Try. Fail. Repeat.
Try. Fail. Repeat.
Try. Succeed. Repeat.
Try, fail, and repeat; we have written about this idea before and seen it come back around time and time again. Tonight we had a high school youth group in a climbing session at The CRUX here at Camptown. These programs can be a challenge to host since many of the attendees are first-time or very low-experience climbers. As with many things in our on-demand society, students tend to get very tired of climbing very fast because they cannot be good at it right away. Their tendency is to try, fail, and quit. Most of the time we cannot get students motivated to keep going, but occasionally something fun happens!
Tonight I challenged some of the boys in the group to climb the “Facetime” route. “Facetime” is a V3, which means it is a moderately challenging climb. The crux, or hardest part, of this climb is the very first move. It is hard to explain without seeing it, but suffice to know you start in a mostly upside-down position and have to swing upright to grab your next hold; if you miss, you fall. One student, Allen, took particular interest in completing this challenge and almost refused to move on from it to any of the other fun activities we had running. As the night went on we would take turns coaching and encouraging each other through this difficult climbing problem.
We both tried a lot. We both failed a lot. And, after a hour-and-a-half of effort, Allen launched off the starting hold and grabbed the next hold. He had completed the crux of the climb. Granted, the hardest part behind him and weariness from all his effort led him to coming short on the whole climb; a fact of which he really didn’t care about! He had done the part he worked hard for all evening and the whole crowd in The CRUX knew it and cheered him for it!
Solving problems like “Facetime” is a resounding success story repeated by climbers all over the map. I think the lesson though is in how Allen succeeded at his challenge. Had he been left to his devices, I think he would have walked away after a few tries. The difference was not made in making the route easier or in cheering for him from far away. Allen succeeded because another climber came alongside him and did it with him. We failed together and worked together to achieve. Granted my pride is a little hurt (I’m blaming age) that I never made it up, but my heart is happy Allen did! It is a lesson we can take into the world with us as we encounter youth in any setting with any challenge: all they need to succeed is someone to show them failing is okay and when we do we get back up and try again. After repetition over time, we might just make that big climbing move we never thought possible!