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  #11  
Unread 05-19-2006, 04:39 PM
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firedawgUSAF firedawgUSAF is offline
Another day in paradise
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kunsan AB
Posts: 22
For me climbing is an opportunity to really challenge myself mentally and physically. On one end climbing is another way for me to stay in shape while doing something more interesting than running in circles around a track, or lifting weights. On the other end I love climbing, the fear the adreuniline caused when you are a little runout and know you need to nail it or fall. The fear of being a few pitches up knowing you must do things right and you must TRUST YOUR PARTNER. The bond created among climbers is amazing and is something deserving of a whole other topic. Subconsciously and consciously knowing if our partner doesnt do his/her job we will fall possibly causing an injury or worse. This fact alone creates a friendship amongst all climbers. This is similar to my world at work if I don't properly do my job my partner or my crew gets burned, hurt, or even killed. Constant awarness of the situations around me at any emergency scene is imperative or injury/death may occur which is similar to climbing. This said I have 48 other brother firefighters (no women so no sisters sorry ladies) on Kunsan Air Base alone, and countless other climbing partners I trust with my life that have become a part of my extended family. When I climb I tend not to worry so much about the danger like craig said always aware of if I fall I may hit this. However while climbing I concentrate on sending the route and overcoming obstacles that I never imagined being able to do if I fall I fall if I cut my toe open so be it. For those of you who have climbed with me you know that I have no problem taking a few falls on a hard route and getting right back on trying to send untill my forearms are dead. I love the people you meet while climbing, people from all walks of life come together and enjoy eachothers company no regard to politics, sex, creed, or anything else we are all there climbing enjoying each other and that is all that matters.
Yats

Last edited by firedawgUSAF : 05-19-2006 at 09:39 PM.
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  #12  
Unread 05-20-2006, 09:03 PM
punchy's Avatar
punchy punchy is offline
stone samurai
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: sokcho, gangwan-do
Posts: 73
lol... sorry about that craig. don't know how i messed that up. all that talk of paying attention... should start heeding my own advice.

ricky, you raise a very good point. it's all well and good to know you're afraid of falling, but it's a whole 'nother issue to try and deal with the problem in practice. it'd be easy for me to say "go out and take some whippers" but that alone is not what's needed to work through your "brick wall". the most important first step is unloading the mental baggage and bad habits that we all carry around as climbers. i can guarantee that no matter what your attitude toward climbing, your ego is your biggest obstacle . by ego i mean that part of us which is primarily concerned with the image of ourselves we present to others. our ego is responsible for all the guilt, frustration, blame and most of the fear we experience when climbing. i'll get into more of this later, as i want to spend more time discussing mental hinderances. but since you're looking for a "quick fix" let me offer this as a program for overcoming the leading jitters.

the next time you go climbing, lead something that you're comfortable on with a safe fall (no ledges or protrusions). at first, practice sitting back in the rope below a bolt. try to relax and not grab anything. if need be, grab the rope at the knot tied into your harness. don't grab draws or bolts, no matter how many koreans you see do it. as you begin to feel comfortable sitting into the system, climb right up to the bolt at waist level and let go. trust the system and your belayer (make sure you have a belayer you trust). don't have the belayer take you tight at the bolt. let yourself fall. concentrate on how your body responds. and your mind too. it'll be hard at first, but focus on it and keep trying. spend a whole day at it if need be. get comfortable falling at the bolt and move up a little past the bolt. here your fear will multiply, but having fallen into the system a bunch of times already, you'll be able to summon up the nerve. do it until it gets to be comfortable. to test how your faith in the system has developed after this exercise, attempt a route that you find slightly above your limit. make sure the falls are safe. as you're climbing, you may reach a bolt, clip it and immediately feel the need to call for tension. don't. even if you hesitate for a few seconds, you're breaking a strong negative habit you have associated with being pumped and giving in. if you feel yourself about to call "take" just wait. it will only take a few seconds to break the association. do it a few more times and you can start breaking the habit. from there, you can push yourself to climb through the next move, even when you're pumped. practicing falling will help in this department. it will take some of the fear of the loss of control out of you. that is basically all the fear of falling is. our fear of losing control. i hope this helps. remember to pay attention and you'll be fine. have fun!
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the way i see it, there are two worlds: the world where nothing is sacred except money, and the other world, where everything is sacred.

-ron kauk

Last edited by punchy : 05-23-2006 at 08:32 AM.
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  #13  
Unread 05-22-2006, 02:00 AM
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skinsk skinsk is offline
peace
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jochiwon (Sejong City)
Posts: 2,552
Nice to meet you Greg!

Enjoyed reading your analysis (though I think each person's "fears" are so unique. . .we all work through them in different ways!) . . . I wish I would have read your thoughtful replies before I met you! Actually I wish y'all would have come out earlier. . . or I could've stayed later. . . y'all spent so much time climbing

I am enjoying reading everyone's posts in this thread, but we are so limited by the keyboard! So much more behind each story. Anyway five stars for the conversations this post continues to inspire! Your climbing (and Andrew's) also inspiring!

But that is not what this post is about! Actually, my brother's company is Sharpend Publishing. Besides his own publications, he distributes a select number of other books and videos/DVDs. One of those is The Rock Warrior's Way. Anyway, I will be going home this summer, and I will be happy to pick up copies for anyone who wants one but doesn't want to pay postage, etc. I can also probably negotiate a discount. . . I'll e-mail Fred The website for sharpend is http://www.sharpendbooks.com . . . you can either PM and pay later in won, or pay through the site (if you want to use a credit card) and note that you are from KOTR and that Sonia will deliver it. You can also let me know if you want any other item-- there is a guidebook for N. Thailand and DVDs which might be of interest for folks in Korea. I will be back at the very end of August/start of September.

Then we can all have a book-dicussion club!

Oh and a note and "practical" techniques for working on "falling". . . when I first came to Korea, I found the severely overrhanging outdoor walls intimidating. And so far out of earshot from Western climbing partners (the ego thing) I found myself yelling "take" a lot! In reality, I was wussing out at the top. Anyway, I had to break the habit, so I had one belayer that I trusted (Tae-jun, for those who know him) give me penalty slack if I was on the steep part (the last 5 meters of a 15m wall) and yelled "take". . . I only recommend this with a very trusted partner who knows what s/he is doing, and an outdoor wall is a better place for penalty slack than natural rock, which may hold unseen obstacles. I did get to fall a few times, but more often than not I redpointed-- because as often happens, I COULD DO THE CLIMB, but would choose not to commit because it was easier to recoup, shake out. . . It was building bad-habits, though! Hmmm. . . maybe time to hit an artificial wall again

And firedawg, beautiful post!
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"If you can't do something well, you might as well learn to enjoy doing it poorly." -- from a de-motivational poster, but I find it oddly liberating!

Last edited by skinsk : 05-22-2006 at 04:33 AM.
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  #14  
Unread 05-27-2006, 07:29 PM
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punchy punchy is offline
stone samurai
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: sokcho, gangwan-do
Posts: 73
sonia, that'd be very cool if you could pick up some copies of the rock warrior's way for anyone interested. i can think of at least one girl (dee, i'm looking in your direction) who'd be keen to get her hands on a copy.

i could not sell this book enough, really. if you're a climber who feels limited by fear, who experiences lapses in motivation, plateaus in performance, or frustrations concerning your self-image as a climber, this book will change the way you climb. unlock your mental potential and your physical potential will unfold.

for an overview of the warrior's way, or to read what top climbers from sharma to caldwell to bridwell to houlding have to say about it, visit the site; www.warriorsway.com and see for yourself.

i hope you get a few orders.
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the way i see it, there are two worlds: the world where nothing is sacred except money, and the other world, where everything is sacred.

-ron kauk

Last edited by punchy : 05-27-2006 at 09:03 PM.
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  #15  
Unread 05-27-2006, 11:20 PM
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punchy punchy is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: sokcho, gangwan-do
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becoming conscious: self-image and self-worth

there are many kinds of fear. the fear of falling is perhaps the most familiar to us as climbers. it is the most obvious one. if you've been climbing for awhile and you feel your climbing performance has plateaued, there's a good chance you also hold a fear of failing. our self-worth and self-image as climbers can be one of the biggest hindrances to climbing with full attention. and climbing with full attention should be the goal of our mental training.

a positive self-image is invaluable to being able to climb "well". if you've created a self image that is either too low or too high, you're bound to have difficulties. consider a low self-image. without believing that the possibillity to climb something is there, and by telling yourself that something is either too hard or too scary, you're setting yourself up to fail or to be scared. you must leave room for the possibilty to succeed. conversely, it can be just as detrimental to be overconfident and to tell yourself that you can climb this or that because the grade is below what you consider difficult. this attitude will distract you from being open to the route, to how it should best be climbed, to seeing proper holds, rests and sequences. don't let your past experiences interfere with your expectations of the task at hand. rather, take from your past experiences everything you've learned as a set of tools you have at your disposal to apply to the challenge you're now facing. as ilgner writes, "past performance should function as a platform from which to move ahead, not as a limit on what we might accomplish." the fact that you've climbed a 10d doesn't mean you can climb this 10d and the fact that you've never onsighted an 11a doesn't mean you can't onsight this 11a. if you've convinced yourself it's possible, that's positive, but by convincing yourself it's "in the bag" you're focused on the end result and will be unreceptive to learning anything from the route. you may even be so unreceptive that you mess up the crux and fall.

falling off a route you've convinced yourself you can do has a strange effect on many climbers. it's as if someone just insulted you. you may respond childishly, kicking the rock or swearing at yourself. you may waste a lot of energy feeding your ego's sense of self worth by making excuses for your "failure". you may blame your belayer, bad beta, greasy rock, lack of chalk, or anything else that shirks the blame from your ego. it doesn't want to admit that it was overconfident and didn't pay enough attention to what it was doing. all this energy wasted on a negative feedback loop that's limiting you from learning anything from what just happened. take responsibility! you fell. get over it and start looking at it clearly, without embarrassment or frustration. why did you fall? are there holds you didn't see? is there a better way to hold them, to set your feet, to reposition your body? once you start focusing on learning from those mistakes and waking yourself up to being present and attentive while climbing, you'll begin to notice a difference in your perception of what's possible.

our sense of self-worth is how valuable we feel. if your sense of value is based on what grade you can climb, your fear of failure may exceed your fear of falling. basing your self-worth on how hard you climb and comparing your performance to those around you will skew your perceived self-worth. when external factors dictate your self-worth, your sense of accomplishment will be as "good" as your climbing. if you aim to challenge yourself and you push yourself on harder routes, you'll find many climbs that you'll "fail" on (note that failure, which is tied solely to the ego, has negative weight to it and thus should not be used to describe your climbing efforts... every climb has something to teach us). "bad" days will have you feeling like a "bad" climber. by focusing your self-worth on an open attitude of learning, you'll no longer be at the whim of external influences. you won't think of uncompleted climbs as failures, but as lessons.

positively restructuring both your self-image and self-worth are key steps in overcoming the ego's negative role in our climbing habits.
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the way i see it, there are two worlds: the world where nothing is sacred except money, and the other world, where everything is sacred.

-ron kauk

Last edited by punchy : 05-29-2006 at 09:16 PM.
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  #16  
Unread 06-01-2006, 05:01 PM
Ricky's Avatar
Ricky Ricky is offline
Ayeishi!
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Mokpo
Posts: 252
I went to Halmae on the weekend...This was my chance to practice buildng my confidence, controlling my fears, focussing...and I blew it! I chickened out again....because I was afraid. The sad part is that I was afraid even though my last clipped bolt was almost at waist height. And then I climbed a really easy climb that has like a 10 foot gap between the clips... at that point....I almost completely lost my shiznat before I clipped the next bolt. It was easy, I knew I could do it no problem, but I just kept thinking "what if my hold chips off, or what if my foot slips. I'm so dead. ' I was actually almost paralyzed with fear. This whole fear thing...it's becoming such a huge problem in my life right now. I don't know where it came from, but I wasn't always this way. Anyway...I'm just venting. But anyone have any ideas about how I can overcome my fears. Where do I begin??? And I'm like at the very bottom here.... So let's start small eh!
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  #17  
Unread 06-01-2006, 10:36 PM
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Shagymb Shagymb is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Pyeongtaek
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Have you climbed at an outdoor wall lately? You have less to worry about as far as the rock and bolts go so maybe you might want to try the falling drill on an outdoor wall. Just a thought.

Later

Mike
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  #18  
Unread 06-02-2006, 12:38 AM
punchy's Avatar
punchy punchy is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: sokcho, gangwan-do
Posts: 73
ricky. first of all, you didn't blow it. you went out with the intention to analyze your fear and you accomplished that. the fear won't just vanish overnight. i warned you about the quick fix. before attempting to overcome your fear of falling, it's essential that you first come to terms with your motivation to climb and the negative habits that keep you from performing with full attention. (i agree with mike that a climbing wall may be a better place to practice falling and to gain experience with that feeling of losing control)

so... ask yourself what you learned from your experience. don't colour your performance with negative labels like "failed", "couldn't", "wussed", etc. come to terms with whatever you were feeling, seeing and sensing while climbing. how did your fear limit your performance?

you've discovered that your fear of losing control is a major hinderance to just letting go, even when a bolt is at waist level. you've also discovered that you're lacking confidence in your climbing ability, even when climbing something that you say you "knew (you) could do, no problem." they're pretty standard fears. you recognize that they're holding you back. that's a start.

you wrote, "I was actually almost paralyzed with fear". i'm guessing from mthat statement that you managed to work past your fear and climb through it. regardless of whether or not you thought the climb should be easy, working through that perceived risk and the fear that went along with it, is an accomplishment. every time you put yourself out in the risk zone, you're expanding your comfort zone.

the chatter in your head you mentioned ("what if my hold chips off, or what if my foot slips. I'm so dead.") can be extremely debilitating, if you let it. you're letting your imagination run wild. you have to take control of it and apply it to something useful. imagine how best to shift your weight to gain a decent rest, or how to grab the next hold. don't let your imagination create distracting scenarios that take your attention away from the task at hand. strive to focus your attention on what can be done. examine your body positioning, your grip on the rock, the features above, your breathing. talk to yourself. "breath ricky. stay cool. attention on the climb." have your belayer cue you. don't have him or her yell something negative like "don't be scared" which is only going to bring attention to your fear. have him or her call out action words that will catch your attention and help you focus. "breath", "commit", "focus" are all useful.

going out with the intention to work on your fear of falling is great in theory, but it's only going to be productive if you've first reshaped your motivation to climb to be centered around learning and self-development. love every opportunity you have to learn. cease thinking in terms of "good" or "bad" performances or what you think you "should" or "shouldn't" be able to do. concentrate on actively improving your awareness and developing a love based motivation for being out there. climbing should be something you enjoy doing, not a chore you have to work on. relish the opportunity for growth and keep at it. don't chastise yourself if it doesn't go the way you expected. every climb, every experience, will have something to teach you if you remain open and perceptive to it.

================================================== ========

Man can learn nothing unless he proceeds from the known to the unknown.
- Claude Bernard

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.
- John Powell

There is no failure except in no longer trying.
- Elbert Hubbard

In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.
- Albert Einstein
__________________
the way i see it, there are two worlds: the world where nothing is sacred except money, and the other world, where everything is sacred.

-ron kauk

Last edited by punchy : 06-02-2006 at 08:18 AM.
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  #19  
Unread 06-02-2006, 01:01 PM
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Ricky Ricky is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Thank you

That was so encouraging. I really felt like I blew it...but I guess your right, I can't just go out there and expect to conquer my fears in one day. And you made a good point that I was really scared at one point..and I felt like giving up, but somehow I just pulled through it. I need to focus on that...I was so down on myself for being afraid...but I completely ignored the fact that I did in fact pull through. And that in itself is a success. I realize that this is going to be a long process or chipping away at my "wall" every time I climb. And that I have to focus on being focused on my climb. By the way...my belayer was amazing, and used exact words like..."Focus... see the hold...commit". So ya...Punchy, and my belayer..you know who you are...you guys are the shiiz.
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  #20  
Unread 06-05-2006, 08:59 AM
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Ricky Ricky is offline
Ayeishi!
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Okay! I have an announcement!!!

I finally Redpointed, or sorry pink pointed 'Halmae Arirang' (10 b). Yay! It took me four attempts but I did it. First I lead it, but fell once at the second bolt. Then I decided I was still really afraid and didn't have enough faith in my moves, so I decided to toprope it to build my confidence. That was such a great idea...but the next time I tried to lead it I must have been over confident because I forgot where one of the crucial holds was and had to rest. The next time lead it I kept saying to myself " This time , this puppy is mine. I know I'm capable of doing it, I know the moves, if I want this I just have to keep my focus and breathe." And so I did and so I finally achieved my goal. I think that top roping a course first is a really good way to help me build my confidence. I know it means I don't get the onsight...I really don't care. What I want is to build confidence in my abilities, and I think that practicing courses on top-rope can help me do that, and soon enough, once I've worked through my ego issues, I'll be ready to try onsighting a little more. Oh. And by the way..when I did the course the last time, I wasn't at all afraid of falling...because falling wasn't in my mind...making the moves corectly, breathing, resting, and clipping that last bolt... that's all I was thinking about.

Last edited by Ricky : 06-05-2006 at 11:05 AM.
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