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A Girl Who Climbs

A blog of bouldering

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Mental Health

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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The Fear | Getting Out Of Your Head

Holding yourself back is the worst because you know you’re doing it, and you also know it’s down to you to stop it. Staying in your comfort zone is something I think we are all familiar with, but it’s an aspect I really need to push out of with my climbing.

 

I recently read this post by Iron Octopus Fitness, which was about fearing how much you could achieve if you were not too scared to do so. This kind of struck a chord with me on a climbing level, as much of my climbing and bouldering experience has consisted of trying to conquer fears. Whether it’s anxiety or confidence, it has been a long journey but I’m glad to still be on it! I think the most confusing thing is that I have no issues trying hard and being sure of myself when skating or playing roller derby. So why do I struggle so much with bouldering? Well, firstly I would never have been brave enough to sign up to roller derby if I hadn’t built up some confidence from bouldering. I think a lot of the newness I experience in roller derby didn’t feel so bad because I had already done it all with climbing, e.g new place, new people, new skills etc. The second time around it wasn’t so scary. So, I think it all boils down to confidence, climbing has given me the confidence in other aspects of my life, so now it’s time to believe in my climbing abilities.

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Ultimately, when I don’t try a move or problem, I know it is down to me and my fear/lack of self-assurance holding me back. Too many times have I fell off a climb and proceeded to undo my shoes for a shoe break, or gone and got a never-ending cup of tea. Putting off and delaying things is just a waste of time. Really, I should just get over myself and enjoy the climb, because if you aren’t enjoying something you don’t have to do, then why bother doing it?

 

Try hard for yourself, be confident and embrace the fear!

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Climb Through Your Life Cruxes

So I’ve had a few really crummy days due to issues in work and some personal problems. These things left me feeling anxious and sad. Add in constantly having a bunch of conflicting thoughts running through my mind, the very last thing I wanted to do was go and climb. The thought of having to be around people (by my own choice) was horrifying. I actually wanted to make myself into a blanket burrito and sit in a dark, quiet room. In retrospect and a more positive frame of mind, it’s easy to see how secluding myself is never going to be the right thing to do in situations like that, but at the time it’s very difficult to see the wood for the trees.

Luckily I was encouraged to go and climb and be around people by my partner. I didn’t feel like talking, but listening to people and hearing positive things that were happening in their lives really cheered me up, and made me feel a little less gloomy about everything. Actually bouldering was also a great stress buster. The fact that I was already having a bad day made climbing easier as I had no expectations of it being amazing. Also it forced me to stop thinking about all the bad things and just concentrate on the climb. Needless to say it was a good climb!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if you’re having a bad day, go and climb. It might help straighten things out in your mind, or lift your mood just enough for you to see the light. There’s something mentally helpful about trying to work out a climbing crux, when you can’t fix what’s happening in life. All your energy doesn’t feel wasted, and you will get that climb eventually.

We all have bad days, which means we are never really alone in the darkness.

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