To Burn, or Not To Burn

…that is the question.  Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer boredom, or crushing defeat…

The Midnight Burn is coming up on the 31st.  For those not from the area, this is one of the larger bouldering competitions on the East Coast, and has been running for nearly 15 years now.  I think that I have about 5 or 6 under my belt at this point, have worked 2 of them (one of which I shot the video for…see below), and am contemplating entering this year.

Here is my conundrum: I haven’t been seriously climbing/training for a while now, what with the lack of funds, so I am far from my best shape.  I went to the summer “Burn” in July, but was grossly disappointed with the whole affair, from my performance to the way the thing was run (which was stacked against intermediate climbers).  If I were to enter in the Beginner’s division, I would probably win (or be bumped up to intermediate, depending on my score), but this would definitely be a sandbagging situation, as I know that I climb harder than the Beginner division.  If I enter the Intermediate division, I will definitely not place at all, and will more than likely be disappointed with my performance.  (My wife will tell you that I am incredibly on myself and hyper-self-critical.)

I know that in some ways, the spirit of the competition is not to necessarily win (then why keep score?) but to enjoy the camaraderie of other climbers who share your passion and climb some really cool problems, which will not be in short supply if the route setting follows past years’ examples.  And if a group of us were attending, or were I still close with the climbers at the gym, I would probably be more gung-ho for going this year.

But, alas, there will not be a group attending; Chuck’s Halloween party is that night, and for some reason, the comp doesn’t start until 3.  If you have ever entered a bouldering comp before, you know that 3:00 really means something like 3:45.  Such is that way of these things.

I am pretty sure there will be no Burn for me this year.  It just isn’t in the cards.  Sadly, this has not been a very good fall for climbing for me…no semi-annual Gunks trip, no Burn, not a lot of climbing at all…

Enough with the self-flagellation.  The next couple of weeks, I think that I am going to try and get my thoughts on training for beginners, specifically kids, down on “paper”.  Until then, please, enjoy the video from the 2005 Midnight Burn.  The music is by a band called Silvertide, and my wife had the pleasure of being the drummer’s high school Spanish teacher.

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2 comments so far

  1. John on

    HELLO OUT THERE! ANYONE HOME? ANYONE AT ALL?!
    Whats the deal? How come the only comments are about pictures? (And what happened to this past Monday’s Mute Monday post?) Don’t people read? Don’t people write? Are we all really that bored; desolate; lazy; burned out; Where are the radical stoopid left-leaning vegetarian climbers lamenting Brian’s carnivorously-conjured recipes? C’mon people, OPEN YOUR MOUTHS! SAY SOMETHIN’, ANYTHIN!

    • clmbr121 on

      LOL. Thanks, John.

      And I was just uninspired this past week for Mute Monday. Most people for participate tend to collect pictures off the internets, so I’ve been trying to challenge myself by creating the pictures myself. I’ll get one up this upcoming Monday.


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