Climb the 5%

I used to do a fair amount of rock climbing before I had a run-in with tendinitis (I chose to save my muscles for flute playing).  I realized during that time that the two hardest parts of rock climbing are the first 5% and the last 5%.

It can be incredibly hard to get onto the wall.  Just preparing the ropes and harnesses and hiking to the rocks requires more than an average amount of effort.  And then, standing at the bottom, staring at the rock face, beginning to climb can be a daunting task.

To begin a project from nothing can be as daunting as completing it.  To start practicing for a concert or begin a composition can seem impossible at times.

BUT, once you get going and climb that first 5%, you can find a rhythm.

… until you approach the top of the wall.  At this point, you have been climbing maybe 40 or 60 feet for an easy pitch.  But you are inevitably tired.  At this point, it seems all too easy to just let go and let your spotter ease you down.  You came this far right?  Might as well call it a win.

But you can’t give in to that feeling.  You can’t prepare for months and then just not play the concert.

You have to climb that last 5%.


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