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Dec 13, 2005, 2:56 AM
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Weaknesses
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As an answer to another topic Arno wrote:
In reply to:
If we each would ask what weakness we've discovered then we would be able to develop a winter practice program. What have you discovered about yourself? Much of the ww work is on self awareness. So go ahead and list weaknesses you've become aware off and then add what you intend to do to work on it.
IMO this deserves a thread for itself. So what are your weaknesses and what do you do to deal with them ?


mcgivney_nh


Dec 13, 2005, 4:02 AM
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Bad endurance... I like totraverse around for a while (till I'm pumped) ~~rest~~ then lead some hard stuff (in the gym we're talkin right?) or do some harder bouldering probs ~~rest~~ then I'll traverse some more {repeat as much as posible, then leave}

-Sean


deserteaglle


Dec 13, 2005, 7:39 AM
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I don't know that I would call them weaknesses, but things that I really need to work on to climb harder would be crimp strength and core strength.

So what do I do to work on this?

I do mostly only open hand excercises. These strengthen your palm strength and crimp strength, so I use one of those hand strengtheners and do overhand pullups.

For core strength, I stay away from crunches because those mainly focus on your upper abs which I don't have a prob. with, but leg lifts and this new excercise I saw in a Men's Health magazine which works it ALL.

Add to that that sometimes (like last night) I stray from my jog route to go to a jungle gym at a park. I do all sorts of upper body stuff there...climb up the chains on a swing only using your arms and then do pullups once you get to the top. Also climbing around the monkey bars...like, well, a monkey.

I also work out two or three times a week, and try to climb on the weekends...there are no climbing gyms here.


swedish_bimbo


Dec 13, 2005, 8:07 AM
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In reply to:
I do mostly only open hand excercises. These strengthen your palm strength and crimp strength, so I use one of those hand strengtheners and do overhand pullups.

Ben Moon has some interesting views on this in his Campus Boarding-article. (https://www.moonclimbing.com/index.php?form_action=school&school_id=19)

"Half Crimp this is my preferred grip to use when campus boarding since it will help improve both crimped and open handed strength. "

What you realy should look in to is buying a hangboard. Perfect for 30 minutes fingertraining after running. I've added a few holds on the side of mine and get an amazingly intense workout in 60 minutes. I'm going to add a micro-campusboard as soon as I find time to build one. You can find some good workout routines at http://www.8a.nu under articles.


czmanor


Dec 13, 2005, 8:23 AM
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Im definitely going to have to go with core strength. I can't even remember the last time I did a situp.

Also I would throw in weight. I'm a good 10 15 pounds overweight right now which is deff hurting my climbing.

Its evil that beer has to taste so good. :lol:


cowpoke


Dec 13, 2005, 8:32 AM
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In reply to:
Also I would throw in weight. I'm a good 10 15 pounds overweight right now which is deff hurting my climbing.

Its evil that beer has to taste so good. :lol:
Just think of it as "training weight" - I do.


saxfiend


Dec 13, 2005, 8:44 AM
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In reply to:
Bad endurance...
Endurance is a weakness for me, too, along with a related mental weakness: laziness. I don't feel like I push myself hard enough. So my current plan of attack on this is to stay away from routes (both in the gym and outside) that are within my limits, other than as a warmup or for doing laps. I'm trying to hit routes that I probably won't be able to complete without falling, and keep at them until I can send them. I've just started this strategy, so I don't know yet if it will pay off.

Good topic for discussion!

JL


daithi


Dec 13, 2005, 8:53 AM
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In reply to:
I'm trying to hit routes that I probably won't be able to complete without falling, and keep at them until I can send them. I've just started this strategy, so I don't know yet if it will pay off.

This won't do much for your endurance! Probably will make it worse if this is all you do.


crazywacky


Dec 13, 2005, 9:04 AM
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Wow.. so many weaknesses I don't know where to start...

Firstly, I've let myself get mentally weak. When I should be not eating, I still tend to snack.
I have to fix that by seimply not eating.. Or I could stick nekkid picturs of my fat a55 all over the cabinets as a reminder. :oops:

Core and lower back strength. It's been about a year and a haff since back surgery to resolve some severely herniated discs. before that I was doing pretty good. Now.. jello man. gotta start working the pilates/yoga.

Endurance... Not just in climbing, but the approach as well.
I htink my grip will come back as I lose the weight... less weight to pull = harder routes. but I also have to increase aerobic training. Specifically I'll be taking long walks with my rack in my pack on my back.startign at 2 miles and working up from there. I have lots off hills in my neighborhood so I can mix it up.

When I had back surgery I was down to 235 from 258. This took almost 2 years of consistent training up to 4 times a week in the gym. I went from struggling up 5.9 to redpointing 5.11. I felt good mentally and physically.

After the injury and subsequent surgery I felt weak. Physically, mentally, emotionally. It's taken a long time to get up to climbing 5.9s again. I am leading again though, but still have problems overgripping. Re-injury is not an option. I would much rather lose a leg than have that pain again. And next time could be much worse than the first time.

So I have to deal with confidence issues. Knowing I can climb a route is different than actually doing it.

But I'll get there. I have a good partner, and my wife is supportive.

Scott


lofstromc


Dec 13, 2005, 9:18 AM
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My current weakness is that my fingers joints/knuckles hurt for a few days after climbing. Ice, heat, ibuprofen, stretching all seem to help.

If I get over this weakness, I'm sure there will be more to come.


healer09


Dec 13, 2005, 9:41 AM
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weaknesses

1. Footwork, I have some skills, but tend to get by on my upper body strength too much. This is hard on efficiency and fatigues me earlier than I should be.

I plan to work on this with help from my climbing partner (pointing out what i could do different). also experimenting with different foot positions so that I can build a vocabulary of moves and things like drop knees will become routine in the correct situations.

2. Chalking up/ wasting time on holds. I take too many pauses when climbing, and chalking up has become a habit instead of just when I need it. When the going gets hard I start chalking up.

I think I will work a slightly easier routes, leave my chalk bag on the ground and try to climb without any pauses.


ciayfields


Dec 13, 2005, 9:57 AM
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My own physical weaknesses are similar to those that have been posted so far: endurance, open hand strength, etc. Laps are the first potential solution that comes to mind.

But I have an additional weakness that is almost embarrassing to admit: gym dependency. I have only climbed outside a handful of times, and I feel so comfortable in the gym environment I don't have huge motivation to explore real rock. I'm going to try and make 2006 will be a year of outdoor climbing. Motivation and mindset may be the only cures for this weakness.


_fiend_


Dec 13, 2005, 9:58 AM
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Gosh. I hope my reply doesn't break the forum :?

In order of how weak they are:
(This is for trad onsighting only BTW)

In general, I try to work on my weaknesses by recording them, analysing them, and formulating plans to deal with them. I have pages and pages of improvements I've learnt, a refined and specific list of pre-climbing tactics, I've been reading RWW, I'm constantly aware of these issues. However, I also constantly struggle against them, most of the time...

Weakness 1: Inability to commit to moves where the outcome or end position is uncertain.

What I do:
Try to climb as much as possible.
Try to push myself leading as much as possible.
Focus on flashing everything in my training.
Go sport climbing where I feel more confident getting into uncertain situations.
Climb very carefully and work out moves as best I can.

Result so far: Occasionally this works, but overall the weakness is still there and as debilitating as ever. It's a very deep psychological problem that isn't climbing specific. These tactics can help me deal with it but it is always there.


Weakness 2: Inhibition about falling off even when the protection is good.

What I do:
Work out moves thoroughly to avoid falling.
Keep pushing myself leading to try to break through that barrier.
Recent training falling practise down the wall.

Result so far: Last year when I tried this I got better at falling off down the wall, and it helped outdoors. However I'm now back to square one, and although I'm more comfortable falling down the wall, I still completely inhibited outdoors. I think there is potential but there is a long way to go.


Weakness 3: Get pumped very quickly hanging around placing protection.

What I do:
Try to train stamina down the wall.
Boulder hard to be able to do harder moves easier thus making them less problematic when pumped.

Result so far: This has had a slight effect in the past but doesn't translate to outdoor trad climbing well (and to some types of climbing it doesn't translate at all).


Weakness 4: Very sweaty hands even during cold weather.

What I do:
Be careful about when I push myself and choose high friction days.
Climb more positive rock in summer and gritstone in winter.
Always take enough chalk.
Occasionally use anti-hydral cream.
Use vitamin E after climbing.
Train on slopers to work around the problem.

Result so far: No physical effect at all (well, obviously, really). These tactics do help me deal with the problem though.


Weakness 5: Climbing on gritstone which specifically challenges my main mental and most physical weaknesses.

What I do:
Get as much mileage as possible.
Boulder lots on gritstone to get used to the rock's intricacies.
Choose climbs that really inspire me.
Only push myself on the right days with the right conditions, feelings, partner, etc.

Result so far: This has been rather successful in the past. Unfortunately at the moment I have run out of routes to get mileage on, ditto with bouldering plus it doesn't inspire me, and the climbs that do inspire me are currently beyond me - so I can;t use these tactics.


Weakness 6: Get stressed and negative easily on a route even if started with lots of positivity.

What I do:
Sometimes just working through the stress and shouting and bellowing furiously (sometimes this works).
Try to hang on and breathe deeply.
Try to look around for possibilities.
Keep pushing myself to get used to stressful situations.

Result so far: Not much effect. The breathing and looking around sometimes helps but it's sometimes too little late, and isn't part of dealing with the stress early on.


Weakness 7: Difficulty organising and disciplining myself to climb and train enough.

What I do:
Try to climb and train as much as possible.
Try to keep in touch with climbing partners.
Force myself to organise things even when I hate doing it.
Write down my plans to try to have something concrete to follow.

Result so far: Have got slightly better at this. Writing lists seems to help, it gets the plans clearer.


Weakness 8: Lack of general fitness.

What I do:
Nothing specific. Have run in the past but loathe it.
Don't shy away from longer walk-ins like I used to.

Result so far: In the past the walk-ins and stuff have helped. At the moment my fitness is very poor due to time off due to injury.


Weakness 9: Difficulty dealing with climbing with new partners all the time.

What I do:
Try to communicate clearly with everyone I go out with (even if they are hard to talk to).
Try to go out with the people who are most friendly and self-aware.
Be aware of this awkwardness and have flexible plans for the day.

Result so far: Very little. It's still incredibly fucking difficult going out with new people I have no rapport with yet, especially when my climbing is often very bad and depressing.


Weakness 10: React badly to failing on climbs.

What I do:
Sometimes try to express my emotions very openly.
Sometimes try to keep myself as calm as I can.
Sometimes try to change how I feel.

Result so far: Nothing. It's a genuine emotional reaction I can't magically change. I can try to deal with it better but the emotion is still there.

....

Edit: Things I don't have as weaknesses :wink: : Finger strength, arm strength (okay deep locks could be better), core strength, technique, pro-placing ability, stamina on sport routes... Hmmmm flexibility could be quite a bit better but it's not problematic enough to make the list.


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Dec 13, 2005, 1:14 PM
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In reply to:
Gosh. I hope my reply doesn't break the forum :?
Actually it's a great post !
It teaches us the proper way of self-analysis: problem->solution->results
and I learned a lot from your post.
I came back on the forum because I realized that I asked a question and I was supposed to be the first to give an answer to it but after I red your post I have nothing left to say except "thank you for sharing".


arrowhead


Dec 14, 2005, 1:28 AM
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Endurance and fear.


1. When I run out of steam I get pumped.
2. When I get pumped I get freaked out that I would take a fall
3. When I get freaked out I get pumped out EVEN MORE
4. When I get PUMPED OUT EVEN MORE, I get EVEN MORE SCARED.
5. Repeat step 1, rinse and dry :-)


arnoilgner


Dec 14, 2005, 9:03 AM
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Wow. Fiend has really laid it out.

When I read through these posts one fundamental thing we need to be attentive to comes to mind--how much do we truly value learning. This is my biggest weakness also. I tend to fall into frustration and become reactive. I'm doing pretty good at catching myself and stopping such behavior though. I like to remind myself to only do training, climbing, or anything because it gives me a feeling of being alive, not because it is good for me. The former focuses our attention on the process and in the moment--were we truly feel alive. The latter focuses our attention in the future at some end-result. We live now, in the moment, not at some future hoped-for destination. Remember, mental fitness training boils down to attention and what you do with it.

Example: If you do not enjoy training endurance, practicing falling, or whatever you will lose motivation. Without motivation you will quickly stop doing the training or practice. How could it be any other way? We always look for what we can gain from our effort. If we don't see "results" [again, that's a destination focus] we don't see we are getting anything and will quit. If however you find what you love or enjoy about the practice then you will be gaining something out of each effort. This keeps motivation high and processes you through your training, day by day.

So, from each weakness you identify, find one or two aspects of it that you enjoy. Identify it; write it down. Then look at it before you do your practice...
Hint--I believe you will be writing down things that have something to do with self-awareness...
arno


arnoilgner


Dec 14, 2005, 9:08 AM
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Wow. Fiend has really laid it out.

When I read through these posts one fundamental thing we need to be attentive to comes to mind--how much do we truly value learning. This is my biggest weakness also. I tend to fall into frustration and become reactive. I'm doing pretty good at catching myself and stopping such behavior though. I like to remind myself to only do training, climbing, or anything because it gives me a feeling of being alive, not because it is good for me. The former focuses our attention on the process and in the moment--were we truly feel alive. The latter focuses our attention in the future at some end-result. We live now, in the moment, not at some future hoped-for destination. Remember, mental fitness training boils down to attention and what you do with it.

Example: If you do not enjoy training endurance, practicing falling, or whatever you will lose motivation. Without motivation you will quickly stop doing the training or practice. How could it be any other way? We always look for what we can gain from our effort. If we don't see "results" [again, that's a destination focus] we don't see we are getting anything and will quit. If however you find what you love or enjoy about the practice then you will be gaining something out of each effort. This keeps motivation high and processes you through your training, day by day.

So, from each weakness you identify, find one or two aspects of it that you enjoy. Identify it; write it down. Then look at it before you do your practice...
Hint--I believe you will be writing down things that have something to do with self-awareness...
arno


degaine


Dec 15, 2005, 1:37 AM
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Forgive me in advance if you think I am only playing with semantics.

I have no weaknesses, only "areas that need improvement". For me, weakness refers to something that I can't do, it only focuses on the negative.

Perhaps it's the teacher side of me, but there's a big difference between telling a student what not to do and telling a student what she should do to improve.

Example: if you tell someone "don't flex your arms" while climbing, the person will focus on not bending their arms. If you tell someone to try to focus on "keeping their arms straight," the person will focus on keeping their arms straight.

I try to focus on what I'd like to improve rather than my "weaknesses" or what "I'm not good at."


oldrnotboldr


Dec 17, 2005, 7:26 AM
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Aside from improving my overall core strength, I find my biggest weakness is self talk and self doubt. Especially when things get a bit dicey, I want to question my actions, moves, etc. I have found at times when trying to shut the ego up and limit that negative talk has taken my focus away from what I should be focusing on. When I mentally get to that point I will try and down climb or move to a solid position and refocus and reassess the route.


nola_angie


Dec 17, 2005, 7:39 AM
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I really need to get better at:
Lead climbs
stamina
crimps
I REALLY need to bust up campus. My lock off sucks.

To do this, I am, after Christmas, gonna be at the gym 4 times a week at least. I think *gulp* I may even take a lead climb class. It feels lame to say it, I know I can take up a few offers out here to learn, but I think if I pay for it, I will be more vigilant about it. It's just a matter of doing it. I was outta work for a few months, but things are looking up again, and I'll be able to get back on track.

BTW- if you are ever unemployed, and new to the area, don't stop climbing. Getting out and meeting people that can help set you up is better than banging against the wall on your own. (learned this a little too late!)


mother_sheep


Dec 17, 2005, 7:46 AM
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Discipline is my biggest weakness on and off the rock.

When I say discipline I'm not talking about my dedication to climbing. It's there and it's strong. What I am talking about is my lack of discipline to follow through with commitment. The consequences of walking away from things that scare me have never been that great, until I took the time to reflect upon my life and certain circumstances in my life and in climbing. The consequence that I've paid and failed to realize is that my lack of discipline has made me psychologically weak in certain circumstances. Lowering off a route I've convinced myself that I can't lead only to have my partner finish it, hanging at the crux a avoid a fall and walking away from an alpine route after hiking in for 7 miles (my excuse for this one was that it was storming in the morning on our approach and the rock would be wet. Note that the sun came out after the storm passed as we were heading out). I'm trying to overcome this weakness by stepping outside of my comfort zone more, commiting and following through with things that I'm not necessarily comfortable with. When I do things that make me uncomfortable when I know that I can walk way much easier, I become aware while I'm doing it and remind myself that it's for my own good and it will help to make me a better person and climber. It's only been 1 week since I came to this realization so I've only been able to apply it off the rock. The true test will come tomorrow when I'm on ice.


arnoilgner


Dec 19, 2005, 10:13 AM
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mother_sheep

discipline...
I sometimes have the tendency to escape once I get face-to-face with the challenge just as you describe--hiking 7 miles and then making excuses about rock being wet and leaving right away.

It helps me to delay my reaction. Have enough awareness to NOT act on the desire to leave but just stay there facing that mountain/route to give you a moment of consciousness. Doing this will begin your process to engage the route. Sometimes you'll be able to let go of the reactive thought and sometimes you won't. Be patient.

Lack of discipline could indicate that what you are wanting to do isn't important enough to you. You probably don't have any discipline problems for eating ice cream. By identifying what you love and what you can learn from whatever you want to do will enhance your discipline.
arno


mother_sheep


Dec 19, 2005, 10:35 AM
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In reply to:
Lack of discipline could indicate that what you are wanting to do isn't important enough to you. You probably don't have any discipline problems for eating ice cream. By identifying what you love and what you can learn from whatever you want to do will enhance your discipline.

Thanks arno. You're right. With the particular route that I was referring to, I wanted to be out there but I was actually pretty fearful about climbing it. I didn't feel that it was something that I really wanted to do because at that stage of my climbing, it was over my head. But I have gone back and climbed it since then as my skills and knowledge have improved. And I did it because I wanted to and I'm looking forward to going back with a partner who's never climbed it.

And yes. . .never a problem with ice cream, especially chocolate. :-)


dred


Dec 19, 2005, 4:43 PM
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WOW good thread..

Iam a little fat now 20 pounds over
Sometimes i just get freaked out when iam up real high
The energy of rocks makes me talk my ass off after i climb and keeps me awake for days becuase i get so hyped..

Becuase iam fat now, i started doing small climbs and bouldering with a weight vest and wrist weights. now i have matched the strength and after i take those things off i feel so light dynos feel easy..

when i get freaked out, the only thing that helps is breathing, ryhtmic breathing..

and the talking to much and getting hyped, I havent found a dam thing to help that..


arnoilgner


Dec 21, 2005, 12:55 PM
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Hi dred

Your comment: and the talking to much and getting hyped, I havent found a dam thing to help that..

Begin by making whatever talking you do to be about problem solving.
arno

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