The following is by TCA senior Kieran Hadley.
MT. CHARLESTON, NV – A new study conducted by the TCA Senior Science Lab found that spraying someone down with the air beta for your “sick new project” does not help him or her understand the climb whatsoever.
The idea for the study came when Jonah Phillips, TCA senior and member of the Science Lab, realized that when people described their project to him completely out of context and using only their hands and feet to illustrate the moves, he still had no idea what they were talking about. When he described this experience to the rest of the Science Lab, they realized that they too had never actually understood a climb based on the verbal and physical description given by psyched climbers.
The implications of this study are serious and will have widespread effects. There are few climbers who can truly say they’ve never air-sprayed someone, and even fewer who have never attempted to verbally describe a climb’s beta. Now that people understand that these efforts have no meaning, there will likely be an influx of amateur climbing videos and Instagram posts with long captions that explain every individual move of the crux, the number of times they hung, and how “it feels really hard right now, but I think it’ll go.”
What causes someone to go to these great lengths to spray their beta at every available earhole in their immediate vicinity? Although there are many factors that contribute to this phenomenon, and not all cases are the same, the scientists at SSL hypothesize that something called an “ego” is the driving force behind this strange behavior. The ego works in strange ways, and if it is heavily present in a climber, it can cause a whole host of symptoms, from unnecessary justification for falling, to acting aggressively at the gym. It can be difficult to identify symptoms of more astute narcissists, but SSL is adamant that an ego is present in everyone.
So, what can people do to keep their ego at bay? First, they can start by climbing for themselves, and not for others. Climbing is an individual sport, and the highest performance levels can be reached by forgetting external pressures.
A helpful exercise is to ask oneself why one cares about the opinions of others. People often go climbing with the intention of posting a picture, rather than bettering themselves through the sport. Other times, they convince themselves that they want to send their project for their personal pleasure, when the reality is that they really want to be able to satisfy their ego by telling others of their success and soaking up the ensuing praise. This kind of thinking only makes the ego hungrier, and soon they find that they aren’t climbing because they love it, they are climbing because they love the thought of other people thinking that they love it.
The results of this study, though shocking and controversial, will hopefully bring about a new kind of awareness in the climbing community. This new kind of thinking will teach people to love the sport of climbing, and not the praise they can generate by saying that they are “total dirtbags,” or “two-hanging the proj.” And finally, the results of this study could be effective in bringing an end to incoherent beta spray, especially the unrequested kind.