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jcs


Nov 20, 2001, 9:58 AM
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Hey Everyone!
Ive been climbing about 2.5 years now, and ive run into sort of a weird problem. About a year ago I took a pretty bad fall- a bad belayer really, and ever since then i just cant seem to get over the fear of falling- it seems like Im focusing on my belayer more than the climb.

When I'm climbing and I get time to chalk up and assess the next few moves I seem to get almost paralyzed- it seems at the time like I'll never be able to stick the moves that I can see ahead of me, even if I know that I could easily do them on TR. SOmetimes I end up pumping out just looking at the moves and never even get to try them! I can (have) red pointed up to about .11c, but anything over .10 seems to freak me out these days. I know it sounds pretty weird, but that's whats going on.

Has anybody else had this stuff happen to them? What is the best way to get over this? As much as I love climbing I'm starting to think that I just dont have the head for it- that maybe I should just stick to TR'ing! Any advice would be great.
JCS


krillen


Nov 20, 2001, 10:16 AM
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I have a couple friends that are the same way. One took a bad fall and the other ripped his knee to bits and won't trust it to step up on it much anymore.

Everytime I start to get those voices in my head talking about falling, I physically talk myself through it. I tell myself "settle down, okay relax, breathe, come on you can do this". Deep breaths, concentrate on each hard/foot placement, concentrate on each move as you do it. and DON'T look down. The more you make these moves the more you will build you confindence back up to where it was. You have to keep trying to get back on the horse or you will NEVER get over it.

If all that doesn't work, then maybe the answer is to take a few short falls, and get used to what a regualr fall is supposed to be like. Gradually increasing the distances.

Good luck man, I hope these work for you. They are only suggestions though. You are the only person who can figure out how to fix your head.

worse comes to worse try takign a deep breathe swearing and forcing yourself through a strenuous move


andy_lemon


Nov 20, 2001, 10:30 AM
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Whippers suck... there is nothing wrong with having a little fear after taking a big whipper... You just have to earn your partners trust back.

Andy


saltspringer


Nov 21, 2001, 1:40 AM
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I had a similar problem but it had to do with being tied in...I'd get half way up a climb and then wonder if I'd tied in properly. I took about a 20' fall one season and after that this tie-in fear came up, eventually I just had to stop & rationalize what I was doing and basically overcome irrational nature of the fear: I'd checked my knot several times on the ground as had my belayer so there was absolutely no chance that it wasn't done up properly but when I got to a situation where I might fall, this fear came up again. So, deep breaths & then thinking about what you're doing & why you're doing it are a good start; another thing is to always listen to that voice inside your head, if it tells you to back off a climb or not start it to begin with then listen...a large part of pushing past 5.10 again is going to be about knowing that you don't have to go through with a climb if you really don't feel up to it that day. Everyone has good and bad days and when you push yourself on a bad day there can be nasty consequences, if, on the other, hand you know that you can back out of a climb because you don't feel good about your energy, your belayer, your equipment or any number of reasons, you're going to be more likely to push your limits when you feel good about all of those things. A large part of climbing is about trust & you need to regain that in your partners & procedures bfore you can start pushing again,
good luck,
Mike


krillen


Nov 21, 2001, 5:32 AM
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 "The only cure for the fear of falling, is to jump." Carl Jung

(stolen from the qoutes forum topic)


daisuke


Nov 21, 2001, 7:52 AM
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I haven't taken a big whipper yet, but I do get fear of the heights sometimes, sometimes it's the "I can't do it, I'm too tired", when that happens I tell myself not to be a wuss and to keep going, it usually works. Also, focus on the wall only and the next set of moves and move everything else from your mind, I usually get a bit scared if I look down, if I don't I'm not conscious of the fact that I'm 6 meters off the ground, trust your gear and your belayer, the chances of taking another whipper are frankly much less than those of you falling off the next 3 moves unless you're way over your level.

Regards, D


minos


Nov 21, 2001, 11:06 AM
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Dude, climbing is over 50% mental. Alot of people won't agree with that, but I think it's true. If someone who boulders V12 but is scared of heights tries a 5.10, chances are he/she will make second draw and that's about it. My advice is find a belayer who is as bomber as the anhors. The last thing you want to think of 40 feet up is "what's my belayer doing right now, talking to that girl beside him?" Once you find that special someone to belay for you, stop worrying about grades. They will come back, once you beat the fear. First things first, right? This will sound dumb, but set up a reward system for yourself. It worked for me. Something like you get to buy a quickdraw for every climb you finish without saying "Take", or a supper out for pushing till failure on a toprope. Climb 9's or 8's if that's what you are comfortable with, but flash them. This will help beat that fear of falling by staring it in the face. Hopefully the confidence will stay with you when you take the sharp end and you'll trust yourself to make the move, and if you don't, you KNOW your belayer will catch you, softly. Hope this helps.
Peace Out.


jds100


Nov 21, 2001, 12:53 PM
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Hopefully you've got one or more belayers that you can absolutely trust. Beyond the importance of trusting that person on the other end, I try to remind myself to "climb to climb, and NOT climb to NOT fall". In other words, not climb to avoid the fall, rather climb to enjoy the moves and know that I have the strength and ability to do it, all the while knowing that my belayer is attentive, and I've assessed the risks of a fall. For me, so far, the fear that comes before falling has always been worse than any fall. And I've had that fear much, much more often than I've actually fallen.

Try to address your fear (irrational/emotional) with knowledge (rational/logical) of your abilities and strength, and of your record of red-pointing 11.c.


jds100


Nov 21, 2001, 3:00 PM
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I just read your post again, and to the extent that leading is important to you, I really hope you make a plan for yourself to get away from just TRing. As a bunch have already said, get back to leading the easier stuff, and do so on a planned and regular basis. Whether that's indoors or outdoors doesn't matter, but it does matter that it be a regular routine, so that you expect this of yourself, not just if you "feel like it". Then you can work yourself up the grades again in leading. You can still workout hard on hard climbs on TR, too, in the meantime.


metoliusmunchkin


Nov 21, 2001, 4:43 PM
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The fact that you had taken a large fall that scared you, and are hesitant to make the crux moves again, are completely understandable. To my surprise, I read that you are actually on the routes again, trying out those moves, and actually continue to climb. This is very important in itself when beginning to climb once shocked out of the state of falling.

Posters here have stated most things that you can do to get over the fright of falling at the crux move. I believe it was Krillen who stated it best to first fall and shorter distances than what you are used to, and then slowly but surely elevate the heights of the falls over time. I am faced with a problem similar to yours (although I would not consider it to be wierd, nor do I believe that your problem itself is wierd).

I have not yet taken a 'regular fall'. To me, a regular fall consists of falling quite unexpectedly (or without purpose). On my wall I have been practicing some lead climb falls, only to fall no more than 4 feet (which I might add, considering the surroundings of my 'practice area', is quite dangerous considering the tangling of the rope to the climber and to that of the belayer), this has not helped at all. To aid me with my troubles, upon my next trip to Joe Rockheads, I am going to be taking a class for lead climbing. What might you add to help one fall from a gradually farther and farther from a lead belay? This should not only help me, though I fell it shall help Jcs as well.


beta


Nov 21, 2001, 5:20 PM
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Do you have one particular person that is currently belaying you that you trust?

If so, is this person aware of the fact that you took a fall due to an inattentive belay (I assume) and understands the discomfort that you are experiencing?.

If the first two points are accurate, then the fear you are having is irrational. You mentioned that your OK to a certain level, but as the grade goes up, you begin to doubt, either yourself or the quality of the belay, am I right?

Have you taken another fall where your current belayer has caught you in a timely and comfortable manner? (this actually might be a good thing to experience).

When you get to a crux or have some anxiety about a particular move/sequence, are you communicating with the belay, to "watch me" or "take" to feel a little reassurance on the rope?

I'm sorry you are feeling this way, I would hate to give up climbing because of it. I know I didn't answer any questions, I just asked questions that may help you identify the root of the anxiety.

Going back, if there isn't a particular person that is COMPLETLEY trustworthy on belay, GET ONE.

If they are not aware of what happened to you and how important it was to your development as a climber, TELL THEM.

When you get to a "sticky point" communicate in no uncertain terms that you need their complete attention. DEMAND IT.

A planned "small fall" or two may help both you and your belayer (don't tell them you are going to) to become better at communicating with each other.

Sorry for the long post, but I hope I have hit a nerve or two that will help you identify what's going on in your head.

Climbing is wonderful, I hate to see that someone is not enjoying it as much as they should.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Jeff



catga86


Nov 22, 2001, 11:29 PM
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  Trust is a big aspect of climbing. If you don't have trust then you won't be able to conquer the route. You won't have that feeling of accomplishment that every climber needs to say in this sport.
I think you should never let that person belay you again. I don't know how you will be able to trust that person after such a fall.
Now about helping your fear, the way I help myself have no fear is to only choose belayers that I trust. I go and climb with the same group of people, and only those people I have let belay me.
When you are on a climb and you start to get a little freaked out, focus on something else. I try to think about my breathing, the next hold, what kinda moves I have been using or about to use. Use anything to keep your mind occupied.

I hope this helps. :-)



orestes1724


Nov 25, 2001, 2:21 PM
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i think the more scared i am the more i focus...i guess its because if im scared i feel like i have to be totally focused and concentrait or something might happen...but thats just me i dont know about you. dont worry...you will eventually get over it. i hope that doesnt sound mean later.
Chel


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