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October 2016 Review

Article Table of Contents

October 2016 Review #

This month’s review. In another few days I’ll post the goals for November.

I had three goals for October, as of about 12 days ago:

October goals: #

Programming #

I wanted to finish a certain Rails Tutorial, and move on to the next one. This project I made zero progress on. But I’m accepted into the Turing School’s January 2017 cohort, and have approval from my company for a long (unpaid) sabbatical for the course.

So, I’m making progress, and as importantly, I’ve got big pieces of this squared away over the next few months.

I’d like to reach a point of stability and completeness on my next bullet point (the climber’s guide) before throwing myself into programming training.

Climber’s Guide Course #

I made good progress here. I finally got the website I’m using into a viewable form (the old theme I had was hideous).

I updated some of the email collection forms (there’s now a sidebar, ready to collect someone’s email address) and I linked to a “best of” sidebar section, linking to some useful articles.

I added an “about me” and “contact me” page, and then most importantly,  stripped out everything else. There’s no footer, there’s no public meta data about every post, there’s no stupid nav bar that every theme shoves down your throat. is, from a visual perspective,  boring. And I wouldn’t take it any other way.

I started fleshing out a bunch of blog posts, either moving over things I’ve written for this website, or other ideas I had floating around in my head.

This is the requisite leg-work to get the website ready to receive traffic, and hopefully capture (in the form of email subscribers) some of those views.

The email list and drip campaigns is where all the good stuff is, so I’ll turn my attention to that next month.

Climbing 5.13 #

Made great progress here. Just a few hours ago, I sent Anarchitect (5.12d).

I got it on my seventh attempt, though I came extremely close (slipped off the last hold) to sending it on my fourth attempt.

This was the most work I’ve put into a climb ever. It’s also the hardest grade I’ve sent, and I’m not sure if I ever actually climbed 5.12c. (I’ve been on plenty of them, but usually don’t give climbs more than one or two attempts…)

Some of the lessons:

Lesson One: There is an insane amount of optimization you can do in a route . My first attempt on this climb, I fell on almost every move, from the first bolt to the last.

Lesson Two: I’m horrible at remembering my own beta.  A friend of mine who has an excellent ability to recall his own beta, and others, and adjust it on the fly, upon seeing my climbing said “It’s as if every time you climb a route, it’s your first time.”

This inability to recall beta has been holding me back for a while. My on-sight ability has gone up and up, but my ability to project a route is horrific.

So, this time around, I made a “beta map”. I just jotted down every move of the climb, and added some notes about my sequences.  This is what mine looked like

The process of recalling enough of my movement to make this map, as well as playing back through every move to recall the ideal sequence, is exactly what I need. As I climbed the route again after making it (the next day) I was comparing every move I made with what I’d outlined in the map.

In almost every instance, I had recalled the correct movement. My map worked.

So, I’ll keep making these maps. I hope to improve my “beta recall”, and even on climbs where I don’t make the map, I’ll become more perceptive of my own movement up the route.

Lesson Three: It’s important to try hard.  I almost sent the route my fourth attempts, but I fell off because I simply didn’t try on the last move. This is a horrible habit I’ve picked up in my climbing, and it’s sneaky. See, you can always try to be stronger, or climb more efficiently, and these are good things, but at the end of the day - if you can try really really hard, you can make more progress than someone who doesn’t.

Lesson Four: I’ve gotten better at rock climbing in the last few years.  It’s been ages since I’ve had a solid indicator that I’ve improved as a climber. In the last five years, I’ve spent almost three of them not climbing regularly, and just trying to train a bit on my own. Due to seasons and travel, all of my “progress” has been inside, on gym routes. Gym routes have little relationship to outdoor climbs, and they’re not internally consistent or consistent across time.

So, I know I’ve been feeling stronger, but I didn’t have proof. Now I do. I’m going to aim for a few more 5.12ds and 12cs, but I think I’m going to hop on Sonic Youth next. It might be a “soft” 5.13a, but supposedly some broken holds in 2010 made it solid for the grade.

November goals, coming soon.

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