And you were owning BTL on that 4th burn of the day. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) Atreyu seems to require an elite level of mental control/angry onion. You’ll get it, and be rewarded greatly for it. The crux on other 5.13’s are going to weep when you pull on.

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