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Focused at last!
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May 19, 2009, 9:33 PM
Post #1 of 3 (4465 views)

Registered: Mar 27, 2006
Posts: 59

Focused at last!
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I'm posting here because for the first 2 years I climbed, I was terrified; I would lead and be more focused on falling or other stuff than the rock itself. I even took a class with Arno in my first year but still thought way too much on the rock--I KNEW what to do but my fear was still in the way.

Then we moved from Colorado to the East Coast, in a place where a gym was the best option for after work. I had really only climbed outside before, so I had a full year of not climbing and then about 3 months in the gym. I lost my job and went to Colorado in Jan and hit up Shelf Road with friends...Only to find that after not leading or being on real rock for over a year, that I lead everything and redpointed previous routes that had me taking at least once or twice in tricky situations.

I attribute this to "Love". I was SO HAPPY to be on real rock, to focus on climbing instead of being unemployed, it was amazing how focused I was, that I took several unexpected falls and in the past I would have had such an adrenaline rush I'd have to come down but this time I just climbed back up, either to the anchors or until I kept falling until I simply just could not hold on and do the route (physically).

It should not take being off the rock for so long or loosing a job to get me to focus, but I am also more mature due to life circumstances than I was a couple of years ago, and my motivation was purely internal and out of the love for climbing and movement--I almsot climbed past bolts becasue I was so focused.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share a "succes" story; I was the girl that had to have the rope so tight on toprope to now leading projects a grade above what I could onsight or easily redpoint.

It is only something that one can experience and I think as Arno would say, it is LOVE of what I was doing in the moment that overcame all other distractions. And the focus continues....yet I'm still wise enough to assess what I'm NOT capable of and be smart and in my skill range.

Thanks for reading if you did, I thought a positive experience shared would be nice, esp from someone that was as "hopeless" as I thought I was a while back.

Happy, safe climbing!


May 26, 2009, 1:37 PM
Post #2 of 3 (4378 views)

Registered: Jun 10, 2008
Posts: 88

Re: [iluvtoplayoutside] Focused at last! [In reply to]
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Thanks for sharing! I'm happy you've learned how to cope with the fear, I have been struggling with lead fear/performance anxiety on real rock and I know how frustrating it can be.

It sucks when you ask to be lowered on something you know is within your limits, and it compounds the performance anxiety for the next time.

I hope I learn to cope!


Jun 13, 2009, 8:12 AM
Post #3 of 3 (4208 views)

Registered: Aug 7, 2003
Posts: 366

Re: [Climbing_Pink] Focused at last! [In reply to]
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hey climbing_pink,
our mind has intellectual knowledge, knowing you can do something. learning seems to be converting intellectual knowledge that our mind holds to experiential knowledge that our body knows.
to make this converstion you need to push beyond doubts that come up. this means you'll sometimes make it through and sometimes fall. that fear of falling is one of the main reasons we give in to doubts when we "know" we can do it. getting experience with falling can help convert intellectual knowledge to experiential knowledge. doing falling practice needs to be done in small increments with the belayer also learning to give a cushioned catch.

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