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Got Flow?

Submitted by broganadams on 2001-09-10 | Last Modified on 2010-02-26

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Do you flow? How do you know you flow? Why should you flow? And the biggest of all questions what is flow? In this article I will explain all of the questions using theories that I have learned and other that I have been taught to me in one way or another.

What is flow you are asking yourself? Flow is when the holds just appear in your hand and under your feet. It is when the only sound you hear is the skin griping the rock and the rope sliding. This is similar to a commonly used term called “The Zone”. There is a difference between the two. The “Zone” is something that happens when you are flowing. Flowing is the movement and the zone is the state of mind. That is the best way I can explain it.

Why should you flow? You should flow because, when you flow you are finishing the route faster and that is intern using less energy and therefore you need less endurance. You should also flow because when you flow people see you climbing up the rock, moving gracefully and are inspired by the beauty.

How do you flow is the hard one to answer. I jump start my flow by always trying to move and making that move a slow steady movement that is not jerky. If you are smearing with a good hand hold you bring the foot up and know were is goes and place it on the rock and apply nice slow pressure to the foot, trusting the placement. You will flow better when you are not scared to fall. When you have a good foot placement you reach up and grab for that pinch hold and pull up with a slow steady, yet powerfully. This will come easier with crimp strength and upper body strength.

Do you flow? If you did, how would you know? Well there are a couple of clues that will pop up when you have flowed. The first is you will be at the top of a route and be thinking “Wow that was fast. I can’t believe I am already at the top”. The other is you will be down at the bottom and your partner will say something to the effect of “That was smooth! You made that look way too easy.” At this point you will be grinning from ear to ear.

To summarize "The Flow" one can say that all climbers experience this at least one time in their lives. I say that the secret of the elite climbers is that they can make it happen whenever they touch that cool hard rock.

By Brogan Adams


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