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A Girl Who Climbs

A blog of bouldering

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bouldering

Beginner Tips | Bouldering

Last night I went bouldering with some friends who had never tried it before, and they were asking me for some tips and tricks. So here is some of the advice I gave and think they found useful:

– Be brave! Go as high as you feel comfortable, then go a little higher

– Your legs are like springs, they can push you up the walls so use them too, don’t just rely on your arms

– Turn your feet and use the inside or outside edges instead of always going toe first, this will get you closer to the wall

– Try a problem on every wall angle as it will require different body movement, and help you find what you like and what to work on

It made me realise the amount of fun you can have when you just climb anything and don’t worry about ticking off problems. It was so lovely watching people progress quickly and build their confidence up on the walls. It kind of made me fall in love with climbing all over again and appreciate how odd but special the sport is. Also, I’ve got some new climbing buddies which is always nice!

What tips do you give to people who have just started climbing?

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RE: Last post ‘New Stuff Soon’

As an avid climber, I find it frustrating that there are hardly any decent climbing related greeting cards in the world, so I’m here to try and fill that niche in the market.

Mostly they’re bad puns from climber friends who have very kindly let me pinch their words and force them into drawings. I hand draw each design before adding colour digitally, printing, trimming down, and mounting by hand. A lot of love goes into each one and I’m hoping they will brighten another climber’s day.

You can find all the current designs for sale here on Etsy

Any feedback or ideas are welcome, just pop it in the comments 😊

 

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POV Bouldering | Short Video

Something different today!

I took my little ISAW camera with me to BeBoulder the other week and did some filming. It resulted in this short video with some fun, POV climbing. The idea was to show what it’s actually like to climb as most of the time whenever you post a video of yourself or someone else climbing, it doesn’t look as far, hard, or impressive as it really is!

Let me know what you think in comments as I’m planning on doing some more 🙂

 

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Knowing When to Rest

Whether it’s taking 10 minutes for some mindfulness and head space to get through the day, making sure to foam roller after training, or enjoying a bath, I’m all about self-care. But what I’m really, really bad at is stopping when I have an injury. We’ve all been there, you ‘kind of’ hurt yourself but carry on anyway because you’re having too much fun. I know I’m not the only one! Between climbing and roller derby I’ve picked up a few niggles which just wouldn’t go away because I didn’t give them the time to heal properly, and this resulted in prolonged pain plus feeling of regression.

 

So how do you know when to stop and/or rest? Deep down you know. Your body knows when it wants you to take a time out, it’s just making sure that you listen. Resting can be hard when you’re doing well with training and don’t want to lose momentum, but sometimes you must make yourself do it. Now I think, would I rather cut my session short/take a week off resting and come back feeling good, or continue and end up in more pain and possibly having to take a whole month or more off?

 

Since you only get one body it makes sense to look after it and strive to climb another day!

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Persistence Pays Off

It’s been a while!

I guess the reason I haven’t posted is because I felt like I was in a climbing limbo. It can be so frustrating being at a stage were problems are either a breeze or way too hard, even more so as this will differ with each gym you climb at. The thing with climbing and bouldering is, there is no flat standard. They are such free sports in the sense that there is no hold, crux, or problem the same. It’s not like another discipline with a basic skill set that you can practice repeatedly. For example, I think it would be tough for everyone to go to their local wall and practice the same heel hook, whereas anyone can grab a football and practice keepie-ups/kick ups. It’s not so straight forward. So, unless you can pinpoint and mimic exactly what you’re struggling with, it’s hard to train it. This isn’t a complaint! In fact, it’s one of the reasons I think bouldering is so compelling as it makes you challenge yourself.

I’ve always said that I’m not a natural climber and it’s something that I’m constantly working on in one way or another. Back in January I broke my (very long) gym sabbatical in hopes of generally improving myself in a kind of blanket training, and I’m happy to report after 3 months it’s starting to pay off. Despite it being a long, hard, slog, going to the gym twice a week has 100% upped my climbing game and helped nudge me through the limbo and even a grade boundary.

 

So, persistence pays off. If you’re struggling please don’t give up, train hard and it will work out in the end.

 

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Happy International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day 2017

Here’s to the role models both past and present who strive for gender equality in all aspects of life across this crazy world.

Today is a day to globally celebrate the lovely females in our lives, support each other’s achievements and continue the work for gender equality. Today is not a day to put men down or to have people haughtily ask the question, ‘when is it International Men’s Day then?’ There is an International Men’s Day, and it’s celebrated November 19th focusing on all the important issues for males like health, discrimination and once again finding equality.

 

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, what I really want to do is to say how awesome it is that we have so many inspirational female climbers. Lynn Hill, Alex Puccio and Shauna Coxsey to name but a few. Women excelling, working hard and essentially paving the way for future climbers. I feel lucky to be involved in a hobby which, despite being male dominant, has a great female community.  From female climbing groups at the local crags and gyms to The Women’s Climbing Symposium, it’s nice to see and feel that presence ever growing. Plus, wonderful campaigns like This Girl Can are also there to help us cheer each other on.

 

On a side note, joining roller derby has genuinely made me feel more confident and empowered, and I am 100% positive that comes from it being a female dominated sport. Yet despite it having such a strong woman base, there is a place for anyone and everyone. I strongly suggest you check out your local team and give it a shot!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZoXyIxqFRcTGV

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Improving By Accident

 

Everyone wants to get better and climb harder, and unexpectedly I’ve started to notice small improvements in my climbing. It feels like I’m nailing moves that I have been struggling with for a few months, and this in turn has started to unlock parts of bouldering problems for me which were previously unattainable.  

 

I’m not really one to stick to a training schedule, as much as I wish I could, so these improvements are not from following a well-crafted programme, plus I enjoyed ‘off-season’ to the max over the festive period! All I can put it down to is visiting different bouldering gyms, I think the variety of angles, holds and problems has had a positive impact on my climbing.

 

Maybe try hitting a different climbing gym if you feel like you have hit a plateau. Either way it was a nice surprise to acknowledge, and I think it’s important to recognise the small improvements as these are the steps up to the bigger event, like pushing through a grade boundary.

 

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New Year New Rules

To me the phrase ‘New Year, New Me’ always seems like it’s going too far, as if you’ve got to purge yourself and start from nothing because last year’s you is just so, well, last year. I think it should be more like ‘New Year, New Opportunities to Improve on my Current Self’, but I guess that just isn’t as catchy or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

 

Anyway, after hearing and reading that phrase endlessly for the last week it got me to thinking. I have probably missed plenty of opportunities to improve myself because I was too worried about the outcome. This applies to everything from choosing to ignore a phone call to not participating in climbing events, so I’m trying a new train of thought for 2017:

 

If it scares you, do it.

 

I don’t mean any crazy life threatening situations or doing something that could cause the outcome to hurt others. What I mean is to push yourself and try saying yes. Any little thing that pops up in everyday life that I would usually avoid or run away from, I’m going to try to embrace and enjoy it.

 

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and great start to 2017!

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Climbing Out of a Bad Situation

A few posts back I wrote about how I’ve been having a hard time with climbing, as I’ve not had very good sessions lately and it was starting to get me down. It even made me question if I should take a break. However, I stuck with it and climbed once a week even if I really wasn’t feeling it, and I am so happy I did. I wish I could pinpoint the moment or cause for the sad plateau, but I guess that would make life far too easy. So even though at the time it sucked to not be feeling as strong as I knew I could be, simply persevering with the circumstances appears to have paid off. That and the fact that A Boy Who Climbs was very kind and patient with me, and gave me the much needed push to continue.

 

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Bouldering last night was great and it was so lovely to be back in a good place with it. I enjoyed trying to grip the awful holds, attempting moves I found scary and over all just throwing myself up the walls with gusto. I’m so excited to climb again at the weekend!

 Sometimes turning up for training when you really, really don’t want to is half the battle for any sport. Don’t let yourself feel defeated if you’re having a rough time. If you put in the time then you will feel the rewards in the end despite it feeling like you won’t – promise!

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