All Things Climbing

The Early Days

This is an old post from a long time ago. I have been climbing for a couple years longer and will have a new post on how my motivation has changed throughout the years.

I am posting this again (deleted the last blog) because it did gain a few likes in the past; so I guess people found some common ground, no?

How Do You Motivate Yourself?

My Changed Outlook on Climbing

Do you ever look at a route and think “That is definitely not my style, it doesn’t suit me.” and then walk away, never to attempt it? Doesn’t that sound just a little bit ridiculous?

Well I have, way too many times. You can only imagine how that affected my climbing. In my case, my dynos and generally dynamic moves suffered greatly. On the rare occasions I “bravely” decided to try a dyno, a friend commented that I looked like I gave up half way through. Imagine that!

For months I went around, moaning that a lot of the routes didn’t suit my style, that they were too dynamic.

In essence, I was blaming the routes for my incapability to do them, or if you want to dig deeper; the route setters themselves. I didn’t want to accept the fact that the fault was with me. I wasn’t training – I wasn’t trying hard enough. How could I expect to improve my climbing technique? It is definitely not an overnight process. And that’s exactly what I realised.

Of course.

Climbing does not work like that! It requires dedication and focus. To understand that the problem isn’t with the route, it’s with me! Why can’t I climb this? Because of a number of reasons!

Forever was gone the excuse “it doesn’t suit me.” and came the new excuse “I don’t suit it” but my body is adaptable and always changing and in that realisation I thought “So what can I do to make my body fit into the route?” and suddenly, so many problems seemed like a new opportunity to evolve my climbing and experiment continuously.

I have never thought of climbing in this light – it may seem obvious for others but it just didn’t click until now. All I can say is I’m truly glad it did! There can never be a moment where I give up with the excuse “it’s too hard” any more because I know there is always a possibility to learn something.

Never fall into the trap of sticking to “your normal” when climbing; it will always hold you back. Any time I am stood before a hard problem, I will think “what must my body do now? What do I need to change about it?” I may need strength so I’ll train, or more flexibility so I’ll do yoga for a bit, constantly adapting my body to suit all kinds of different routes.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m suddenly a climbing god – far from it – I’m still only “okay” but I’m thrilled with my slow and steady progress. Much better than the few spikes I’ve had since I started climbing a little over a year ago. It’s important to remember that the route will never change for you and certainly never make itself easier (unless you take part in the hideous act of chipping – shame!).

This new insight into my climbing has given me so many possibilities. The room for improvement seems endless but I don’t find that daunting. I find it very exciting!

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