Committed to the process
Right after his astonishing free solo climb of El Capitan, Alex Honnold answered some questions that show how committed he is to his process. While this historic feat is truly unbelievable to the rest of us humans, the way he worked toward it over many years and saw it as part of a process is an important takeaway. In fact, he emphasizes how he tried to see it as just another day. To what extend that's possible:
Has it sunk in yet?
Honestly even now I feel like I could go do another lap right now. I feel so amped.
Another lap on the cliff? Yikes!
I feel so good.
Are you going to climb more?
Probably not. But today is hang-boarding day. I’ll have to hang board in a bit. (Editor’s note: climbers regularly practice dangling from fingertip holds on a hang board to improve their grip strength.)
That's right: he climbed over 3,000 vertical feet without ropes or hardware, it's about 9:30 AM, and he's ready to do a regularly scheduled workout routine.
[When asked what he was thinking about on the climb]
. . . And I was also thinking in terms of life goals. This has been my biggest life goal for years. And the other one is to climb 9a—to sport climb real hard. (Editor’s note: 9a refers to one of the highest rated, most physically demanding levels of sport climbing.) So I’m halfway up the wall and thinking it’s time to focus on 9a. It’s so exciting to work on something hard.
So you already have a new goal?
It’s been a strategy the whole time I’ve worked on El Cap is to look past it, so that it’s not just all this one moment. To think about what’s beyond, what other stuff I’m excited about. So this just feels like a semi-normal day.
So even though this activity is totally not relatable, I found this level of commitment quite relatable. That level of commitment is something to work toward.