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adampaulgable


Jun 30, 2002, 9:04 AM
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Lost My Nerves Completey
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Hey All,
I've been climbing about 3 years now. About three months ago I was climbing my strongest and had redpointed a couple hard routes in the area. I took a couple weeks off just to work and get some stuff done. The rents were complaining. I got back on the rock the other week though and couldn't get myself more than 10 feet off the deck. I thought it was just a bad day but the other day i went out again and couldn't get myself off the deck. Have I just Lost all my nerves? Have any of you had anything like this happen? What did you do? Any help is greatly appreciated cause my most favorite thing in life I can't do right now.
Thanks Adam


k9rocko


Jun 30, 2002, 9:27 AM
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Yes,

This has happened to me more than once. My solution to to go climb something that protects well, and is fairly easy. Run laps on it, lead it again and again... until you have it wired solid. If it is a trad route, protect is less and less each time. If all you have are bolted routes, go to the third or fourth bolt... and take a couple of intentional small lead falls.

    Of course, don't forget to keep yourself off the deck by protecting the start well. Also, unweight your rope and let it rest before you fall again.


The main problem is that you don't want to fall. The second problem is that you are doubting the system. Most of us experience this feeling from time to time. As your confidence (in your climbing) improves, your fear of falling will decrease. As your confidence in the system increases, you can focus on your climbing.

I find myself most confident when I am climbing with a partner who has good synergy. When I know my partner will catch me, I am willing to try stupid s--- (ok, being brave isn't stupid...)

The bottom line is that you have to get out frequenty and climb stuff you know you can handle. Once you do that, you can get back to improving and exploring tougher routes.

Although I don't want my partner to know this... I have only recently broken out of this slump. I have had to use multiple partners (to avoid boring them) when I go back to the same route again and again....

I am only now starting to feel comfortable exploring new, more difficult routes. If you ever come to Salt Lake City.... I would love to partner up and help you kick the fear thing.... I think it worked for me..

Hope this helps.... climb on and never ever give it up.

k9rocko
(gabe)


crackaddict


Jun 30, 2002, 9:57 AM
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Gabe is right do some laps.
Also set up some TR's. Being able to finish a route will help build confidence. TR it then lead it. All it is is that your mind and body need a jolt to get them back in focus. Spend as much time on the rock as possible. I have found that when I don't feel comfortable on the rock it because I am not spening enough time on it.
Have fun and climb hard.


climberdee


Jun 30, 2002, 10:13 AM
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Adam...did you jump right back on and try to lead both times? I find that no matter how much I climb, the first lead of the day always gives me a bit of the jitters. Maybe try TR'ing a bit? I think the key is just to focus on the climbing, focus on the moves, and maybe your head will settle down. Good luck!


clam


Jun 30, 2002, 11:13 AM
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Been there; got through it; more than once. Think of climbing for enjoyment; don't do scary routes that challenege you for now. Don't give up. Gabe is right on.


newtocalgary


Jun 30, 2002, 3:46 PM
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I climb 11's trad and in the late eightie broke a lot of my self when I took a huge fall into the rock on Yamnuska. I brushed it off continued to climb (after the 4 1/2 months in hospital) 2 years ago I was warming up on a 5.8 and froze because of exact position I felt before my big fall. I had to down climb it and struggled through it on top rope After few weeks forgot about it and can get through it but not without a doubt in the back of my mind The mind is a very powerful thing to get around some times but its worth it


passthepitonspete


Jun 30, 2002, 5:02 PM
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Good grief! Helluva way to introduce yourself to us, eh? Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve.

SHUT UP AND CLIMB.

[This works for me when I walk up to the base of a wall and feel scared yet again...]


k9rocko


Jun 30, 2002, 5:30 PM
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Quote:Good grief! Helluva way to introduce yourself to us,
eh? Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve.

SHUT UP AND CLIMB.

[This works for me when I walk up to the base of a wall and feel scared yet
again...]
Pete.... you are such a freakin' hardman.

Of course I am unworthy to comment, I have never pounded a piton, never placed a hook, or wished upon a rurp. Someday?


passthepitonspete


Jun 30, 2002, 7:28 PM
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Falling off a rock is like falling off a horse.

You know the rest.

P.S. Even hardmen (yeah, right...) feel fear. It's what we do with our fear that counts.


fiend


Jun 30, 2002, 8:21 PM
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The key to get rid of this feeling is to be relaxed while you climb, therefor I feel that it's better if you do not try to 'suck it up' or be a tough guy and force your way through it. If you get up on the sharp end, climb even though you're tense and scared more than normal (everyone should be at least a little scared when the lead ) and you do actually fall, then there's a good chance you'll fall tensed up and hurt yourself.

Grab a good friend or two, someone you really trust as a belayer, and hit the rock with no expectations. Try to pinpoint what exactly it is that is freaking you out about leading and try to use positive thinking to realize that it's just a mental block.

It's hard to get over 'irrational' fears like this, I'm suffering from the same thing right now and have been dealing with it for a year and a half now due to some bad falls resulting in injuries.

My advice: face your fear with your mind, reason them out (without dismissing them), then conquor them with confidence.


Easier said than done, I know


clam


Jun 30, 2002, 9:48 PM
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If you want to read something about how fear works on our minds read this: Krishnamurti, On Fear(New York: Harper Collins, 1995). I found it in the bibliography of Mark Twight's book Extreme Alpinism and found it very helpful.
Keep climbing.


doosh


Jul 1, 2002, 9:23 AM
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Give into the fear.
Buy a crashpad.

Send harder than anyone who just gave you advice.


adampaulgable


Jul 1, 2002, 9:55 AM
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Everybody,
Thanks alot for the good advice. I think it will all help alot. Just got to find a better place with the mind right now. Pass the pitons Pete, thanks for the advice. Maybe a kick in the ass by you was needed to get going. As far as introducing to you guys I didn't have time before this cause I was climbing as much as possible. If you want to get to know me though I did the Tounge River Canyon Route Site and it has some info about me. All you guys who answered this and anyone else if your in the area get ahold of me and Lets go pull. As far as the getting a crashpad idea. Got one but it doesn't beat the feeling of being a couple hundred feet off the deck. Thanks alot everyone.
Adam


passthepitonspete


Jul 3, 2002, 6:03 AM
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Yer damn right.


overlord


Jul 3, 2002, 7:01 AM
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just climb, fall a couple of times and you should be fine!! fight the fear. it happens to me everytime when i dont climb on rock for, say, two months. dont worry about it, just climb.

CLIMB ON


melonhead


Jul 3, 2002, 7:30 AM
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You might need a week off man. Usually, once a year I completly lose it. I even have a hard time on exposed hiking trails!! Why?? Not sure, maybe caus I climb a lot and just need a short break. It last for about a week, maybe two. So I just use that as a "vacation" from climbing to let the people in my life (the one's that don't climb) know that I still exist!! Ha Ha.


climberchic


Jul 3, 2002, 8:55 AM
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It is called a high gravity day. And yes, it happens to everyone. Personally, I find that if I take a few weeks off, I gain a little weight and lose some muscle which DOES make it harder to climb.

I agree with everyones comments here. They are all (with one exception) very supportive and sympathetic. So let me chime in and say, I HATE it when I have one of those days when I can't do the thing that I feel most confident with. I hear ya brother, I feel your pain and it SUCKS!

Feel better?

No? I didn't think so. You're not climbing yet. I wouldn't either.

That's because that one unsupportive, downright crass exception (PTPP) is what actually gets me back up. I've climbed some hard stuff that I don't think I would have done without some serious verbal abuse (external or internal) to keep me from making excuses for myself. It may seem a little extreme at first, but hey...THIS IS AN EXTREME SPORT. You got into this because you love it and it's in your blood and you need to[i/] climb. So get out there, tell those voices that are telling you you can't to go suck one and GET YOUR A** UP THERE!!



toobigtoclimb


Jul 3, 2002, 9:13 AM
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One of the things that I think is so interesting about climbing is that you have these "on" and "off" days. Sometimes you crank, sometimes you bite. I think it's because climbing is much more of a mental game compared to other sports.

Even though climbing is generally not a competetive sport (competitions excluded of course), you are always competing with your brain. Last year we had our first child. Now I don't climb anywhere close to where I used to.

Just keep climbing.


verticallaw


Jul 3, 2002, 10:15 AM
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I agree with the mental aspect. I have found that the days that I climb well my mind is very sharp and focused. Everything that I need is right there and ready to use. The days where I have been off are days where I usually have had alot on my mind and have been unable to focus soley on the rock. If the connection to the task os not truley there than the task is mostley futile. Pump yourself up real good before you go out. Do whatever it takes to get the feeling that you are playing at the top of your game and noone or nothing is going to knock you off. If you have been able to crank hard before than obviously it's not strenght or technique that your fighting.........It's yourself.

Cheers and Rock on
Mike


bolder


Jul 3, 2002, 10:18 AM
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Yep! I have the same problem whenever I take a few weeks off. I just go and climb something that is well protected for a few days and then your head will get back in the game.


fiend


Jul 3, 2002, 10:28 AM
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Erica, I'm totally the opposite, verbal abuse makes me want to walk away from climbing, I feel twice as bad if someone else is pressuring me to climb.

Well, unless I'm verbally abusing myself, but that almost never works


climberchic


Jul 3, 2002, 10:40 AM
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Mark~ I'm sure that is true for a lot of people, it probably just depends on the personality-type. I used to let Ivan down whenever he said he couldn't do a climb (which is almost never~we all saw that this weekend ). Now, I just shout vulgar insults at him in a scottish accent

Seems to work. Excerpt from this weekend:

Ivan: "Ok, let me down"

Erica: "oh, why dunchoo kwitcher cryin' and gitcher fookin' arse up! Ya want me to bring a skirt up there far ya to wear? I've hada chance ta knit one far ya down here as you've taken so fookin' long!"

Ivan (smiles and chimes in): "Ya wan me ta go gitcher muther?"

And up he went.

But I agree. That works for some and not others. The best thing is to have a partner that can read you and knows you well enough to know when to kick your a** up the rock and when to give in. Also, to know yourself and what works best for you.

[ This Message was edited by: climberchic on 2002-07-03 10:43 ]


fiend


Jul 3, 2002, 10:56 AM
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haha, see, now that would have made me laugh myself off the climb, also not good


krustyklimber


Jul 3, 2002, 12:36 PM
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Adam,

I so feel for you, I have been having confidence problems off and on for about a year now! It didn't really stem from a fall as much as, like Erica says, from the lack of a partner who I could read well and I felt like we had mutual trust in each other!

I have not found that partner, but instead have gone, at the urging... no pushing of my good friend Dr. P, the other way.
To soloing... this has helped in my battles, in many ways. But has also been a very difficult battle of it's own!

It does however relate to you and your problem. Climbing, leading in particular is all about "killing Id" (a route name already), or your ego... the logical part of your brain that says "Dude, this is a bad idea... we could get hurt". And winning this battle is what it is all about. When you are leading, even though you have a belayer, without someone dropping a rope from above you have to "go it on your own" with the strength you have "inside you".

I have thought about this for a while before responding, as it is very personal. And I think that you, like me, had it "inside you" before... It's still "in us" it's just hiding, perhaps it's just temporarily buried in the baggage of your life, like I believe mine is.

I hope you can find it, and that your spirit will soar over the stone again.

Jeff


climber1


Jul 3, 2002, 12:45 PM
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it's happened to me twice.once while sketching on a hard, unprotectable traverse(I did it), and the second time was when I took a whipper. it took awhile after the fall to take the sharp end again.

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