11 March 2022

The Game 8C by Nick Bradley

Nick Bradley has done The Game (8C) in Boulder Canyon (CO). "Just logging this feels unreal. A dream of mine that I never thought would become a reality. 30+ sessions on the most physically and mentally demanding project I’ve ever had. Just absolutely elated. I don’t think I’ll ever stress about climbing again after this." (c) Alton Richardsson.

Interesting is that the 25-year-old has done all his three 8C’s just the last nine months. His Insta starts with, "As long as I’ve been climbing, I’ve felt the need to prove myself, to myself. Somehow, that eventually developed into some serious imposter syndrome. In my mind, The Game was and always will be the hardest boulder in the world. The boulder to prove yourself on. In reality, that sentiment is no longer widely held. The Game is now far from the hardest in the world, but that hasn’t changed how I feel about it. It’s not the grade, it’s the climb itself and its reputation."

How can you explain being a "late bloomer"?
I’m not really sure how to explain that, to be honest. I train constantly to get better. In the last couple years, I’ve made a few important mental breakthroughs that probably made the difference.

I went through a bit of a plateau because I was only projecting on hard boulders and not sending anything. That would get to my head a lot. I switched gears and decided to do a bunch of boulders that I knew were hard for me but well within my ability. I ended up doing several, and that was the confidence booster I needed to finish up the harder projects. I just needed to be in the mindset of sending.

Another breakthrough for me was letting myself think I’m strong. I’d actively tell myself that before getting on the wall. Something about that used to feel self-centered and insincere, but getting over that made a big difference. I’d get on the wall with the mentality that I know I can do the moves, rather than testing to see if I can.
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