Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where is the "Payoff"?

There's a great article in the Times today about the winner of the 2008 Olympics Decathalon winner Bryan Clay that should give pause to any aspiring "professional" climbers out there. The story relates how Clay, who by definition is the best all-around athlete in the world, lives a life of near-anonymity with his wife and two children, still sponsored as an athlete but hardly at the level worthy of a real champion.

Speaking of anonymity, I am crawling out from under a sinus infection that left me literally lying under a rock at Flagstaff yesterday unwilling to get up and climb. Hopefully it will begin to subside soon. I had a good session on Saturday doing 25 problems from V0 to V6 in a couple of hours. I started by running up from Gregory Canyon and then picking off problems as I went along before running back down to Gregory Canyon. It can be very liberating climbing without a crashpad but you have to be careful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Peter -- always an eager consumer of your blog posts. nice work here. you've erred in your logic in this post, however. professional opportunities stem from the marketability of the products and the potential for athletes to (a) expand the market and/or (b) enhance market share for a given company. here, climbing differs from track/field fundamentally. chris sharma and dave graham can get me excited by a harness or shoes, but who cares about a javelin. hence, sprinters have lucrative deals (sell shoes) while decathletes do not (not much of a market for a discus or javelin). as for me, my argument against a professional climbing community is more selfish. i am wary of the commercialism that a core of professional rock climbers would imply -- and the popular crags would be a nightmare.