Max's Blog+Forum

climbing goals - gyms reopen



I sent just 1 of the remaining 3 purples on Friday.

The current goal I've settled on is to send every grade 3 climb (in the gym) in a week

WRT this goal, I could go again this weekend, but I think it'd be better to rest. That means I'll fail the goal. What happens wrt the goal then?

The purpose of the goal was to build consistency and mastery of a particular grade. Or maybe, that's what the goal aligned with -- it wasn't, in and of itself, to master the grade. Rather, it was a breakpoint that I chose which aligned with master. If I didn't meet it, then it's a criticism of the idea that I've mastered that grade. Mastering a grade isn't a quality I'd lose unless I stopped climbing, though (or had some injury or something). So what does failing this goal really mean?

Well, I'm not yet inconsistent when it comes to purples (since I had been sending them all prior to lockdown) -- so more time's needed to determine that. It is a criticism of mastery though; it means there are still bottlenecks at this grade.

The reason I chose the original parameters that I did -- 1 week to send every new purple for a full cycle -- was that 1 week allowed for reasonable buffer, and a full cycle meant ~25 new climbs. New routes are set Tuesday-Thursday, so 4 days of the week were the period of stability before the next wave. Once those new climbs were set, a failure to send one that was taken down is a decisive criticism of both consistency and mastery. Also, sending all the new routes (before the next wave was set) meant that I'd have excess capacity to try new climbs, or work on bottlenecks.

Even without sending every purple, I still have excess capacity -- different climbs use different resources. And since I shouldn't lose the ability to send-every-purple if I keep improving, why would I ever stop?

I think mb goals like this are sometimes motivating (they have been to me) but there's a problem if you get invested in them. That's because failing a goal is, like, something to take personally. But that isn't what these sort of goals are really about. A goal like this is a regular opportunity to take a benchmark -- and mb find a weakness in your abilities that you didn't know was there. Knowing about that is a good thing! If you don't know it's there (or if you know and ignore it) then it becomes a thing you can't rely on. That's a problem if it ever needs to be foundational to other, more advanced knowledge. (Like, it's a dependency.)

This is consistent (and I think related) with a different idea: achievement of goals is pointless if you're not challenged. There's no point in me setting a goal if I know it's already too easy. The achievement is hollow.

Moreover, if there are always meaningful goals to choose -- meaningful problems to solve -- then choosing goals that are foregone conclusions must be meaningless. My guess is that -- for some projects -- it is moral to choose meaningful goals, and immoral to deliberately choose meaningless goals when meaningful ones could be chosen instead. (Sometimes those projects/decisions only impact a single person, in which case they're probably amoral -- that's okay. Morality is about interpersonal harm, and people are free to live their own lives (wrt themselves) how they wish. People are also under no obligation to maximize morality -- just to not act immorally -- so provided there's no malice, most goals are okay.)

Getting back to purples: I think new climbs is an important breakpoint, so I'm going to monitor that going forward. I'm also thinking I'll adopt the send-every-purple-every-week goal again, indefinitely -- it's a useful warning sign of bottlenecks, and means there's some variance in my excess capacity (which I can use to my advantage). Maybe a good breakpoint to re-evaluate at is some level of consistency with blacks, like sending >50% each week. That seems reasonable atm.

Addendum by u/max after 2021-10-23 03:59:29 UTC 7 days