Forums: Climbing Information: Injury Treatment and Prevention:
Mantality Changes After an Injury
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Injury Treatment and Prevention

Premier Sponsor:

 


pawilkes


Feb 12, 2004, 9:04 PM
Post #1 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 10, 2003
Posts: 275

Mantality Changes After an Injury
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I broke my leg in late December when I took a 20-25 foot fall out at Red Rocks and in the time I have been recovering I have started to question my self definition and how climbing relates to it. In some ways I am happy I had my accident because it has made me realize what really matters in my life and has brought me to realize that climbing isn't about the rock, its about the people. I was wondering what effects serious accidents had on other peoples climbing style and view on life. Also, does anyone else think that having an accident is something that everyone really needs to have at some point?


redpiton


Feb 12, 2004, 9:32 PM
Post #2 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 7, 2003
Posts: 238

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Good topic, suprised nobody else has threaded their opinion. I personally have yet to have a serious climbing accident (knock, knock); however one of my buddies had a serious compound fracture around his elbow a few years back. He was knocked out after the 30 foot whipper (trad) apparently because the pain was so intense.

Needless to say, it kept him off the rock due to rehab, but after he was never quite the same until this past winter.

It took him 5 years to recover mentally. We haven't really discussed the accident other than him muttering "chicken$hit" and "where's my balls?" after backing off of moderate sport climbs. But he eventually bounced back and is now leading harder than he had been previously.

Climbing is a mental game, sport, lifestlye what-have-you. As physically demanding as it is, the mental game is, in my opinion, the most important aspect. His mental game was damaged, and it takes time to heal. But, with the right support it does, and it only gives you an advantage once you beat your mind. You have that step up on other climbers. You know how to control your mind. You are stronger for it.


swede


Feb 12, 2004, 11:35 PM
Post #3 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 1, 2003
Posts: 133

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I donīt know if you really need an accident - but at least you need a very close shave.

That way you understand that fate, luck or that so ever have very little to do with weather you are going to get hurt or killed. Itīs all about that risk you take and how long time you take those risks.

You will have to deal with if you can climb safe enough so you can accept to take the risk. If you REALLY think, not just being very influenced by the accident right now, you are climbing mostly for the people - I would guess you are in the wrong sport. Climbing involves risks and you can talk to people without it.


overlord


Feb 13, 2004, 12:19 AM
Post #4 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 14120

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

i was just a bit more scared after my little accident (decked from about 15ft).


ropeburn


Feb 13, 2004, 12:37 AM
Post #5 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 18, 2003
Posts: 594

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

My arm is just fine

Through out this I have come to the realization that this stuff happens.... It is just the game we play. If you let it get the better of you, you have lost. Two months after my injury I was climbing again.. maybe not at the level I was before... but thats not really the point is it? Don't let your mind mess you up.. Get back up as soon as you can, but don't start before you feel ready.... Mine was nothing but an operator error, and I have learned a valuable lesson from it....It's funny, hindsight is always 20/20... and thats not always a bad thing........

edited for picture


fishypete


Feb 13, 2004, 1:24 AM
Post #6 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 5, 2002
Posts: 200

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I had a ledge fall 3 years ago now, in which I shattered my ankle. It wasn't a normal break, and I will have life-long complications.

This really impacted my mental state, and even after a year of physical recoevery, I still didn't really lead anything much at all for a further year.

I am just now starting to get my mind to work again - by it is a constant reminder that even a small fall (mine was less than 2 metres) can be enough to completely alter your life.

When I read about many people's complete lack of fear of falling, it scares me. If might not happen often, but nasty falls need not be big ones.

Dont underestimate the danger.

Cheers

Fishy.


randisi


Feb 13, 2004, 5:24 AM
Post #7 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 9, 2004
Posts: 15

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Heck, even after I only break a hold without getting hurt, my confidence is shaken for an hour or so.


papounet


Feb 13, 2004, 5:25 AM
Post #8 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 28, 2003
Posts: 471

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

After a bad fall caused by a poorly made figure-8, it took me 3 years to climb at the same level 5.10 level without having near-panic attack about my safety. I have now improved further my climbing abilities. But this was a narrow recovery, dealing with the superficial relation with climbing.

What really changed my mind was the death of a friend in a crevasse last spring. This has made me recollect and think back. I am now loking at my life involvment with the mountains and the people close to me in a different light.... much different light.

I think that most people won't be able to escape having to reconsider their life and some of their petty pursuits after a close call.

In a french magazine of January, a well know climber describes its last 8000 climb which he did stop (failing to bring his client to the summit) after begin missed by an avalanche. He decided to stop climbing and come out about his homosexuality !!!!

After your injury , you could very well get back on the saddle in months or years or never; I wish it to you.

Please consider also that, at the time of your eulogy, wether it will be "better" to hear your friends say "he did this and this route of grade xx or yy" or "he was a good man".


pawilkes


Feb 13, 2004, 7:31 AM
Post #9 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 10, 2003
Posts: 275

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

thanks to everyone for posting, my recovery has definately been aided by rc.com and this thread is very helpful. to respond to a few comments:

swede - "I would guess you are in the wrong sport."
I don't think this is really the case. I have been climbing for a little over 4 years and i haven't found anything other activity that makes me so happy. i realize the risks, i always have.

Sandbagged you seem to know what i am talking about, thank you so much. I used to climb to climb but then i thought about how much i would want t o climb with out my climbing buddies and i realized it wouldn't be the same. i love climbers and i can't find that type of people elsewhere

papounet - i think your last point is huge. climbing is a big part of my life but after i am dead and gone i don't think that is what people will remember. i think climbing, for me at least, makes me a better person. i kinda think of it as my religion in someways, well maybe my spiritual religion as apposed to my God religion. i climb to revive my life so that i can take on the real world without having it take me.

i have another month+ on crutches and i don't know when i will be climbing again (at least have the permission to climb, the two may not be the same). i am going to climb again and i hopefully will be a better climber but really i don't think i care all that much if i climb better. it doesn't matter to me all that much anymore. anyhow, have a good day all


buttets


Feb 13, 2004, 8:24 PM
Post #10 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 22, 2002
Posts: 86

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Good topic! Back in 94 I had a really bad accident where I only fell 15 feet. I broke both my ankles, Twisted my right leg 360 degrees with the foot facing backwards. The right side of my knee ended up down by my ankles, if that wasn't enough I also broke my lower back - how the hell I did all that in such a short fall I don't know.
:roll:
Six operations later I was put back together as well as the docs could get me and the rest was up to me and friends.

It was a good year before I tried climbing again. On my first lead I got a few feet off the deck and just couldn't do it. Friend led it and I followed without difficulty. Even now after all the years have past I'm always nervous just gettin off the ground and usually ask my belayer to spot me until I get my first or second piece in - thank goodness for stickclips.

Climbing is part of my life and I don't see any reason to quit now - just trying to be a bit safer - now if I can just stop solo'ing...

Good Luck with your injury!! Feel free to PM me if you would like
Dwight


fontyyy


Feb 14, 2004, 4:28 AM
Post #11 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 7, 2004
Posts: 20

Re: Mentality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Good thread.
I haven't broken anything climbing but have broken my legs, jaw, fractured skull, ruptured eye socket, 2 weeks in a coma, 2 months a in re-hab centre, 6 months physio - really close to death. Not my fault at all, riding a mountain bike down a 10 mph limit country park access road I got knocked 20 yards (really) by a car doing (the police reckoned) about 40 mph.
IMHO this changed my life for the better, when you've been that down, it's hard to be concerned about "normal" problems, or risks of relatively minor injury.
And when you've nearly died on a pushbike in a country park it just shows our grip on life is tenious at best, with all the supposedly dangerous things I do (climbing, motorbike track days, downhill mountain biking, BMX, occasional dubious substance) I nearly got wiped out by a kid trying to impress his girlfriend by driving fast...... There is little point worrying too much about it, if you want to do something, do it.

My sister broke her ankle badly leading a couple of years back, doc said she'd struggle to climb again, she's off seeing the world now, heres a little bit of an excerpt of e-mail from her...

.............................................
Good things first....

Did Lion King
Did Babes in thailand
Led 7a+ (I rock) (this a a french grade, about a 5.12)

Bad stuff

Took 40 foot (I kid not) whipper off afore mentioned 7a+ on first attempt.
..............................................

I guess it's true really, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.


climbhigh2005


Feb 14, 2004, 4:48 AM
Post #12 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 14, 2003
Posts: 1500

ClimbHigh2005 moved this thread [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

ClimbHigh2005 moved this thread from General to Injuries & Accidents.


andy_reagan


Feb 14, 2004, 7:23 AM
Post #13 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 12, 2004
Posts: 1075

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

no climbing accidents here, but I dislocated my ankle while landing a high performance parachute while skydiving and mysteriously made up my mind about 2 months later that maybe skydiving wasn't completely worth it. I think sometimes an injury can shock your mental state and bring about changes in your lifestyle. Oftentimes if the injury is bad enough its a good idea to find a close friend and ask him/her to help you talk through your emotions surrounding the incident. Sometimes vocalizing your fears/anxiety about reinjurying yourself is enough to keep you level headed.


nafod


Feb 14, 2004, 7:53 AM
Post #14 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 5, 2003
Posts: 110

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

One way to look at it is that everyone who hasn't had a serious injury while climbing, or been closely involved in one, is probably living a bit of a fool's dream in calculating the risk/benefit ratio of climbing. Stats are one thing, but up close and personal experience is another.

An injury of your extent is that big bucket of ice water in the face, and you'll never be the same climber you were. As to what you'll become...that's the question to be answered.


dirtineye


Feb 14, 2004, 8:49 AM
Post #15 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 29, 2003
Posts: 5590

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks for an interesting and useful thread.

I have had several close calls, that did not affect my outlook, but I had one fall where I hit hte ground flat on my ass from 20 feet, it was a complete screwup, there were 5 things I did wrong that all came together at once haha.

The biggest problem was, I misjudged two placements. One I knew was not so good, the other I thought was fine. WHile working to get another piece in (with a totally disoganized rack, such a mess that I was hanging on the bad piece (it looek bad, but not THAT bad LOL) and fiddling with gear with both hands), the piece that I knew was bad blew, and then the one below it blew, and there I was sitting on my butt on the ground, in a bit if dirt, with rock all around me. Both pieces butsted out rock as they failed. that was another one of the dumb things-- not only was I climbing on crappy rock, it was wet, and I just had to try to push marginal placements on top of it all.

Thanks to a small patch of 4-6 inch deep dirt, I was mostly unhurt, but feeling super stupid.

Took me a while to get over that. On the bright side, I'm much more careful evaluating placements, and I got the complacency kills wakeup call.

I also have a shoulder injury (not from climbing) that caused me to lose a lot of strength and endurance, and that has really affected my outlook. When climbs and moves you used to take for granted give you some trouble, that messes with your mind. I think a long slow building back up to your former abilities is possible, but you have to keep a good attitude during the process.


pawilkes


Feb 14, 2004, 10:00 AM
Post #16 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 10, 2003
Posts: 275

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

nafod - i don't know if it could have been said better. thanks


hendicrimpin


Feb 14, 2004, 1:27 PM
Post #17 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2001
Posts: 121

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

i broke my ankle jumping over the new years eve bonfire at Homero's in potrero chico........now i scream every time i see any kind of flame. I almost went into a catatonic episode when my buddy lit a cigarette yesterday. This thread has helped me work through a lot of issues. :cry: :wink: I thank you all.


andypro


Feb 14, 2004, 5:34 PM
Post #18 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 23, 2003
Posts: 1077

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've been wondering if anyone else This way...

in feb 2000 or 2001..dont really remember, I had the ligaments that hold the small bones in my left wrist together blow apart. (not climbing related...was work related). Took 6 monthsh of surgery tog et it back together, and a long time to get usable again. Still not up to snuff, but it's slowly getting better.

Now on to the intention of my asking...

I'm not so muhc worried about getting injured, as much as RE-injuring a previous injury. If my ligaments rip again, there may not be any fixing the second time around. We're talking fused bones and all. That, more than anyhitng else, makes me timid on occasion about doing certain moves, or comitting to certian situations. Anyone else have this issue?


papounet


Feb 18, 2004, 7:07 AM
Post #19 of 19 (2360 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 28, 2003
Posts: 471

Re: Mantality Changes After an Injury [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I have ripped ligaments and broken bone too.

Bones are easier to heal (if the break is clean), and will actually be stronger and bigger when rebuild.

Ligaments are much more difficult to rebuild. This is the reason why surgery is preferred when the injury goes beyond % percent of the ligaments.
After surgery of ligaments, a good rehab and plenty of continuous excerices should get you same strength.

Most people I heard/read complaining of another injury to the same ligaments seem not to have spend the time (months) needed to rebuild.

my own time to recover 90% from a wrist injury: 3 years
getting better by the quarter ;-), not faster

In other words: do not worry, rehab


Forums : Climbing Information : Injury Treatment and Prevention

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook