In sport climbing, we tend to celebrate the ascents that require climbers to commit to sustained efforts over multiple season and become better climbers in the process of sending.  While that is something we all might aspire to, actually committing to this process is something few climbers ever really do.

To go along with the most recent TrainingBeta Podcast with The Anderson Brothers, here’s Mark Anderson’s article about his recent send of Shadowboxing 5.14d/9a.  While ticking 9a is certainly something to celebrate in and of itself, we are sharing this article mostly because of how good a job Mark does at describing the time, commitment, doubt, and effort that went into his send.

Mark Anderson on “Stretch Goals”

While Mark is no stranger to working hard, Shadowboxing represented a new level of difficulty and commitment for him.  Here’s what he had to say about how this route showed him his limit and forced him to become a better climber.

“That’s the great thing about a stretch goal—it forces you to stretch yourself in order to reach it. It wasn’t an experience I enjoyed, but it is was the experience I needed if I wanted to know my limit.  As I clipped the chains, I never once thought “well, that was easy”. Instead, I reflected on how hard I worked over the last year, and marveled at how hard I tried in the moment of truth. I’ve never had to try that hard during a redpoint. I’ve never successfully linked so many consecutive 50/50 moves. I doubt I ever will again. That was a special moment, the culmination of a special year. From the admittedly narrow perspective of this one moment in my life, I can truly say, that is the hardest I can climb.” – Mark Anderson

Click through below to read the full article.  While this level of commitment and sustained effort may not be for everyone, Mark’s experience can definitely teach us a thing or two about what it means to try your hardest.  Mark’s experience really shows you that to climb at your limit you need to give a 100% both in the moment on a climb and over the course of trying to better yourself season to season.

Full Article: Mark Anderson on Sending Shadowboxing

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