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Habitual thinking and engrams
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Jan 29, 2007, 4:04 AM
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Habitual thinking and engrams
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On the Rock Warrior's Way we learn how to fight the habits. However, during the physical training we tend to create engrams, movements that will come naturally - I'd say habitually - without thinking when we climb.
I've noticed that once in a while I tend to move as trained, but that move is wrong, so I reconsider my poise and holds and climb over the section using completely different moves than those which come naturally, without thinking.
So, are engrams good or bad ? Do we fall into habitual thinking while using them ? (I know, one doesn't actually think while applying an engram, but it's still a habit acquired by training)
Of course, once the repertoire of engrams is large enough, the proper move will come at the right moment, but how many of us have such a large repertoire ?!


arnoilgner


Feb 1, 2007, 12:19 PM
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Re: [verticon] Habitual thinking and engrams [In reply to]
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consider: the initial moves that you want to do may be the best ones. your mind just comes in and questions them because they may put you in a position or situation that your mind has determined won't work.
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or, you may not have the "correct" engrams developed yet or not developed as completely as needed. consciously making new moves will allow you to learn and develop them.
arno


_fiend_


Feb 2, 2007, 12:17 PM
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Re: [verticon] Habitual thinking and engrams [In reply to]
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Engrams are good if we're flexible with them - they are part of what allows us to progress with climbing through experience.

Okay so sometimes the engrams don't get it right - sometimes you see a move due to having an engram for it, but it's not the right, or easiest move. Playing around with possible sequences should determine that.

I've learnt to trust my instincts with engrams - sometimes I will happen across a move, see a way of doing it, but it will just feel too hard and not right....and if I trust myself I will play around and discover the correct way for me.

Of course the wider repetoire of engrams the better - more flexibility, more back up.


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Feb 3, 2007, 10:35 AM
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Re: [_fiend_] Habitual thinking and engrams [In reply to]
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Thanks fiend and Arno for the replies.
See, for two months now I've been training on my system training panel. Most of the time I hang on the holds (and I also move to the next hold) using one hand and the opposite foot. When I first went out to the crag in January I noticed that, I tend to climb in the same way (standing on the opposite foot and flagging with the other), instead of pushing with both legs as I used to, which got me thinking...
Maybe I just rely too much on the strenght and stamina that I acquired during the training, the route wasn't too challenging (I thought I should take it easy for the first climb of the year) so I had "enough power to waste". As soon as it gets warmer I'll go back to the crag and use the proper poise.


arnoilgner


Feb 12, 2007, 7:24 AM
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Re: [verticon] Habitual thinking and engrams [In reply to]
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the goal should be to use as little energy as possible. you accomplish this by breathing, relaxing, and climbing in efficient ways.
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i am teaching in the washington dc area right now and had a student tell an interesting story that is relevant to this engram topic. he said he was excited after reading my book and went to the gym to face his fears and take some whippers. so he began taking 15 foot falls. "i was all tense until i got to the end of the rope. not sure if it helped." well duh...he was engraining how to tense up not how to face his fears. learning occurs best when you engage risk and discomfort in small increments. in the falling practice that i teach, i have students begin by simply hanging on a toprope and practicing the transition from climbing stance to falling. once they can do that while maintaining breathing and relaxation i increment them to short toprope falls. once they are comfortable with that i increment them to lead falls, but in short increments.
if you truly want to learn a skill you must start small, pay attention to how relaxed you are, if you are breathing and doing the skill accurately with your body. do not increment up to a more stressful situation until you can do all these things.
arno


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