Burning Hammer Time

Photo by Swiss Williamson, www.swisswilliamson.com

Despite the fact that real life is actually a video game, there are no cheat codes in rock climbing. OH, except one: Dynoing from the bottom to the top! Inside of any climb, you may use whatever beta suits you, and this is true at competitions, outdoors, everywhere. If you are short, you may have to use intermediate holds (like I am doing above) which adds extra moves, or resort to doing the standard moves which could be immeasurably harder for you. This is the situation I frequently find myself in, and it is not only not-cheating, but maybe more along the lines of playing Cruis’n World on the infamous “drunk as Hell in the arcade” difficulty setting.


Self-esteem gets the burning hammer today.

While it may sound frustrating to the mostly sober eye, much like drunk driving a supercar, it’s actually very fun.*  The challenge to be creative and find unique beta is one of the reasons I love to climb. My latest sneaky idea is to get really good at dynos. Dynos aren’t actually easy, especially not on the level of cheating, and as the terrible Process of Learning inevitably piledrive-life-smash-burning-hammers my self-esteem in front of the crowd, I have to constantly make the decision to try harder. It isn’t the failure that hurts, it is how dumb I look when trying to dyno. I don’t have a video to show you, but I watched a kid fall into a dishwasher the other day and suffice it to say, I know how he felt.

The point of this post isn’t to build up the journey and conclude by instructing you all how to dyno properly, because I still have no idea. In fact, while trying to compile “advice” or “lessons I’ve learned” I came up with such gems as: don’t think so much, and try smaller dynos. So I’m not going to be helpful on that front, but what I am hoping you will get from this is the motivation to practice the thing you want to be able to do, even if practicing is kind of humiliating. The bottom line is that I want to be good at dynos, and there is literally no other way to get better. So, I have to swallow my pride and flail in front of whoever happens to be standing around thinking about how embarrassed they would be if they were me. Occasionally, I actually succeed at a dyno and then I get to make a self-indulgent video and go find a bigger dishwasher to fall into.

The real lesson I’ve taken from all of this is that if you record things in slow-motion they look cooler and you don’t have to be as good at them.

*Nacho Claws does not endorse drunk driving or supercars or arcades or making yourself shorter or any combination of any kinds of things at all. So sit still ok, and don’t touch anything to anything else.

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