For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to excel at whatever sport I happened to be psyched on at the time. Inline Skating, Rugby, Skiing – they were all the same... I was fairly good to begin with, and I improved quickly with practice. I loved each of them, and a big part of what I loved was being good! This may sound a tiny bit arrogant ;) but it is really not meant to. When I say “good”, I dont mean it in an “im better than you” way, but instead to describe feeling like you have a high level of control over your body and mind, and you can make them do what you want. If I saw someone else doing something, I knew it was possible and figured that I should be able to do it too.
James Pearson: Progression
Obviously the real world is not quite as simple as that, and there are many things in life you will only achieve through practice, training or good luck – usual it’s a mix of the three. Take football for example. At one point I decided I wanted to play; I tried out and sucked, practiced and sucked, got frustrated and sucked, and finally gave up, still sucking just as much as I do to this very day. When I play, it feels like I have two left feet in boots several sizes too big for me, I hate feeling so out of control and disconnected and thus, I really don’t like football.
Climbing also came naturally, and for the first few years I progressed fast and continuously, which fed me everything I hungered for and kept me a happy little chappy. As more years passed, things slowed down as one would expect, but improvement was still there, walking hand in hand with my motivation.
Eventually however, the world stopped turning and I found myself walking through a very big plateau. I could see mountains all around and wanted to be up there, but just couldn’t quite find the way. Working my strengths got me nowhere, so logic suggested I move on to my weaknesses. The path now seemed so clear, and I began running towards the Peaks with fresh enthusiasm; what I didn’t realise is that this particular path lead right into a deep deep gorge!
Progress was slow and frustrating, which I guess comes from starting to try something your body has never done before, and to make matters worse, my strengths started to become not so strong! I was actually going downhill, getting worse at climbing simply from trying to get better. This really sucked!
Thankfully, one of my other personal traits is being a stubborn bastard, especially when it comes to punishing myself. I tried my best to fight, got knocked down time and time again but somehow kept getting back on my feet to fight some more, spurred on only by a blurred and bloody vision of paradise. Then one day, not too dissimilar from all the rest, I got a visit from an angel...
Everything changed, things became clear and I began to move in the right way. It took time, effort, and a helping hand, but a few weeks ago I made it out of the gorge and am heading towards the foothills. The journey is far from over, in fact, it’s barely just begun. But now I can see the sun, it’s just started to rise and I know its going to be a beautiful day