Forums: Climbing Information: Injury Treatment and Prevention: Re: [darkside] Concussion and giving up climbing.: Edit Log


Nov 18, 2013, 10:04 AM

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Registered: Nov 20, 2005
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Re: [darkside] Concussion and giving up climbing.
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I took a really big fall that resulted in relatively minor injuries (broken bones that healed OK) but could have played out much worse. The cause of the fall was poor judgement - I had been very accustomed to ice climbing in certain parts of the country, and traveled somewhere else to get on a big route. My heuristics were not appropriate for this new setting, and I didn't ease into things cautiously (instead opting to jump on the big objective right when I got there due to a favorable weather window).

It was slow enough such that I consciously thought I was gonna die. Really shook me up. I more or less swore off climbing.

I moved to a place with crap climbing access, got interested in other sports, but went to the rock gym here and there. My desire to climb came back. I'll be moving back to an area close to good climbing next year for my spouse's career and am eager to get back out there.

The big change for me is obvious: risk tolerance / acceptance, and what it is I "get out of" climbing. Having a fall with injury consequences is "positive feedback" in the sense that it reminds you of the hazards inherent in the activity. My attitude about climbing is different now. I have less ambition to climb hard stuff. I still want to challenge myself, but probably in different ways - think getting on a broader variety of things rather than seeking out the classics. I am eager just to "get outside", even if it means at a lower technical standard. I'll probably always long for the feelings / sensations you get when you're pushing your personal limits in a setting when you feel "out there". But I also don't want to go back to sitting on the couch injured and burdening my loved ones.

I think your return to climbing or not has a lot to do with how you are approaching it as a sport. If you can embrace it as something experiential you can probably continue to climb, and augment your behaviors and attitudes to get to a place where you are more comfortable. If you approach climbing more as an achievement - oriented exercise, then you may find it tough to continue (since any sort of change in attitudes / risk probably means dialing back the way in which you explore your limits).

FYI mostly talking about alpine climbing here.

(This post was edited by jjanowia on Nov 18, 2013, 11:45 AM)

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Post edited by jjanowia () on Nov 18, 2013, 11:45 AM

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