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sungam


Aug 26, 2006, 7:51 AM
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cintune


Aug 26, 2006, 8:35 AM
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Frank Herbert nailed this one already:

The Bene Gesserit Litany against Fear

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.


arnoilgner


Aug 27, 2006, 7:52 PM
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hi sungam,
you are developing some awareness about your fears, and this is helpful. consider that "controlling" your fear will not diminish or remove it. i think you are experiencing this, as you mention, as being very difficult.
rather, focus attention on what you choose to do with your attention. i think you are doing some of this already by focusing on being happy, looking for what is helpful in a situation. just like on a climb, focus attention on what you need to do to climb, to assess fall consequences, etc, NOT on what you want to avoid (the fall) or what you can't do.

arno


jmeizis


Aug 27, 2006, 8:18 PM
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I'm reminded of a quote by Epictetus
In reply to:
Any person capable of angering you becomes your master; he can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.
Epictetus, or any of the stoics are a pretty good philosophers to read about when it comes to emotions, especially anger and fear.


Partner bri1682


Aug 27, 2006, 8:26 PM
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good luck with controling your fear


sick_climba


Aug 27, 2006, 9:30 PM
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In reply to:
This is something I have been working on for a long time, I get really scared when climbing, or even when I know I am going to climb.
It's not just the fear of heights, but of all the little things that can happen, from falling to my death to cutting my hands in a jam.
So I thought, how can I control my fear? and i meant control, not shove away, or ignore.
I thought about how I would do it, systematically. It went like this:

The next time someone did something that would usually REALLY annoy me, I didn't let it. I didn't ignore it, or hide it, I didn't let myself get annoyed. this was hard at first, and i found myself hiding the annoy rather than eliminating it.
Then, every time this happened, I made myself happy. I didn't just small and be glad, on the inside I was truely happy.
I found this REALLY difficult. But this next part seemed impossible.

The next time I got in an argument, or someone was agressive, or anything that would make me ANGRY, I tried to controll it. But this is harder, as the hormone release in your body is immedate, making you more aggressive, more defensive. What I had to do was controll my brain, not let this happen, not let myself register these things as a queue for anger. That was hard, but I still sturggle with this: when someone is aggresive to me, I make myself see it as doing something nice, and I make myself happy.
Once I could controll these relitivly simple emotions, I started on the fear. I wasn't trying to overcome my fear, to ignore my fear, simply to eliminate it. Obviously not all of it, the fear off death is ever present, and impossible to remove (Ignoring this fear, or overcoming it is actually where one of my main enjoyments of climbing comes from). The fear I was trying to remove was the irrelivent, distracting fear, the fear of highstepping with a bomber hand jam and having you foot shooting off, hurting your wrist. Fear of breaking your fingers when locking. even the little fears like jarring your fingers missing a pocket, or the pain of foot jamming in anasazis. Thats right, this even helped me ignore pain more.
With all of these minions aside, I could do battle with the real fear; death from falling.
Needless to say, I am far more relaxed and enjoy my climbing way more now, and I climb harder than ever.

-Magnus
Cool, basicly I call this chillification, I did that a couple years ago... still one problem I have never really been afraid of death ( mind you its very possible that its because im 16 and most 16 year olds think they can't die, tho I don't think that is the case, then again I am the 16-year-old lol)but more the pain. I beleive I know full well the consiquences of dieing seeing as how I think this is our only shot at life, its really more the pain that I fear. not stupid of I have a cut or scratch pain but like breaking a limb and have it stabing through your skin, or somthing like that... ugggg, I have never really gotten over that, I just try to ignor it or put it aside....


_fiend_


Sep 6, 2006, 4:35 AM
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Interesting - sounds a lot easier said than done.

In a way that is the crux of the issue - we want to give up the psychological baggage we have - the mental distractions, bad habits, inhibiting thoughts, but actually DOING SO is less obvious, and incredibly hard.

I think from reading RWW and other texts, the key is to start with awareness of those thoughts, and then try to realise that you don't have to follow them. After reading The Power Of Now, if I'm trying to lose bad thoughts, I sometimes visualise them as a sort of balloon, floating away - the idea being I can "let them go", and they don't have to be attached to me.

More ideas on the topic of actually doing this stuff would be very useful...


dingus


Sep 6, 2006, 5:15 AM
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I experience two distinct kinds of fear... the hormone dump we all know and love. With fear herself, long experience has taught me I CAN control my fear when I MUST. I KNOW I can do this.

But there is another and to me far more insidious fear associated with climbing; anxiety.

Anxiety haunts me on most climbs of length, whether I have climbed them previously or not. Anxiety has me constantly worrying over details; rope over edge, gray clouds billowing, not going to get off this thing by dark, we'll be trapped, I don't have enough water, I won't be able to follow my more able partner across that traverse, I'll dash into the dihedral and die. On climbs I've done before I worry over crux sections and not being able to do as I once did. That's almost worse than the fear of the unknown!

On and on and on, all the live long day. Eats me up inside. Then eventually, most times, I climb through a goodly portion of that anxiety and get extruded out the other side of the route, like a dried up turd, where I get to start worrying over the descent.

The ONE thing, more than any other, that quells anxiety and shuts down the little voice inside my head? Fitness. Good physical fitness, for me, equates to confidence. See, I KNOW what I can do when I'm fit. I know how hard I can climb, etc.

But as I've gotten older and slipped into and out of and fought back into shape again, only to repeat the cycle anew, I've learned that when my self-confidence wans the anxiety flourishes, like a bacteria colony on a dirty dish in the sink.

Many moons ago I heard something from Todd Skinner... if you BELIEVE you are strong, you ARE strong. Aside from the delusional, I think there is a large grain of truth to that statement and personally, I have seen the results.

Fitness breeds self-confidence. Self-confidence empowers positive thoughts about the objective. Positive thoughts leave no room for the creeping dread.

Fitness is the root from which all this flows... for me. There simply is no substitute.

So, know what wee do when we're fit? Upt heante of course, and take on climbs at our edge, where the creeping anxiety can work at the edges, haha. We climbers are a sorry bunch, eh?

DMT


chill41


Sep 6, 2006, 5:50 AM
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In reply to:
dingus wrote:
Fitness breeds self-confidence. Self-confidence empowers positive thoughts about the objective. Positive thoughts leave no room for the creeping dread.
Fitness is the root from which all this flows... for me. There simply is no substitute.
So, know what wee do when we're fit? Upt heante of course, and take on climbs at our edge, where the creeping anxiety can work at the edges, haha. We climbers are a sorry bunch, eh?

I like what you're getting at here dingus. No matter what level you're climbing at you're always trying to push a little harder and thus creating a little stress for yourself.

Fitness-->self-confidence-->positive thoughts-->more fitness and self-confidence is a feedback loop that can just as easily work in the other direction, also no matter what level of climbing you're at. I guess the point is that if you can focus on anything positive or empowering then this will lead to more positive action and you'll continue to improve. So how come it usually isn't that simple?

Chris


bradmm


Oct 14, 2006, 9:06 AM
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As you can see, I've very new here and just finding my way around. This is a COOL thread! I think we have fear to provide a means of self-preservation but I think often about getting past my fear of death. I'm 52 and try to stay in good shape and eat right because I want to live in denial of the inevitable as long as possible! But, as my kids tell me, DENIAL is not just a river in Egypt. I still love the idea of being free from that fear. I want to check out the book referenced in this area.


grinder


Oct 14, 2006, 9:35 AM
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Fear is good. It keeps us alert so we can prevent accidents. Don't ignore fear, use it. Fear will put images of failure in your head... just overpower them with positive images.

Lots of practice and climbing with people you trust will help as well. Good luck controlling your fear!


theicemoose


Oct 14, 2006, 10:54 AM
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I've read and enjoyed Arno Ilgner's book as well. It was thought-provoking, but I found, as with all things, you don't really get the benefit (other than the stoke or momentary motivation) from the book or techmiques until you get out there and put your ash on the line.

Are you a safe trad climber until you know exactly what kind of nut placement will hold your weight in a 25-footer? Do you know why everyone's using the Camalots for fist-size and up placements until you've had a narrow-width Eurocam pop out like it was greased under a 10 footer?

When I first got the idea to climb on gear, I was old enough and wise enough to know that most people are full of shiatsu and don't know their business well enough to defend their position on it against a 5th grade debate champ. I've seen "experienced" trad climbers ground out on safe routes with excellent gear *options*, I've seen gumbies get the fear, get determined, and make it on stuff they had no business being on.

The bottom line is that experience counts for a lot. Arno can give you some of his in his book and clinic, but you have to go out for yourself and TEST THE GEAR. There's little knowing what you're into unless you have already been there in some way.

My reccommendation is to fall until the falls are fun. Fall on safe cams with two backup pieces in the crack a foot below. Fall on a sheisty micronut with a slack toprope backup (two belayers, two ropes), then replace it, a little worse, and find out what actually comes into play when your gear fails. It's a fun way to spend one of those "I don't feel strong enough to push it hard today" days, it's a bonding experience for you and your partners (name someone who's caught you in a 25 footer on a #2 stopper who you wouldn't count on to get your back otherwise), and it makes the fear seem silly and childish, because there is no unknown to fear if you've already been there. (Besides, all this practice removing gear that's held big falls means you don't have to learn it facing a 40 foot pendulum on Pitch 13 of The Bell Tolls But Once for Gumby IV 5.10b R)

Fear and the inseperable rush of post-survival bliss can be an integral part of what we're doing in the outdoors, but it can also handicap you into developing habits of retreat when confronted with it. If you can make a habit of confronting your fear on a controlled basis before you try to get on something that will make your knees shake, you'll enjoy the experience more and be more competent on your climb besides. This is what I got out of Arno's book, it helped me out, hope my words helped someone out there, too.


notapplicable


Oct 14, 2006, 1:32 PM
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In reply to:
Anxiety haunts me on most climbs of length.

Anxiety has me constantly worrying over details; rope over edge, gray clouds billowing, not going to get off this thing by dark, we'll be trapped, I don't have enough water.

I'll dash into the dihedral and die.

In reply to:
breaking a limb and have it stabing through your skin, or somthing like that... ugggg

In reply to:
the fear off death is ever present, and impossible to remove

Holy crap, that's some ominous stuff. My brother has a sometimes paralyzing fear of heights, once he didn't get 30' up a 5.7 he had already done twice before calling it a day. Most times we are on the wall he doesn't turn around even at belay ledges but he continues to climb, often multi pitch routes. I am continually surprised (maybe impressed is a better word) by the draw of this sport and the power it has over its participants. Even when terrified and crying for my mommy it never occurs to me to call it quits and take up a less psychologically abusive hobby. Given the quotes above, my own flailings and the fact that we all continue to climb, I must say that we humans are some strange, strange creatures. Happy climbing everyone and lets be safe out there I don't want to log on tomorrow and read about any bones "stabbing through your skin". :shock:


grampacharlie


Oct 16, 2006, 9:40 AM
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I beleive that there is a lot of good advice here about fear. When I work with students, we talk about managing fear to the point that one can function in stressful or fearful situations, without ignoring or removing that fear.

If a person is devoid of fear, they become free to do as they wish, knowing that they need only answer consequences, but not fear them.
This is not a healthy place to be for normal human beings.

Magnus, I can see a path opening up before you in your journey to control your emotions that many people never explore. You are right in thinking that it is your choice how to react to things/people. Toltec Wisdom teaches us that we create our own reality, and shape our world thorugh our thoughts.

I was not even introduced to this line of thinking until I was 24 or so.
Keep it up and you will have much more satisfying interactions with everyone in your life.

Mike.


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Jul 16, 2007, 2:11 PM
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Reflecting on a particular climb I did this weekend I subconciously overcame my fears which allowed me to climb a line that I would have otherwise not done.

A little about the route: The guidebook doesn't help out much here other than a mention that said crack does exist. The route descriptions literally end 15 feet to the right, and from that point onward the author of the book states that the rest of the cliff leftward is choss and that there is nothing interesting beyond said already mentioned last described route.

It is a stunning hand crack that is preceded by thin (really thin) edging. If it has seen an ascent then it has been ages since then, since I had to do a bit of en-route cleaning of lichen, loose blocks, grit, etc.. The first few moves had me a bit aprehencious, and I don't really know what took over me after that. Was it the loathing of leaving gear? Or was it the desire to climb something that may have not seen a free ascent? I don't know, but I am reflecting on it. I am sure that I will figure it out in due time.

On the point of this thread. After a few moves, my head cleared and I was confident about the climb. I did, unfortunately, succumb to the pain in my forearms when the pump really settled in and took a short rest on the rope (that's another issue, since in my opinion it was wiser to climb a move down than fall). I am determined to re-climb the route and do it clean and I will try to become more aware of what is going on in my head. It wasn't my hardest gear lead, but it definately ranks as one of them.


notch


Jul 19, 2007, 6:21 PM
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epoch wrote:
Reflecting on a particular climb I did this weekend I subconciously overcame my fears which allowed me to climb a line that I would have otherwise not done.

A little about the route: The guidebook doesn't help out much here other than a mention that said crack does exist. The route descriptions literally end 15 feet to the right, and from that point onward the author of the book states that the rest of the cliff leftward is choss and that there is nothing interesting beyond said already mentioned last described route.

It is a stunning hand crack that is preceded by thin (really thin) edging. If it has seen an ascent then it has been ages since then, since I had to do a bit of en-route cleaning of lichen, loose blocks, grit, etc.. The first few moves had me a bit aprehencious, and I don't really know what took over me after that. Was it the loathing of leaving gear? Or was it the desire to climb something that may have not seen a free ascent? I don't know, but I am reflecting on it. I am sure that I will figure it out in due time.

On the point of this thread. After a few moves, my head cleared and I was confident about the climb. I did, unfortunately, succumb to the pain in my forearms when the pump really settled in and took a short rest on the rope (that's another issue, since in my opinion it was wiser to climb a move down than fall). I am determined to re-climb the route and do it clean and I will try to become more aware of what is going on in my head. It wasn't my hardest gear lead, but it definately ranks as one of them.

Jeez, Jay, you didn't even mention the part about being attacked by hawks! Posting in the RWW thread, huh? You drinking the Arno Koolaid too?

I was his partner on that route. It was a tough climb but what blew me away was how well he kept his head together. After the first 15 feet it was like he just shifted gears and said, "I'm sending this bitch"!


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Jul 20, 2007, 4:27 AM
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notch wrote:
epoch wrote:
Reflecting on a particular climb I did this weekend ...

Jeez, Jay, you didn't even mention the part about being attacked by hawks! Posting in the RWW thread, huh? You drinking the Arno Koolaid too?

I was his partner on that route. It was a tough climb but what blew me away was how well he kept his head together. After the first 15 feet it was like he just shifted gears and said, "I'm sending this bitch"!

Oh, and there were some hawks circling around that seemed overly pissed that we were in the area. I really didn't notice them, or take any thought to them while I was climbing. However, after setting the belay I got to experience the mistique of being buzzed by angry birds. It was a total Alfred Hitchcock moment.

I don't drink the Kool-Daaaai. After seeing this forum, my interest was peaked. My opinion of the topics in the book will remain as my own, so as to not offend anyone. But know that sometimes things happen that you reflect upon, and the results of said reflection may peak your interest.


notch


Jul 20, 2007, 10:04 AM
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epoch wrote:
I don't drink the Kool-Daaaai. After seeing this forum, my interest was peaked. My opinion of the topics in the book will remain as my own, so as to not offend anyone. But know that sometimes things happen that you reflect upon, and the results of said reflection may peak your interest.
Cool. Enjoy the trip out west!


rockies


Aug 11, 2007, 10:38 PM
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Body follows mind, that's for sure.

And I am told, you are safer if you are a little scared when climbing, than if you aren't at all scared; this makes perfect sense to me too.

I am physically fit, always have been. Though if I have one week off climbing I do feel it the next time, I climb (strength wise), but after that 1st climb again, I already feel more relaxed (generally speaking).

For me I have to get over the nerves, and the real fear we all feel at times when climbing in order to progress to the next level; and I can't do that when ordered to, but more when I am ready to.


skinner


Aug 12, 2007, 6:27 AM
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Wow, what a thread to read a 5:30 AM before heading out climbing, that being said.. I've only had one coffee and not quite awake yet, so if I make no sense, ignore me Crazy

fiend_ wrote:
if I'm trying to lose bad thoughts, I sometimes visualise them as a sort of balloon, floating away

Bad thoughts huh? The first thing that came to mind when I read that was a flotilla of balloons hovering around my head blocking out the sun, but maybe we have a different definition of "Bad". Wink


dingus wrote:
constantly worrying over details; rope over edge, gray clouds billowing, not going to get off this thing by dark, we'll be trapped, I don't have enough water,
I hear ya on this one dingus,..

-rope over edge
for me it's jugging on lines that have been whipping in the wind for a few days.
-gray clouds billowing
this probably occupies more of my time then anything else.
-not going to get off this thing by dark
This one.. not so much as I belong to the "Light & Slow" camp, so getting caught in the dark happens more often then not.
-I don't have enough water
I never get this one right, either run out or pour it out, so I quite worrying about just assume I will run out, if I don't it's a bonus. (of course climbing in Canada where the average temp. in July is 69.8 F, is a lot different then climbing in the Valley).


grinder wrote:
Fear is good. It keeps us alert so we can prevent accidents.

I think that was; "Greed is Good", and it was said by Michael Douglas in Wall Street. Wink
j/k I agree with you 100%, it's a built in human response that is there for a reason.


theicemoose wrote:
My reccommendation is to fall until the falls are fun.

Well, here's the thing about that.. yes, if you haven't really *fallen* before (I've listened to peoples *whipper* stories after have witnessed what looked more like a *slip*) or if you don't trust the gear, (these two seem to go hand-in-hand a lot of the time) then yes absolutely go fall and fall and fall.. on your own rope.Tongue

However, I trust my gear totally (now that I got rid of my Aliens), Mind you I don't always trust the placement. But.. when you are not falling with multiple backed up anchors, and you are not below a roof, happily sailing through the air waiting for that nice soft catch, but rather facing a hard bone-snapping bounce, followed by a slide over some nice cheese-grater limestone, before plumbing into thin air.. I don't care how much practice or experience you have falling under ideal conditions, your sphincter will tighten significantly!

How do "I" get over that? Glad you asked..
I realize the potential consequences of falling from this particular spot, which of course motivates me to succeed, then I forget about what's below me and concentrate on what's above me, and focus, focus, focus on what I have to do to get over, then go for it.
If I am focusing hard enough on what's in front of me, I soon forget about what's behind me.

I fallen more times attempting to back off of something after talking myself out of going for it then I ever have attempting something that at first glance seemed impossible (for me). So I quit that.. for the most part.

rockies wrote:
And I am told, you are safer if you are a little scared when climbing, than if you aren't at all scared; this makes perfect sense to me too.
And to me too. There isn't a climber out there that doesn't get scared at some pint, some are better at hiding.. errr.. I mean *managing* it.

And that's all I have to say about that (Forrest Gump)


rockies


Aug 13, 2007, 12:30 AM
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ha ha, hey I like forest Gump (well the actor at least) Wink

A role model climber I knew from the mountaineering club I was with in the UK, was to be admired, he would get up what others in the club couldn't or would give up on (outdoors and indoors), he would fight his way up and fall 10 x but at the level on the wall where he'd reached, nothing lower; until he got to the top (a real fighter he was), and that was on hardly anything to hold onto or stand on.

And after seeing him climb like that ongoing, I just knew he would always get to the top whenever he'd take over from anyone else that couldn't get up a route outdoors or indoors; and he always proved me right.
He helped me progress; indoor lead climbing if I was tempted to use another colour, he'd tell me ah ah.. wrong colour!; and if I said, "but I'll fall' He'd tell me, "so fall, but don't cheat"; and to ensure I didn't he'd go a step further and tell me he would pull me off if I didn't do it right.. nice one! It worked. He taught me to place nuts, and all the feedback I have had since then is.. "bomber!" :)

I am sure he also got fearful at times, but he was one that defo hid it well if he did.


t2stone


Aug 5, 2008, 11:51 AM
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Re: [sungam] True control of your Fear [In reply to]
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I must say this is the best thread of ever seen
and have been meaning to re~read arno's book

thank's 2-you

ThomasSmile


flatlanderAB


Aug 12, 2008, 10:44 AM
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Re: [sungam] True control of your Fear [In reply to]
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just a short quote on control

"The closest to being in control we will ever be is that moment that we realize we're not"

Brian Kessler


fresh


Oct 28, 2008, 8:42 AM
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Re: [sungam] True control of your Fear [In reply to]
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totally off-topic, why does this thread have orders of magnitude more views than other threads of similar reply numbers? I know its from 2006 but others are that old too. is sungam really that popular?

ok I'll make a contribution..

I don't know what it is that allows me to climb without fear some days. when I'm sport climbing, I feel more nervous about anticipating a fall than I do when on trad. granted, sport is tougher and a fall is more likely. but I'd done some pretty tough (for me) climbing on trad without feeling afraid of falling.

I think it comes down to loving the experience. generally a clip-up doesn't inspire me to try all that hard, but trad does. when I do get nervous on trad, it's also when I don't feel that great about the route.


Parkerkat


Nov 17, 2008, 12:50 PM
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Re: [cintune] True control of your Fear [In reply to]
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I know I'm a few years late here, but I totally agree with this one....simple short and based on something wonderful...

In a way its perfect in that its based in sci-fi, the imagination coming true, the impossible being possible... a great metaphor for climbing! Glad to know im not the only one using this! ; p

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Forums : Clubs : Mental Training: The Rock Warrior's Way

 


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