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Sunday, August 28, 2005

How To Become a Master of Rock

As a climber of three decades, I've been fortunate to meet, climb, and hangout with countless climbers of wide background and experience. Most memorable, however, were conversations with a variety of top climbers such as Güllich, Sharma, Davis, Skinner, Hill and Gill.

In meeting these (and other) masters of rock, it is interesting to learn that they are not all that much different from you and me. In fact, these top climbers share many of the same passions, values, and goals as the mass of climbers—they are looking to stretch personal boundaries and experience deep pleasure by means of recreation in a natural environment. In a very personal way, they find that climbing makes life more rich and meaningful. (Something I'm sure we all agree on.)

So, what is it that elevated these individuals to the cutting edge of climbing? Ultimately it comes down to very specific patterns of thought and action that were uncommonly effective in propelling these climbers toward their unique goals. Whereas many climbers possess fuzzy goals and engage in ways of thinking and acting that are congruent with the masses, these masters of rock habitually think and act in ways far different from their peers. The accumulated effect of acting in unique and uncommonly effective ways, day after day, compounds to yield long-term results that are both dramatic and peerless.

For example, John Gill bouldering V9/5.13 in 1959 (when his peers were barely breaking into 5.10), Wolfgang Güllich climbing 5.14d in 1991, or Lynn Hill free climbing the 3000 foot Nose of El Capitan (5.14a) in a day. These remarkable achievements were not born of the mainstream—they are the result of stepping out of mainstream thought and zeitgeist. And, by similarly striving to think and act in uncommonly effective ways, you too can discover a new level of ability and enjoyment on the rock!

Tap into the secrets and power of the masters with the new Masters of Rock CD, presented by Climbing Magazine. This 80-minute CD will inspire you to new heights and provides valuable insights into what you can do to achieve climbing mastery and peak performance on the rock. Learn more about this unique and powerful audio publication at

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Pursuing Your "Mega Goal"

If you are like most climbers I know, you have a "mega goal" for this climbing season or the next. Maybe it's to send your first V6 (or even V12!), redpoint your first 5.10 (or 5.14?), climb a big wall, or maybe take an extended roadtrip across the country or overseas. No matter your goal, it takes a plan to make it reality. Goals rarely "just happen", you need to make them happen. Here's how:

Plan your work, and then work your plan. That is, develop a success strategy that will elevate you towards the goal, and then take daily action. Develop the personal attribute of being a compulsive planner--instead of drifting in the wind, strive to direct the wind! Don't let a day pass by without asking yourself, "what action can I take to advance towards my mega goal?"

Develop the personal attribute of being a compulsive planner--instead of drifting in the wind, strive to direct the wind!
If it's a complex goal, you will benefit by mentally projecting forward to the day you achieve the goal and then working backwards in your mind to determine the key steps to getting there. I call this exercise Feed Forward, because by visualizing the necessary steps (and sacrifices) for reaching the goal, you program a forward inertia into your subconscious mind. As a result, it will feel easier to take the daily actions and make the necessary sacrifices as your subconscious helps you work the plan!

Always boil the plan down to daily actions that you MUST take. Remember that each day provides the opportunity to take a step closer to the goal, whether it be training, climbing, resting, or getting the rest of your life in order for the realization of your mega goal.

Learn more goal-achievement and mental-training strategies with the 80-minute Mental Wings audio program. Mental Wings presents a highly unique and effective 7-step program for enhancing performance in any high-value area of your life. It details 35 powerful strategies and techniques you will want to put to work, beginning today!

Photo: EH on his route, Diamond Life (5.13a/b), New River Gorge, WV. Courtesy of