One guy hogged the wall for five minutes attempting a problem that was beyond his skill level; an overzealous newbie. He even hopped on a route that crossed mine while I was bouldering. I saw him moving towards me and had a WTF?! moment. To avoid collision, I stepped off. You know, out of consideration. A few of us stood there letting him tire out, letting him make a fool of himself, letting him fail with no beta. Sometimes silence is the best revenge.
Bad etiquette and machismo can sour the mood of a gym. Actually, not just a gym but any environment from work to parties.
After Mr. Oblivious-Wall-Hogger left, another guy filled his role as The Jerk. He seemed angry. He was impatient and often cut in front of people as they were about to start climbing, and since the other people were nicer, they'd let him go first.
None of his attempts at V3s were successful. Two reasons why:
1) He didn't know enough technique and the routes were too hard to macho through.
2) He was so pissy nobody wanted to suggest tips and show him beta.
That second part is crucial if one wants to improve as a climber. There are many accomplished climbers at Mission Cliffs, many of whom are humble and only give tips when they feel comfortable around you. Familiarity and trust take time to build and impressions like selfishness are hard to forget. Again, this is true of any situation, especially in professional environments.
I felt negative and I thought, "Who the fuck are these jerks and why are they stompin' on my turf?!" Irritation at these inconsiderate punks all up in my shit combined with a rough day meant that my faith in humanity was thin. But I managed to tap a reserve of competitiveness that helped me send the white V3 I had been struggling with all night. WIN!
But at the top, my left hand was half on the tape. I slipped. I landed off-balance. Left foot on mat, right foot off mat. Rolled right ankle.
All of a sudden, people who were quiet the whole night were concerned. As I sat there assessing the ankle, someone ran to get me an ice-pack. Someone else helped me hop over to the bench.
Wow people were being genuinely nice to me! A few came over see if I was ok and to wonder if it still felt good to finally complete that V3. It did feel good! It felt good that hard work paid off, but it felt better that strangers cared. I realized I had forgotten how supportive the climbing community can be- a reason I started climbing in the first place. Despite the jerks, faith in humanity was instantly restored in my moment of pain.
I'm relieved other people have more capacity for compassion in unfortunate events; I'm even more motivated to work on empathy.
The ankle is fine- I can walk but maybe no running for a week.
I feel lucky :D