Bouldering with Wai Yi Ng
If you project boulder climbs, you know the process. Every time I make a list of bouldering climbs I want to send, I get butterflies in my stomach. It's the best kind of nervous anticipation. I think about the process; dissecting the climb in isolation and working it piece by piece, sort of in an obsessive way. Sometimes, I spend an entire session focusing on one or two moves. Currently, I'm trying to finish a climb and there are days when I drive an hour out of town to try one move over and over again.
The process continues and week after week, I try to convince my friends to get psyched to go. One day, the only one who wanted to climb this boulder was my friend Camy. She and I carried two pads each; winding our way through the 5-foot-tall grass and up a 10-minute hike. After over 50 tries I finally caught the hold. After hitting that one move, I felt this intense feeling of accomplishment and topped it out, almost as happy, as if I had sent it. From that point on, I felt that it was really possible and finally within my reach. It's not always the send; sometimes it's the process.
Once I am able to divide the climb into two parts, I feel a rush of excitement; knowing the send is within reach. Another step in the process. It’s like a drug addiction. The thought of getting close to the send is visceral. The anticipation shoots needles to the pit of my stomach. It’s the process and the expectation of success. The feeling of coalescing a group of moves, that once felt impossible. It’s what I do every weekend.