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  #21  
Unread 06-05-2006, 11:24 AM
punchy's Avatar
punchy punchy is offline
stone samurai
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: sokcho, gangwan-do
Posts: 73
nice work ricky! solid redpoint (and it was a redpoint... pinkpoint is preplaced gear on a trad route). i'm excited for you that you're working the bugs out. a very positive step.

headpointing (toproping a route before leading) can be a valuable way to work out sequences on routes that have the potential for dangerous falls or for climbers needing to build up confidence to "go for it" on lead.

building confidence in your climbing ability is essential. as i mentioned before, possibilities open up when you give yourself room to believe you can do something. just remember that part of the problem you're dealing with (fear of falling on lead) will best be dealt with by climbing on lead and dealing with the fear that arises in that situation. that doesn't mean you shouldn't headpoint. confidence building is extremely useful as well. but be prepared to step out of your comfort zone on an unkown route that will test your ability to stay focused and commited, without letting the fear of falling get in the way. that goal should be somewhere on your list as well.

try visualizing a climb in your head. visualize clipping a few bolts through easy climbing and continually moving up. the next move is not obvious and seems to require stepping up on a decent foothold to reach for what may or may not be a jug. this will put you above the last bolt and in line for a real, but safe fall. analyze how your head reacts to thinking about this. your palms are sweaty. once you've dealt with the fear and can honsetly say that the fall is acceptable, move into the risk with unbending intent, complete focus. you do that and regardless of whether you reach up and grab the jug or fall off while pulling the move, you've taken a huge step toward becoming a rock warrior. strive for focus. strive for attention. strive for commitment. be open to your experiences. be prepared to learn. and be prepared to fall. remove judgment from your performance. there's no failure. there's no good or bad. there's just lessons to be learned from. don't compare yourself to others. your motivation to excel must come from inside with a love based motivation. love to learn and you'll love to challenge yourself. love to challenge yourself and you'll love to climb.

oh... and 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
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  #22  
Unread 06-05-2006, 01:46 PM
climbergrrl
 
Posts: n/a
Okay Punchy, here's the long-awaited and therefore probably underwhelming reply...

First off, wow! Congrats Ricky, on your redpoint! That is seriously cool. I'm glad to know that someone else struggles with fears the same way that I do, but is managing to push through it and ascend with determination and grace anyway. You inspire me!

And yes, I definitely look forward to getting my grimy little paws on that book, Greg! I'm starting to have a Pavlovianesque response whenever it's mentioned...after the salivating, I start to have these visions of where I am fearlessly climbing, even freesoloing (okay, I made that part up ) routes of all grades, redpoints, onsights, you name it...well, a girl's gotta' dream, you know...But it's especially inspiring to see it in action in your life. I can remember some of the routes that you climbed a few years back, and then that you had to take a lot of time off, but you are rapidly back to climbing better than ever, having tons of fun and flying up the wall! I want that!!! So, if you ever want to work as a climbing psychiatrist, give me a shout...

Seriously though, your last posts were very thought-provoking. Lately, I have been trying to let go of my fear of falling, and have actually taken a couple of (albeit small) falls, which, as anyone who has ever climbed with me for any length of time knows is something I tend not to do (NOTE: this is not because of my climbing expertise, but rather the opposite ). And, I find that generally, it hasn't been too bad. But I still have a lot of work to do regarding the fear of falling.

BUT...when you talked about the fear of FAILING, it struck a bit of a chord. Many times, I have come down from a climb feeling disappointed in myself (that I'm not strong enough or, usually, that I could have tried harder) or that others were disappointed in me. I often hate to climb when people are watching (I sometimes wish my belayer didn't have to watch), and especially when they are commentating...my thoughts range from 'Aaack! People are watching you - don't screw up' to 'That person is so competitive, why is he/she watching me, he/she wants me to screw up, I wish he/she would go away' to 'If you don't do this, it means you're not meant to be a climber, face it' and more...I think this sometimes causes me not to try as hard as I can, because if I show some potential, I will just have to climb harder and people will expect even more, like Nelson Mandela said (sort of) 'It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us...We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Or, maybe, if I really try hard and still fail, I'm just not a good enough person or whatever. Any ideas for how to deal with these sorts of things?

I'm going to try and find that book ASA I go back to Canada in a few weeks, and read it and really try to apply it to my climbing. Till then, any suggestions?

Peace,
Dee
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  #23  
Unread 06-05-2006, 11:56 PM
skinsk's Avatar
skinsk skinsk is offline
peace
 
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Location: Jochiwon (Sejong City)
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Speaking of weird fears and concepts of failure. . . I realize I get really worked up when facing climbs that I had done years ago, pre-accident. I realize what really held me back from climbing again (until I got back to Korea was comparing myself to myself. . . "if I can't climb 5.X, what's the use" (I know writing this here, it seems really petty and silly, because I so missed the joy and adventure and community of climbing, but I let this fear of inevitably not jumping back on where I fell off, keep me from it, among other things).

Even now, it's weird but when I first went back to Kan-hyon, I didn't get on one of my favorite climbs, a 10b I onsighted as my 3rd climb at Kan-hyon! I'd use it as a warm-up. I loved the moves, the line, everything, but for the first year back in Korea, I wouldn't try it for fear of failure (didn't get up to kan-hyon much either, though). . .

Then a couple of weeks ago I met Mike up there on a Friday. We warmed up on a multi-pitch and actually I left some draws on the overhanging whatever on top!! (which didn't bother me because while I had probably done it at some point, it wasn't something that connected to the past so much). . . anyway. . . all those years of travel-and-self therapy and there I was, unable to shake it and getting nervous just thinking about it, then getting angry with myself for being like that. . . thinking a bit of this thread. . .

so we're down, the light is still OK, no one is there. (Elida shares a start with another climb-- both popular with groups and smack in front where the bridge is!! so it gets the worst of crowds and new people top-roping and swinging into you.) And I was so nervous about the possibility of trying and failing (and crying!) that I was going to psyche myself out. . . and I turn to Mike and said, "ya know, I really came to Kan-hyon this weekend to redpoint this climb." (true) Never one to leave it at that, I basically told him what I wrote above. And as I said it out loud, it seemed as silly as it just did typing. . . so I added stuff like "and I guess if I try, and I fail, we'll go have dinner and go to sleep and get up tomorrow and go climbing and it really won't matter one bit, will it? My life will pretty much go on as usual." (Ah, the little voice came back to my head: let go) Mike nodded. I should mention another reason to do it at that point: an excellent belayer who I trust on a pretty tricky climb to belay-- awkward clips. I got so nervous that after the second clip I reversed the moves and downclimbed to the rest and shook out and got ready. Mike had not been on the climb yet, but watched so many people that he knew all the beta, talking me through the sequence that seemed so familiar as I did it. . . the story has a happy ending!

Now I realize I have also been avoiding the 10b at Halmae Bawi. . . (which I didn't onsight anyway) "until I get stronger and can send". . . and then I think: is this the woman who used the signatures "only those who risk going too far will ever know how far they can go" and "a woman's place is on the face"?!

So Punchy, Ricky, Dee, Mike thanks for the inspiration and the motivation! I will be thinking of y'all tomorrow on the 10b!!
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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!
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  #24  
Unread 06-08-2006, 11:24 PM
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punchy punchy is offline
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Location: sokcho, gangwan-do
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fear of failing

dee! so good to finally hear from you on this topic. your post was very insightful and i'll happily take this chance to play the climbing shrink.

i know with you, the love based motivation to climb is hardly an issue. you're a climber through and through. you have that slightly insane glint in your eye whenever a familiar route is mentioned (or night climbing). you have climbing gear in your car more often then you have gas in it. if there's a trip coming together (if it's one you haven't already planned), you're in. unless of course you've already planned a trip to climb somwhere else.

watching you climb, i'm amazed at the progress you've made since i first climbed with you a few years back. you have superb technique and you have the strength to back it up. and you climb hard. but as modest as you are, i'm willing to bet you know (as well as i do) that you can climb harder. you can climb with more focus, more commitment and less distraction from your fears. you're ready and willing to work at it. that's a headstart.

reading your post, i found it interesting that you focused on the fear of failing. personally, i can say the fear of failing was the biggest mental roadblock in my climbing development. i can relate to how you feel. so let me offer some advice, if i may.

what you need to start doing is to refocus what you value in climbing. if you place value on how hard you climb or how many routes you can do or what other people think of your style, strength, etc, your happiness will hinge on how well you're climbing on any particular day. your judgment of your climbing as being "good" or "bad" will lend you a self-image of being a "good" or "bad" climber. in reality, you're neither. you're a climber who's engaging in something you love to do.

why, then, do you love to climb? i imagine for you the social aspect is a strong draw. meeting interesting and engaging people. venturing to interesting and envigorating places. what about the challenge of pushing yourself to climb a particular route? do you put so much sweat into such a selfish and unrewarding task to claim that you did this or that route? does doing a particular climb make you a better person? what then is the reward? what do you get out of it? if you're focused on what other people are thinking of you and your climbing ability, you're not focused on what's really going on when you're climbing a route. you're engaged in problem solving. you're learning. if your mind is open, any given climb will have something to teach you. what you once considered "failures" will become valuable lessons. how to use certain types of holds. how to shift balance to gain a rest. how to analyze fall consequences. how to deal with your imagination when it starts thinking about the reliability of your knot or your belayer or the last bolt.

if you find yourself suffering from a fear of failing, it would be helpful for you (that's a general you to everyone out there) to really analyze your self-image as a climber (and your self-image on the whole). ask yourself where your motivation to climb comes from. how much does other people's opinion of you affect your climbing? if you're distracted while climbing a route when knowing people are watching you, this is obviously a problem.

if you find yourself basing much of your self-worth on grades or ticks, then your self-image rests on shaky ground. this is often the root of the fear of failing. refocusing your self-worth on learning over performance will give you a whole new perspective on climbing. strive to develop a love of the challenge of problem solving and a desire to be open and to learn from your experiences. once you turn your mind from the people at the base of the climb and start applying it to what's in front of you, you'll notice a boost in your focus and awareness. and with that comes an ability to work out problems as they arise. like anything, the more you practice this, the easier it becomes. don't expect it to be given to you. real learning never comes easy. reading a book is not enough to overcome what decades of experience has engrained in your mind. it takes a desire to learn and to grow. it takes an openness. it takes action.
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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 : 07-02-2006 at 11:44 AM.
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  #25  
Unread 06-08-2006, 11:50 PM
punchy's Avatar
punchy punchy is offline
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sonia

i was stoked to read your last post. it sounds like you've made some excellent progress. congrads.

coming to terms with our fears, whether they be of falling or failing or both, is never an easy task. it's even less easy to venture into a risk with the intent of shaking loose the shackles of those fears. yet once you do, once you've looked them in the eye and called their bluff, they all but willingly slip away.
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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
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  #26  
Unread 06-26-2006, 10:04 AM
skinsk's Avatar
skinsk skinsk is offline
peace
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jochiwon (Sejong City)
Posts: 2,552
the book that started it all. . .

I am now in Boulder, and I spoke with my brother, who has Sharpend Publishing, which also distributes The Rock Warrior's Way. He is willing to discount any KOTR orders 30%. You can check out the Sharpend website http://www.sharpendbooks.com, and order by PMing me or ordering through the site (if you want to pay by credit card-- otherwise you can give me won in Korea), just mention you are with KOTR if you order through the site. He mostly publishes regional guidebooks to the West, but he distributes a Thailand (Northern) guide, a calendar, a guide to gym climbing, and some DVDs which might be of interest to climbers who are starving for reading and viewing materials in English, without paying ridiculous delivery fees. If you can wait to the end of August, I can deliver stuff to Korea free.

Punchy, alas, I didn't send, but I tried! First try sucked (hung on 3rd, 4th, 5th bolts!) the second time was really close-- super smooth until just before the anchors, then I really fought it, tried a bunch of stuff, and took the fall rather than yelling "take". . . at any rate, it felt good to just be on it, good to take the fall (last weekend I was at Opera House with my gym, and I took lots of great falls without yelling "take"!). First time in a long time I really felt "in the zone", climbing smoothly and effieciently and yet pushing myself on something at the top of my ability! Now I've got KimLee in Jeonju reminding me to breathe, and my brother said I could have a RWW
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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!
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  #27  
Unread 07-02-2006, 08:11 PM
punchy's Avatar
punchy punchy is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: sokcho, gangwan-do
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i'm sure most climbers can relate to being distracted or even debilitated by the mindless chatter that goes on in your head during a climb. your mind either wanders off to other things, to how you'll feel after finishing the route or what you had for breakfast, or it begins to focus on fear, imagining scenarios of gear failure, loose knots or innattentive belayers. all these thoughts are taking your attention away from what really matters. the climbing.

your mind has a tendency to do this at any time, not just while you climb. sit back and see where your thoughts lead. you may start thinking about the route you're working on at seonunsan, but soon your mind wanders to food, the face of someone you recently met or had almost forgotten, your third grade teacher. whatever you end up thinking about is not important. the key is to merely watch your thoughts flow by like a river. when you realize you are not your thoughts, that you can merely be an observer to your thoughts, you've come to what arno ilgner calls "the witness" position. applying this method to your climbing is an extremely useful way to avoid getting caught up in the internal dialouge of your conscious mind. it takes an effort and some patience to apply, but with work, it can do wonders for bringing your attention into focus while en route.

another thing to consider while climbing is the tensenes in your face. the act of grimacing triggers the mind to think that whatever is going on with your body is painful. personally, grimacing has been a huge issue with me, where i look at pictures of myself climbing and go "whoa. that looks damn hard." often times, making it look hard can make it feel hard as well, even when it's not. when i catch myself grimacing while climbing i make an effort to relax my face and the effect is unbelievable. toning down on the amount of "grrr" you put into a climb can make it feel less difficult and painful.

any climber will tell you the importance of proper breathing. but using that knowledge and applying it while climbing takes work. becoming conscious of your breath is an amazing way to focus attention, relax your muscles and alleiviate fear. practice breathing in through your nose and exhaling out of your mouth. listen to your breath as a means to calm yourself. your breath is an invaluable tool for climbing with attention.
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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
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  #28  
Unread 09-12-2006, 12:19 AM
punchy's Avatar
punchy punchy is offline
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Location: sokcho, gangwan-do
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knowing what to do when you don't know what to do

the rock warriors way has led me to read some of the more fundamental texts in modern warrior literature. one of the books that ilgner cites and obviously borrows heavily from is called "the craft of the warrior" by robert spencer. it's a fascinating read and i understand now where ilgner got his inspiration to develop a warriors approach to climbing. the craft of the warrior, although not written with climbers in mind, goes into great detail discussing the nature of fear, the appeal of the unknown and the problems with funneling power into negative habits. these are all inherent in climbing.

one of the points that spencer develops is the notion that a warrior (think here of an intensely aware, focused and commited individual, not a wild swordsman) is someone who knows what to do when he doesn't know what to do. think about that. a climber is constantly putting him (or her) self in situations of high risk where it isn't always obvious what needs to be done. a great climber is one who doesn't lock up when he finds himself in this situation. a climber who doesn't become distracted by internal dialogue and phantom fears. this climber has confidence. this climber trusts that he knows what to do when he doesn't know what to do. this climber is able to stay open and receptive to whatever comes his way. this climber doesn't seek the refuge of the comfort zone when facing fear. he recognizes his discomfort as a sign that he's in the unknown and now has the opportuity to test his skill and learn in the process. there is no banishment of fear by the warrior. the fear is still there. there is, however, an unwillingness to act out the fear. to play the part of someone who's scared.

this may sound esoteric, but with practice and focus, it's certainly possible. i was surprised the other day when i finished a climb and was told afterwords that it looked very smooth and fluid. i was surprised since i recalled being scared on the route. but i never acted on the fear. i just continued to climb and trusted the process. either i pulled off the moves or i fell. i was commited, regardless of the outcome. i'm not always so commited. i can still be frozen by doubt or fear or both. but i've developed a mindset of openness and an eagerness to learn that has made climbing more fun and productive than it's ever been for me. developing an honesty of why and how you climb can do the same for anyone.

i'd be interested to know if anyone feels as if they've made progress in their mental fitness this season. and who's been taking falls? ask yourself: what's holding me back? be honest with yourself. where does your attention need to be directed? putting half as much time sifting through all the shat in your head as you do training at the gym will do wonders to sort things out on the rock.
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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 : 09-13-2006 at 02:41 PM.
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  #29  
Unread 12-13-2006, 01:28 AM
arno arno is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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comments from arno

Hello Everyone,
Greg contacted me months ago about starting this thread and invited me to post. Sorry it has taken me so long to do this. I've been traveling a lot teaching the ww so have been delayed in coming to this site. Anyway, here are a few comments:
--
Ricky wrote:
"Okay...so we've covered the first part by examining why we climb, and some of our weaknesses. What can we do to get past them? I know we have to focus, and be attentive. But do you have any reccomendations on how one does that? Any practical exercises?"
----yes,
becoming the witness of our thoughts is huge. we must see that there is a difference between the thoughts our mind creates and us. we must develop the appropriate relationship to our mind. our mind will generate all sorts of escape thoughts once engaged in a stressful situation. develop the ability to let those thoughts go and stay focused forward on climbing. have you ever surprised yourself when climbing? well...what was surprised? it was your mind. you began climbing something and your mind created perceptions of impossibility but somehow your body kept going. your mind was surprised. so, don't believe everything your mind tells you. arno
-------------------------------------------------------
Greg's Comment:
"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'."
--------when practicing anything you need to integrate the knowledge into your body. the only reason you are comfortable on 5.9, for example, is you've been on plenty of 5.9s. you've taken your body through many 5.9 experiences. this is called experiential knowledge. the same needs to happen with falling. to get comfortable with falling you need to practice falling, a lot. when practicing, begin on toprope with short falls and slowly progress to lead falls. learning occurs best in small increments. do not increment up to the next level until you're comfortable on the last increment. you know you are comfortable when: you are relaxed, you are breathing, you move arms away from the rope instead of grabbing it, and you look down into your fall zone. before you release remind yourself: breathe out, arms out, look down...and then do those things all together.
-------------------------------------------------------------
sonia wrote:
"Enjoyed reading your analysis (though I think each person's "fears" are so unique. . .we all work through them in different ways!) . . ."
-------------perhaps somewhat different, but it is all basically the same. it's just that we all have different baggage to let go of, to process ourselves through, based on previous experience. but, basically it's all the same. you must work on keeping attention on the task at hand, observe distractions, do your best to let them go, and get attention back on task.
---tell fred knapp hello for me.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Greg Foote wrote:
"one of the points that [robert] spencer [in the Craft of the Warrior book] develops is the notion that a warrior (think here of an intensely aware, focused and commited individual, not a wild swordsman) is someone who knows what to do when he doesn't know what to do.
---------yes, attention is focused differently when you are preparing for the upcoming challenge and when you are actually in it.
in preparation you focus attention with your mind: look up to identify the next rest/pro, look down to assess the fall consequence, look up again to figure out climbing possibilities/sequences.
in action, you don't want to think about it anymore, you want to engaged your body to do the climbing. essentially, you keep moving and keep breathing, stay as relaxed as you can, and eyes forward on where you are going. this is essentially knowing what to do without knowing. your body knows what to do evening though your mind doesn't. the action of climbing is too complex, fluid, and ever changing for the mind to keep up. plus, your body know so much more about how to move than you give it credit for.
------------------------------------------------------------
one last note:
i've revamped my website, www.warriorsway.com, and will soon begin entering topics for discussion on my forum. you are most welcome to visit and post. the RWW book is also now available on audio CDs. you get to listen to my lovely voice for 6 hours. so far, gotten great feedback from listeners on it. i'm also working on another book: practical applications of the RWW.
best, arno
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  #30  
Unread 12-13-2006, 06:40 AM
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mil-mil mil-mil is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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This may sound wierd but, i think that my fear of getting hurt makes me a better climber. there have been times in the past i have called down thinking i was coming off and then really didn't wan to fall because i was afraid i was goign to take a bad wiper so out of no were i end up makeing the next move. It's funny because my one climbing partner thinks i call down that i am coming off just to make sure people are watching while i'm doing a dyno.
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