I had the chance to climb with a long time buddy who was back home visiting his parents for the holidays. Mikey was always a better climber than I was and over the years really began to understand his strengths and weaknesses as a rock wrestler. It was awesome to see him move through the grades over the years on all types of rock routes.
Since I knew that he would be able to have pretty good success on my current project, I invited him to try it out to see how he would do and also what he thought of the line.
On his first effort he reached my highpoint and with a hang or two got to the chains. I was so excited to see him do well on it while at the same time, I felt that I had a long way to go to get to where he was on his first attempt. I know that this type of route is a weakness of mine and that it will take me a monumental effort to send, but for Mikey, he described it at his "dream route" and in his favorite style. His success will certainly come sooner than mine, but I have the luxury of living nearby whereas he has to fly here every once in a while.
I guess the point is not to get worried about who climbs it first, but to look at each climb as a personal challenge, not a competition. I know that had I been in competition with all my climbing partners over the years that I would have quit a long time ago.
We each have our own strengths and weaknesses and must choose routes that inspire us for the looks, style, holds or whatever. It doesn't matter how long it takes to get it done or even if you send it, what matters is the fact that you are climbing it for you and you alone.
piz : )