Creativity and Competency - where the magic (hard work) happens

There is no doubt about it, I get jazzed when competency and creativity come together. The pairing usually indicates something magical is happening; something that might just blow my socks off.

Here’s what you may not see when you look at this image:

There are three different boulder problems here (indoor climbing routes not requiring a rope) — by design.

These three problems vary in difficulty — by design. (note: there are good and not-so-good boulder problems; these are good, nay great, boulder problems.)

V0 purple

V 1/2 green

V 3/4 yellow

There is a controlled/easier way down when you make it to the top of each of these problems — by design.

What you also don’t see is the years upon years of practice the route setter put into learning and refining her craft, much of it a labour of love. You don’t see the hours upon hours invested in “setting” the climbing holds - a trial and error process to get the placing of the holds just right in order to deliver on the promise of challenge, fun and risk mitigation. You don’t see the massive investment in passion, time and money that went into creating this amazing Edmonton local business - BLOCS climbing gym.

This fun, uplifting image is an expression of competence,

creatively practiced to a level of mastery.

Further blowing my mind is how this craft embraces non-permanence, much like graffiti. All that time and effort is put into a work of art that likely wont live out the month. A monumental effort that indiscriminately gifts a unique ~ albeit momentary ~ experience. This particular set of boulder problems has already been taken down.

So, you are one of my heroes. A master of your craft. Dedicated to curating beautiful, challenging experiences for anyone and everyone who shows up. You make this world strong and fun.

Where do you see competency & creativity come together?

What are you motivated to persist at? How might you go about navigating your own path to mastery in this one great gift of a life?