Went climbing again with some friends last night. I am in that wonderful beginner stage where each time I climb, I can do something that I couldn't the previous time. I wonder how long that will last.
Climbing is in some ways similar to chess, in that people who are good at it can recognize patterns on the wall/board, and visualize future moves. I'm just starting to be able to do that with climbing. I'm still generally only thinking a move or two ahead, and my more experienced climbing partners are still much better at looking at a hold and figuring out how best to use it. But it still makes a tremendous difference from my previous strategy of "grab the next thing within reach and hope like hell it gets you somewhere."
Some other observations:
I can actually do a personal training session in the morning and go climbing in the evening. It's probably not optimal from a climbing performance perspective, but there are certain advantages to climbing "pre-fatigued" - my arms were tired last night, so I practiced relying on my legs more, which is good strategy overall.
Part of the trick to completing a climb is to not expend all your energy getting halfway up. Particularly important - don't pause and think at a spot where you're hanging on with all your strength. Nothing makes one feel sillier than realizing that you know exactly what you need to do next, but you no longer have the grip strength to do it.
I definitely feel like I could use some more leg strength. Particularly when I've got one of my feet up so that my knee is bent and higher than my hip - sometimes what I really need to do is just drive upward, and sometimes I can't quite do it. Must do more squats.