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"No second guessing" exercise
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jt512


Oct 28, 2003, 3:56 PM
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"No second guessing" exercise
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This exercise is from Chapter 6 (p. 133); however, it is simple and can be performed independently of how far along we are in the book. It is also dramatic and powerful, so I thought I'd bring it up early.

Next time you climb, notice that when you decide to move a foot your eyes automatically go to a spot on the rock. Without hesitating or second-guessing, put your foot right on that spot and use it, even if there is no apparent foothold there or there is a "better" foothold close by. There are several things you can learn from this exercise: First, that your eyes intuitively know how to guide your movements to keep you in balance. Second, a small foothold that is in just the right spot works better than a bigger foothold nearby. Third, you climb a lot smoother when you climb in balance.

The version of the exercise in the old WW workbook was for feet only. In the new book, Arno suggests using it for both feet and hands. I started experimenting last weekend using the exercise for hands, too. I noticed that just as with the feet, your eyes know right where your hands have to go to keep you in balance. It's quite amazing really. However, it feels uncomfortable to ignore a large, more secure nearby handhold and use a smaller, less secure one where my eyes want to put my hands. I'm still experimenting with this for hands.

-Jay


calliope


Oct 29, 2003, 8:18 PM
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I intended to try this a bit this afternoon, but it didn't happen. Went on top rope instead of the usual mid-week bouldering, and fear of falling was almost a non-issue. Instead it became other more technical aspects of my climbing that I've not been stressing because I've been so concentrated on the falling.

Getting out on some granite this weekend. Hoping to try it there.


jt512


Oct 29, 2003, 8:26 PM
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I intended to try this a bit this afternoon, but it didn't happen. Went on top rope instead of the usual mid-week bouldering, and fear of falling was almost a non-issue. Instead it became other more technical aspects of my climbing that I've not been stressing because I've been so concentrated on the falling.

You could have done this exercise on TR. You don't have to be working on fear of falling to do it. In fact it would probably be more effective if you weren't. It might not work well in the gym, though, where your foothold options are more limited.

-Jay


calliope


Oct 29, 2003, 8:57 PM
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:oops: Yeah, ok, that post was confusing. I didn't mean I didn't do it because I was on TR but more that once the fear was removed, I noticed some other issues I needed to work through. I think I'd like to try it once I get familiar with a route so that I can get the full benefit of it.


on_sight_man


Oct 29, 2003, 10:22 PM
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I think I'd like to try it once I get familiar with a route so that I can get the full benefit of it.
Actually, not to be correcting too much, but I think the point of the exercise is to recognize how good your first impulses are and how to climb smoothly by just letting it happen more. So you pick a route within your ability that you DON'T know, and then climb putting your hands and feet where your eyes think they ought to go. TR would be good here. TRing a route you've never done before is even better.


iamthewallress


Oct 30, 2003, 11:16 AM
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You could have done this exercise on TR. You don't have to be working on fear of falling to do it. In fact it would probably be more effective if you weren't. It might not work well in the gym, though, where your foothold options are more limited.

I think that my climbing would really improve if I did this on more moderate, non-overhanging routes in the gym. Learning to climb initially in the gym has trained me to only look for the honkin' foot holds and to accept really awkward, contrived body positions to move through sequences. The people that I watch in the gym who were seasoned climbers outdoors before trying the plastic make much better use of smears in the gym as well as outside. For me, breaking my tunnel vision in the gym would probably help with my confidence on slabs and liebacks. I'm going to start making a conscious effort to try this there.


calliope


Nov 1, 2003, 5:30 PM
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Success!

Didn't have much to lose so I tried this out at E-rock on a few face climbs. There werent' many hands, but a ton of good tiny feet, and I noticed that when I went with that first instinct, I was more in balance, less likely to slip, and the process went a lot smoother.

When I second guessed, moved my foot around, and "pawed" at the rock, I lost energy, reached exhaustion more quickly, and wasn't enjoying myself.

I'm glad I tried this one.

I also did the focused breathing. I can start a new thread on it if need be, but it just totally eliminated my head game when I was concentrating on my breathing.

Angela


jt512


Nov 3, 2003, 8:27 AM
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I also did the focused breathing. I can start a new thread on it if need be...

Moderator's note: In my experience with on-line forums, it is indeed useful to try and restrict each thread to a single topic. So, if anyone would like to comment further on the forcused breathing exercise, please start a new thread on that topic.

-Jay


iamthewallress


Nov 3, 2003, 6:56 PM
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I worked on this one this weekend. It coincided well with my other project-of-the-moment...learning to climb wide cracks. When wedged in an ow or squeeze, you can't see your feet anyway. The best that you can do as far as getting the good holds in the crack goes is remember where you've seen them. In the case of Sunday's pracitice crack...the crack was the only "hold" anyway. I didn't cover much distance per effort on the crux ow section. 5 moves strung together was the record, but I found that I did my best when I closed my eyes. It helped me to relax a little and just focus on feeling the place where my thrusting foot seemed to "catch" the best on the outside edge of the crack. It also helped me to find a bit of a rythm which was crucial for coordinating the inchworming upward thrusts-and-wedges. Once I got into the squeeze section, I was looking for footholds for the rests, but the climbing was more about moving based on feel and rythem. Whenever I had the rythem and momentum that came with mostly moving by feel, the climbing was so much easier than when I'd hunt for a rest, stop, and half to get back in the groove.


dalguard


Nov 4, 2003, 7:51 AM
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Todd and I have been argueing over this for years. I hate it when I say take and he won't do it. Of course if you and your partner are in agreement that this is what you're going to do, that's fine, but don't spring it on someone unsuspectingly. A belayer should be a partner, not an adversary, and the climber should be in control of how the route gets climbed.


dalguard


Nov 4, 2003, 8:55 AM
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Todd and I have been argueing over this for years. I hate it when I say take and he won't do it. Of course if you and your partner are in agreement that this is what you're going to do, that's fine, but don't spring it on someone unsuspectingly. A belayer should be a partner, not an adversary, and the climber should be in control of how the route gets climbed.


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