On Yeeting It

As I’m writing this, it’s still hard for me to explain what “yeet” means.

So, this is me looking it up. According to the top two definitions on Urban Dictionary, “yeet” means to “discard an item at a high velocity” or “is a versatile word that can be used as an exclamation, a verb, or even a noun.”

I remember when this word started to be thrown around a lot more a few years back, I had no idea what it meant, and I actually had to ask my little sister what it meant. I started to understand the general gist of it after this conversation, but was also, unfortunately called out for apparently pronouncing it weirdly. Since then, “yeet” has never been an essential part of my vocabulary, maybe because I was embarrassed people would laugh at how I said it.

People still use this word a lot. But a few months ago, I met two guys (Ryan and Max) at my local climbing gym, the Cliffs at Callowhill, and worked on a problem with them. In fact, this might have been my first V3, and that day, we just could not quite figure out how to solve it. Ryan told me to just “yeet it.” That was the first of many times we would tell each other to “yeet it” or “keep yeeting” while bouldering.

If you keep reading the Urban Dictionary entry, you realize that a user by the handle, “the laundromat manager” has written that “to yeet is to give your full power and soul to an action you’re doing.”

I do this thing when I climb, where I get scared of a “big” move – which at the Cliffs, is often the last move. Maybe it’s a reach or a top out, but I just can’t get myself to do it. What happens, as a result, is that I end up with a pretty low solve rate and a bunch of problems that I’ve climbed 75% of the way. This is quite a frustrating phenomenon.

Why the heck do I do that? Ryan called me out on this – I was always scared to commit to the big move. I would prep myself to swing over to the next hold or stand up on a slopey foot, then just stop myself because I got scared. I was psyching myself out, instead of psyching myself in. Instead of giving it my all, I just stopped myself. In other words, I was not “yeeting” it.

I remember when I was a springboard diver, I would also be afraid to jump just a bit higher off the board because I was scared of the dive and possibly smacking. And in bouldering, I was falling all the time anyway, so why didn’t just give it a little more and risk falling from just a tiny bit higher?

I’m not a great yeeter, but I want to be. The yeet is the extra mile or the extra inch. It’s the extra bit you might fall, but the payoff can be enormous. I want to trust myself enough to take the extra little chance – to give it my all on every jump and every climb and everything else that’s difficult or risky in life. It’s so simple it’s almost infuriating.

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