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zenelky


Jan 17, 2008, 12:46 PM
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There's got to be some helpful insight!
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I already posted this in the Rock Warrior's Way forum. Although it has gotten quite a few views, only 1 person has responded. Maybe I'll get some more help from the ladies. If I'm not allowed to post in 2 forums, I'm sorry in advance you can flame me and call me bad names...but I'd appreciate if you threw in some advice too.

I understand that I have an ego problem, and I know that i need to leave it behind when I climb, but I don't know how to start and am hoping that some others out there can help me.

My story: The last time I can remember climbing for me and for the joy of climbing was almost a year ago. My problem is that when I climb, I feel like I am climbing with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I don't know if this is a woman's problem, or just my problem, but now, I feel as though if I'm not pulling hard climbs that the boys can't climb than they (other climbers) don't respect me. I think this is stemmed from the fact that my climbing partner (who is my significant other) and I climb about the same grade (although there are noted differences in the types of climbs he and I prefer),but when we encounter other climbers at our local crags, more often than not I feel as though they talk to him rather than to us.

This used to not bother me since the routes they were asking about I hadn't climbed so I had no input anyway. But then, something happened and the climbs they questioned my partner and I about were climbs I had done and he had not. I would try to give some beta, and sometimes they would give me this strange "What are you talking about" look that made me question my ability. My partner tells me that in most cases when other climbers are talking to us (they are usually male...this is a male dominated sport remember) they usually focus on him because it makes them more comfortable. Most guys in this area don't know any women who can climb harder than them, thus I make them slightly uncomfortable. But this has put me into a state of questioning my own ability. This problem of male climbers talking directly to my partner is a problem that I have faced as recently as last week.

Now when I climb, I feel like I am climbing for all the women out there who don't get spoken to at the crag, all the women who are working to be the best that they can be, but just aren't there yet, all the women in the world who's ability is questioned because they are little. When I'm up climbing now, I feel like if I don't climb route XYZ than I am just like all the girls out there who get carried up routes to appease their boyfriends. This ego problem used to only come up when other's were watching, particularly women because I felt like I had to show them that they CAN climb 5.X, they just have to want it. Now, it is part of every aspect of my climbing, even when it's just my partner and I at our local crag. He has done everything he knows how to help me overcome this growing problem, but just doesn't understand how I can climb with these other 'people' in my head telling me that I can't pull it because I'm too small, or if I fall than I'm failing all the strong respected women climbers out there.

Does anyone have any insight as to how I can start climbing for me again and stop climbing for respect? (and before anyone asks, no, I've never climbed with other women, I just don't personally know any in this area who are as motivated to climb and are looking for partners).

Thanks in advance for any advice.
~Mic


petsfed


Jan 17, 2008, 1:12 PM
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Your best solution is to climb with other women, but as you pointed out, that's not an option.

The other option is to get your partner to hand off questions about those routes to you.

"I got rocked on it, but she sent just last week, she'd know" is a pretty good place to start.

We can be total cavemen sometimes, but if you force us to, we'll either respect you or make it clear that we're jackasses not to be respected ourselves.


erisspirit


Jan 17, 2008, 1:40 PM
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First off, climbing IS a male dominated sport. It is getting better however, and more girls are climbing and climbing hard.

You need to find out why you care so much what these people think of you. YOU know you climb hard, so what should it matter that some stranger doesn't know? who cares what they think? If you really climb hard, and plan on getting to know them, they will soon find out their initial opinion was false.

I occasionally get caught up in the "they climb harder than me I can't let that happen" but you know what there will ALWAYS be someone better than you (unless you are the best climber in the world and even they have bad days) there will also always be people worse than you.

My advice is focus on climbing for you and you alone. Try a fun route. who cares if you can run laps on it? its a fun route. Try to find what you like about the climb. Every time you start thinking of other people and what they think or expect, stop and focus on yourself.

Girls can be really influenced by outside opinions or what we think those opinions are. Its really tough to break the habit.


noell


Jan 17, 2008, 3:35 PM
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Howdy. So... as a female reading your post, and as a gf who climbs with her boyfriend reading your post, and as a climber in the southeast, I feel as though I am a fairly good resource here. At least, I hope so.

First of all, and the most important thing that caught my eye, is that you live in Huntsville, Alabama, right? And so you are only 2 hours from Rocktown, GA? And less than that from Chattanooga, TN? So close to LIver River Canyon and close to Little Rock City? I live in Knoxville and we regularly drive up to 4-5 hours to climb on a weekend, so close is relative, but I think you are close to a ton of great climbing.

With that said, I know alot of the gals that live and climb down south and I know that there are some super strong girls here. I know of a couple that boulder like v10, and a few friends that have climbed 5.13+.

My point is, if you aren't meeting the girls, it's not because they aren't out there. WE are!!! And we have a blast, climbing with each other or our boyfriends, whatever. Doesn't matter, everyone is just out there having fun!

Also, more on the topic at hand. It is hard sometimes to get back to the 'why do I climb in the first place' deal. Sometimes just some time away may help. And just don't take stuff personally - if you are a regular in a certain area, people will just gradually learn what you've done through the grapevine. It's a small climbing community and word gets out. Just have fun!

My boyfriend climbs harder than I do. But there are problems I've done he hasn't, a sport route or two I have done and he didn't do, and stuff I've done faster. I hope one day to climb what he climbs. In the mean time, I work my own projects, I have fun, and I am totally psyched for me and my ability, and I climb what I wanna climb. And I don't feel at all as though I lean on my bf to haul me up anything! In fact, I think that we are both pretty darn strong climbers and together, well... we both send. Sometimes. Wink

Bottom line-
there are gals out there. You just haven't met em for some reason.
Don't take the questions personally! The dudes probably just feel like they are better friends w/the guy and not the gal, trust me, dudes don't think like we do! They aren't thinking twice about who they ask beta from, the guy or the girl, they just do whatevers easier at the moment. Tongue


Archie2


Jan 17, 2008, 6:04 PM
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This may not be of any help but I'll offer anyway. I have trained on and off at a Kickboxing/wrestling gym (or MMA if you will) for about 5 years. I had the exact same problem with some of the guys at the gym. They automatically assumed I didn't know what the fuck I was doing and it would get to me. One day my brother (who is an instructor there) sat me down and told me just what big babies these testosterone filled apes were. He said these guys have the lowest self esteem out of any group he's known. Now I'm only speaking of the guys who would give you shit or dismiss you for your gender. There were plenty guys who were cool and loved to work with me.

I guess what I'm saying is recognize what is motivating them to behave that way. I guarantee it has less to do with you and more to do with their own fears.


Archie2


Jan 17, 2008, 6:17 PM
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Oh yeah, and remember that you are a far better person then they are.Wink


Partner happiegrrrl


Jan 17, 2008, 7:30 PM
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Sounds like there are 2 issues in the OP.

1) The guys approaching your guy/ignoring you - It could be for many reasons, and probably is. Not all those guys are doing it for the same reason.

Some - for sure - are insecure about getting beta from a stronger woman than they are(grammar error intended). Some might be directing questions to your guy because they don't want to seem like they're coming on to you in any way, shape or form, in front of your guy.

You can guess, and sometimes guess correctly, what is going on in their minds. But the fact is, you can't do a thing, really, about their behavior and/attitudes. They may change their tack as they get to know you or after speaking for a few minutes. Or not....

The great news is that you haven't come here trying to figure out how to change other people, but to help yourself in dealing with a way of thinking that is interfering with your enjoyment of climbing.

2) The "people" in your mind - Well, you can do a few things. This is 12 Step group stuff, but they work for just about any situation there is.
- When you here those voices getting on you, say(think) to them "Thanks for sharing. Now STFU!"

Really! Although the 12 Steppers don't add the STFU part; it is implied. Acknowledge the diversion. Don't try to pretend like you shouldn't be having the thought, because - the thought is there! So - acknowledge it, step around it and climb on.

Every time you realize you're getting the thoughts, give them the thanks, but no thanks schpiel. You may begin to see the voices start to lessen in "loudness," or that you will begin to be able to laugh them off at times. They may even disappear altogether!


- If you really, really do find that this problem is beginning to mess with your quality of life(climbing), get a workbook from just about any 12 step group. Go online to AA.org, or al_anon and look up "Fourth Step" and/or "Self-Inventory."

Do a 4th Step on your climbing! people in recovery do one giant life 4th Step, but they also do mini 4ths, when issues arise in their life life you are having.

Actually - Here is a link:
http://www.riversidecounselingcenter.org/templates/System/details.asp?id=26938&PID=245051

You can go through the entire process, starting out with your assets and going all the way through.

It will be a lot of work! You write it all down, not just read and think the answers. The writing makes it more concrete.

Just focus on your "climbing" life, not your life, life. Ther is a lot in that page that simply would get ignored. Change the scenarios to pertain to climbing where it pertains, and if it doesn't, simple ignore that point.

Like I said - it is a lot of work, but you will end up with a good idea on what makes you tick.....


acacongua


Jan 17, 2008, 8:29 PM
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I hate to ask, but do you know 100% that it's a gender issue or whether it's your confessed ego that is getting you disregarded? Big egos don't often get big welcomes. So check your approach first.

This notion of climbing to prove women's capabilities is sweet, but any secure woman can hold her own at any level of her climbing. Furthermore, lots of women have already proven themselves in climbing and continue to do so. And when does falling off a route equate failing? There are a number of people (men included) who would rather climb levels below their ability than take a fall ever.

Honestly, it sounds like you're just holding yourself back with these obsessive thoughts. But whatever your ego is saying you're supposed to do (send/onsite hard), you need to put it to rest or you'll just create an atmosphere of negativity - even competitiveness - and that is NO FUN for anyone.


(This post was edited by acacongua on Jan 18, 2008, 6:15 AM)


zenelky


Jan 18, 2008, 6:27 AM
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Thanks for the help, I'm going to look into the 12 step program. Right now some help is better than no help.

acacongua wrote:
This notion of climbing to prove women's capabilities is sweet, but any secure woman can hold her own at any level of her climbing. Furthermore, lots of women have already proven themselves in climbing and continue to do so.

You're right on this fact. A few years ago I never questioned gender. Aka: when I was living in Ohio, working on my undergrad and being an all around happy well adjusted person. But 2 years ago I moved to Mississippi to work on my grad degree and people told me it would be different...but I was a happy well adjusted person who didn't believe in glass ceilings. Then through a series of unfortunate events at the school in Mississippi it was reinforced that since I WAS a women I was not able to teach climbing clinics or lead trips for the school's rec club (even though I was one of the leaders for an undergraduate group to Japan for caving and had more rope skills/experience than all the employees combined!!!). There was sexual harrasement involved and I was told "Just start from the beginning with a fresh start like nothing happened" with this guy, so I told some of the higher ups what was going on, and suddenly I wasn't even allowed to go to the school's gym without getting dirty looks from the staffers (who were friends with the individual in question). I didn't do anything wrong and all of a sudden I wasn't comfortable doing what I loved to do more than anything...climb; because of one guy (who ended up dropping out after other woman I worked with suddenly quit, but it was because of his 'grades' and I've foud out he was accepted into the same program at another school with no repercussions for his actions.)

I guess this is what started my respect ego and ever since, I feel like it just kept getting fed. I always thought that women who felt this way and said they were treated in this way were just making it up or blowing it out of proportion. But until you've been in the situation, I guess you never know how it'll affect you. Even with my education, I felt like I had to re-prove my knowledge in my field time after time (I do have examples), figured it was just how 'southerns' verified that I wasn't FOS. But, I was confronted by a male student who I was working with at the time who pointed out that I was being come down on much harder and he felt bad for me. He's the one who first mentioned the 'glass ceiling'.

It's all very frustrating, but I'm finally at a point where I orginally started in a job where I feel respected and valued, with a guy who respects and values me as a partner and a friend...but I have 2 years of fighting to prove that I am a worthy candidate and that women should be valued; to overcome. Hence why I feel like I have to climb to prove that women are strong, I know I'm strong and I'm not afraid, but I'm always thinking about all the other women who were raised in this environment who aren't strong enough and who've never had strong, respected, and valued female role models.


acacongua


Jan 18, 2008, 6:55 AM
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zenelky wrote:
You're right on this fact. A few years ago I never

The fault women can have is staying silent. That doesn't mean go into a raging warpath or turn into a seething femme nazi. I can let some jokes go on personal time (or I just disregard the dork) but in the workplace, there is absolutely no room for it. And trust me, I've had some bad situations. I believe in total equality (I shouldn't get a job because I'm female and the company needs to meet a quota when a guy is more qualified and likewise).

If you're sincerely being held back because of gender, you have grounds for a lawsuit. And don't tolerate comments that make you uncomfortable - but approach it with tact - anger gets you regarded as crazy.


microbarn


Jan 18, 2008, 7:11 AM
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haha,
I just finally checked that forum this morning. I replied over there, but my answer is more ladies' forum then RWW forum.
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...ost=1788964;#1788964


granite_grrl


Jan 18, 2008, 7:26 AM
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As I was reading your post I realized that I don't normally have an issue with people going to my husband rather than me for beta. This is because I'm the friendly one at the crags, talking to anyone who's approchable, my husband is pretty quiet. Just playing devil's advocate, it could be a personality thing instead of a gender thing.

The place where my ego gets the best of me is at the climbing gym, sans husband. I get on a 5.9 with a right leg intensive move and it shuts me down (note: my right leg is still very weak from ym accident). I feel like screaming "its 'cause its the gym...outside I was working on 5.11 this summer! I actually do climb better than this!" Does it matter? Nope. You think anyone actually noticed? Probobly not. But my ego gets the best of me. I'll get upset and down on myself 'cause some stupid 5.9 just shut me down. If this happens too much I can ruin my night on myself. Now that's REALLY stupid.

What I've been doing is sticking to overhanging walls where I don't need to use my legs as much. I concentrate on what I have fun on and do well, not what I can't do. This example doesn't entirely relate, but maybe you can get something out of my ego story.


lena_chita
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Jan 18, 2008, 8:38 AM
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Strange... Your experiences are so different than mine that I wonder if you and I are talking about the same sport.

I cannot claim to be a strong climber. there are plenty of stronger guys AND girls out there. And I've met plenty of those girls...

But I never noticed that when I am with my husband and we meet some random climbers at a crag that people address my husband and exclude me. Now, it may simply be the fact that I am the more talkative of the two of us, so I am more likely to be engaged in a small talk tham my husband... I don't know.

And if someone was asking for beta... again, it isn't something that happens too often that a stranger whom we just met is asking either me OR my husband for beta, and I try not to volunteer beta unless asked. BUt IMO, it makes sense that a guy would be asking another guy for beta over a girl, given a choice. I mean, come on, I'm 5 ft tall, and the guy is a foot taller than me, it is more likely that my (taller) husband would have a beta that is more relevant for the guy that I would. But I have been asked for beta by male climbers, and I never noticed a difference in how much I get asked vs. how much my husband gets asked.



And I also never felt that my "standing" in the climbing community was questioned by random strangers just b/c I am a girl or b/c I don't climb hard stuff. More than once I have come down from a climb to hear some random stranger say:"Hey, great job, you made that look easy." or " cool move, that was an interesting way to get around that reachy spot"-- and the comments come not only from people who climb worse than I do, but from people who can climb that random 5.10-5.11 with their eyes closed and one hand tied behind their back. But just because THEY can climb the stuff I just redpointed with ease, doesn't mean that they can't be nice and supportive of ME, when they see how happy I am to send my project.

If anything, i find that many super-strong "completely out of my league in ability" climbers are very friendly and supportive and nice, quick to compliment you on something you've done, if they see that it was a real accomplishment for you, no matter how hard it was in the 'absolute scale'.... and it's the guys who climb just barely stronger than I do, but are obsessed with their numbers, that are likely to snub people-- male or female-- based no how hard they can or cannot climb.




Do you climb weith people other than your husband? If not, maybe you should... b/c if you go with another girl, and you see that people are still addressing the other person and asking them for beta more that they ask you, then you'd know that it was not about guy/girl thing.



But meanwhile, relax, you aren't climbing "for all the women out there who don't get spoken to at the crag, all the women who are working to be the best that they can be, but just aren't there yet, all the women in the world who's ability is questioned because they are little." Really! I am all of the above in size and ability, but I am quite happy to climb for me, so you don't have to carry my 100 pounds on YOUR shoulders Smile


(This post was edited by lena_chita on Jan 18, 2008, 8:40 AM)


zenelky


Jan 18, 2008, 8:59 AM
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Thanks a lot Lena_chita, I'll remember that. I lived in Dayton for some time and NEVER in a million years did I ever think I would feel this way. I absoluetly loved my gym, loved everyone I climbed with (lots of men and women!), loved everyone I met outdoors.

I only seem to encouter it here at the 'deep south' crags. And not by everyone, I've met so many good people down here it's unreal so I don't want forum goers to not climb in the deep south b/c of my complaints! I'll pass up the Red most any weekend for some of the sandstone we've got in TN and AL.

A lot of how I feel as been translated into my climbing from my experiences thus far. And now that I'm back where I belong, I just need to get my climbing and my head back where it belongs.


lena_chita
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Jan 18, 2008, 10:14 AM
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I didn't see your other post and was just replying to the OP. Sounds like you had some pretty nasty experiences "down South".

What can I say? I come from the place and culture where women were considered "less able" than men in many things. I have also been discriminated because of my ethnicity in the past-- being not-ethnically-Georgian in Republic of Georgia. The " highlight" of my 8th grade was winning a State Science fair-- and not allowed to go to the nationals b/c "Georgia should be represented by Georgians". A guy who got 2nd place went instead of me... and there were dozens other things, big and small. You bet it sucked! But you can't let it get to you. You have to try harder, and keep going.

Don't let it spoil stuff that you like for you.


lena_chita
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Jan 18, 2008, 10:41 AM
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I meant to add, in case it wasn't clear, that I don't advocate ignoring the discrimination at work/school, shaking it off and going on. You should fight discrimination in a workplace-- but you better look for advice on that in place other than rc.com.

But when it comes to climbing, you said it yourself, you've met plenty of great people down South, too. Unlike workplace, you can chose your company, you are not forced to associate with the jerks in any way. That's what I mean when I say to ignore them and go on with doing stuff that you love, instead of trying to prove anything to the close-minded people, which is a waste of time, always.


acacongua


Jan 18, 2008, 11:15 AM
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When did you live in Dayton? I lived there for a short time in the beginning of 2005 and climbed lots at the gym. You probably know Elton, Rick, Mike and many other cool people there who I climbed with.


zenelky


Jan 18, 2008, 11:22 AM
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acacongua wrote:
When did you live in Dayton? I lived there for a short time in the beginning of 2005 and climbed lots at the gym. You probably know Elton, Rick, Mike and many other cool people there who I climbed with.

I was there back then. I moved south in December 2005. Yeah, I miss all of them. Karl and the co house tooFrown But then, I wouldn't have all the 'wonderful' experiences if I would have stayedTongue


matterunomama


Jan 18, 2008, 1:40 PM
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Reading your post flashed me back to all the times I have test driven a car-and the salesman sat in the back with my husband and told HIM all about the car. It always makes me furious because I am clear about who is buying the car and what I am looking for. I walk out of those dealerships and take my business elsewhere. What the salesman probably remember is ' another woman who couldn't make up her mind'. Infuriating.Similarly, the number of times that I have been wearing a shirt from my med school and people would said "Oh! Did Your husband go to X Med?". Not uncommonly, this is the young med students that climb in my local gym-so its not all male hubris.

If you are always fighting gender politics you can become embittered, but one person can help you-your partner. Tell him how you feel and ask him to kindly and naturally defer the questions/chat to you. His respect should tip the chauvinists off that you are not secondary. Maybe also examine yourself-do you stand back? Do you talk "like a girl", deferential and questioning? As you yourself said, part of it is your ego, and that you can work with. They say we can't change other people, we can only change ourselves.


lena_chita
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Jan 20, 2008, 7:05 AM
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matterunomama wrote:
Reading your post flashed me back to all the times I have test driven a car-and the salesman sat in the back with my husband and told HIM all about the car. It always makes me furious because I am clear about who is buying the car and what I am looking for. I walk out of those dealerships and take my business elsewhere.

True! I was thinking of the times when I was calling builders/contractors about possible kitchen expansion/building an addition to our house. About 50 percent of them, after taking down my name, asked if there was a MR. Moinova to speak to. Now, my husband and I don't share last name, so I truthfully said that there was no such guy, and crossed them off my list. What the heck! If the can't deal with me, they don't get my money.


kiwiprincess


Jan 20, 2008, 2:36 PM
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Re: [zenelky] There's got to be some helpful insight! [In reply to]
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You need to stop caring what others (especially stangers) think. Be happy with your self
But if someone you see regularly does it (and it bugs you) point it out gently and privately that they only ask the boy. Usually they'll be shocked when they realise they do it, and ask after your climbing and you as much as your boyfriend from then on.(it is a product of our up bringing really)


clausti


Jan 23, 2008, 6:40 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] There's got to be some helpful insight! [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
matterunomama wrote:
Reading your post flashed me back to all the times I have test driven a car-and the salesman sat in the back with my husband and told HIM all about the car. It always makes me furious because I am clear about who is buying the car and what I am looking for. I walk out of those dealerships and take my business elsewhere.

True! I was thinking of the times when I was calling builders/contractors about possible kitchen expansion/building an addition to our house. About 50 percent of them, after taking down my name, asked if there was a MR. Moinova to speak to. Now, my husband and I don't share last name, so I truthfully said that there was no such guy, and crossed them off my list. What the heck! If the can't deal with me, they don't get my money.

ditto. when i was looking to buy a house, and my partner was with me, the people selling the houses kept talking to him- we werent engaged, not wearing rings of any kind, and don't share a last name. the realtor that sold me my house was the one that talked to ME, the person whose name was going to be on the mortgage.

as far as climbing in the south, an i went to college and spent four years climbing based out of SC, i honestly can't call to mind any discrimination at the crag. what happened to me in college, was the guys who lived where i lived woudlnt invite me to climb with them, and they woudlnt give me answers before saturday morning (too late) on if they wanted to climb with me, so i went to where the climbing was.

couple of things i noted about your post- you said you are climbing with your boyfriend pretty much exclusivly? guys ESP in the south, often consider it bad manners to just go up to someone else's girlfriend and start talking if they havent been introduced. much as women will often contact the woman first, so as not to engender hostility. and it's usually pretty obvious when people are climbing partners or "together", or both.

another was you said you cant find people where you are to go climbing with other than the boyfriend? go alone. go to the rock, in weather that people consider to be decent, at places that are reasonably well known. (think rocktown, not little river canyon.) and you will find people to climb with, and the vast majority of those people won't be dicks. and some of them you'll really like climbing with and will seek out to repeat, and some of them you won't. bring your own shit, and be bold. i met a lot of my favorite climbing partners that way.

in fact, i've climbed with at least three of the posters in this thread (petsfed, lena_chita, and noel) and the first two i "met" on this web site, and subsequently climbed with in person, and noel i met through meeting people, going alone to the new.


HepCat


Jan 24, 2008, 11:40 AM
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Re: [zenelky] There's got to be some helpful insight! [In reply to]
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Perhaps you might get real honest with yourself and ask this. Do I really enjoy climbing? I am reading some fear in your words. For me climbing has been about mentally controlling that fear (mainly of falling and getting hurt, because I have), to an extent, while respecting it too. That can bring out a heightened sense of anxiety, especially at the crag with your significant other or regular partner. Just try to relax and focus your expectation not on the number grade of the route, (and its' meaning to you) but rather the number of times you will have a great session at the crag. Also, why not climb with other women, even if they are new to climbing. You never know who the next great climber will be, or how that could affect you.


clee03m


Jan 24, 2008, 2:58 PM
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Re: [zenelky] There's got to be some helpful insight! [In reply to]
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zenelky wrote:
My story: The last time I can remember climbing for me and for the joy of climbing was almost a year ago. My problem is that when I climb, I feel like I am climbing with the weight of the world on my shoulders. I don't know if this is a woman's problem, or just my problem, but now, I feel as though if I'm not pulling hard climbs that the boys can't climb than they (other climbers) don't respect me.

Does anyone have any insight as to how I can start climbing for me again and stop climbing for respect?
~Mic

I am truely surprised at women's responses to this thread. No, I don't think how you feel is due solely to your big ego or your personality (problem). I think discrimination you perceive is real (and not only in the south). I recommend you read Steph Davis's High Infatuation. She very acurately describes kind of what you may be feeling. Some quotes I felt were in similar sentiment to your comments:
"It was as if there was a certain place for me as a woman.........Looking nice in pictures and climbing at a high but not threatening level were fine.....But as I began achieving bigger things, I was baffled by unexpected criticism or belittlement."

Then in a chapter called "on my own" she describes a pressure to succeed on her own and not as "Kennan's girlfriend and partner," and how she really pushed herself.

My advise to you is first accept what you are feeling is valid and not let it drain your love for climbing. You have to start climbing for yourself. You may have to take some time away from climbing to clear your head. I know that idea may horrify you because you may be afraid to allow yourself to be less strong of a climber by taking time off. I know that whatever it takes, you will fall in love with climbing, again. And if you ever visit the Northwest, give me a hollar.

I'll end with a quote from Steph Davis:
"...I climb for myself and no one else. Sometimes the distinctions get blurred, and it's easy to get sucked into other people's realities. In the end, climbing is what I love, my own expression of joy. Everything else is just noise."

Good luck to you.


zenelky


Jan 25, 2008, 5:56 AM
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Re: [clee03m] There's got to be some helpful insight! [In reply to]
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clee03m wrote:
"It was as if there was a certain place for me as a woman.........Looking nice in pictures and climbing at a high but not threatening level were fine.....But as I began achieving bigger things, I was baffled by unexpected criticism or belittlement."

That hits it dead on to how I've been feeling and why I feel like I've started climbing for others.

I've gotten a lot of good responses from this thread, but I definetly felt like I was still the only girl out there is hit this 'plateau'. Knowing that others (especially Steph Davis) have gone through it makes me feel far less singled out. I understand what shes saying. Just like how people claimed that Lynn Hill could free the nose because she had little fingers rather than just accepting that she's strong! Or the way that when woman pull hard moves on a route that guys can't do, you'll hear it's because they're short, or lighter weight, rather than just saying "She's strong".

This weekend I've found some girls to hook up with and we're going out to do some easy trad and get back to just going out, having fun, and not having to give it 110%. Giving it that much all the time really wears you down.

Thanks clee03m. I'm going to pick up her book now!

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