I lost the hook on a 4B on my first lead.. i watch the 3rd piece of gear fall out of the crack as i was 10 ft above it placing the 4th, then that fell out when i put the 5th bit in above that... which then fell out as i was looking to put in the 6th. The last peice before all that held, but that was 1/2 way up the face... and the top was fried. It ended up with gear stopping at 60ft, with me 30ft above and 30 ft of solo... i decided then that solo'ing wasn't something i wanted to be pushed into, i was much happier indoors, even on much harder stuff.
I don't think about that at all when shooting... even though, as with climbing i'm devoid of thoughts about 9-5 etc, the technical stuff i get wrapped up in and the performance aspects are now passengers along for the ride. The epiphany came when I won my first open. I didn't feel ready to win when I won my first winter league 2 years before, it was a complete shock... but that open ticked the box nicely. I think i realised that I could shoot to the level I wanted to, and that i couldn't do it every day, but that I could do it now and then when the wind was in the right direction... and knowing that meant the bits in between where I didn't shoot as well as I wanted to didn't matter so much because I knew there were days when I would... and it allowed me to relax and enjoy those days in between even more for what they were.
I think I also learnt that i'm happier shooting what I think is well and perhaps not getting the score I perhaps deserve, than getting a score I don't deserve having shot pants. I used to only respect my score, now with FT and HFT, i just respect my shooting.
I don't have the same feeling in 10m though. That's like sitting an exam, some days i enjoy the test and challenge, some days it feels like an O-Level maths exam in summer when i'm 16. Paper punching is a discipline, and that's quite a test in itself... i only started it to get better at standers... my score is the only hook it has in me... for a while I did wonder where my desire might wander, but I realised about a 18 months ago that FT holds a lot more for me than paper punching, and when I did, all the pressure of performance just seemed to dissapear...later that year I won the open... i honestly wasn't even looking for the win.
BFTA/NSRA County Coach
CSFTA Chairman/BFTA Rep