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Delay (and partner-assisted delay)
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jt512


Nov 3, 2003, 11:10 AM
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Delay (and partner-assisted delay)
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Saturday at Josh I was leading a route that felt especially hard. I had just clipped the second bolt and was having trouble figuring out the next move, and getting pumped. I started thinking that a fall was inevitable, and I yelled "take." However, my partner didn't "take," but instead suggested that I keep climbing, without giving me specific beta on the next move. The delay gave time to reconsider my decision. I looked around and in fact figured out the move and executed it, eventually climbing to the next bolt, clipping, and falling a few feet above that bolt, after misreading the sequence. (Success!)

This experience validates the delay exercise in the book, and suggests that we can use our partner to help us delay and prevent us from executing a habitual response, such as taking. I think that the next time I climb, I'm going to ask my partner to give me some non-specific encouragement if I say "take." Mybe I'll tell him that if I then say "take" again I really mean it and he should indeed "take." But, hopefully, if I've said "take" as a habitual reaction to feeling doubtful about a move, the delay will give me time to reconsdier, and perhaps try the move.

Any comments?

-Jay


lou_dale


Nov 3, 2003, 12:24 PM
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i too have had similar experiences with my partner. the only words
he usually uses are - why don't you stop and rest and think about this before coming off the route?

his feedback in this way also helps me to stop, breathe, think about it - or delay just long enough to make me realize that it is ego trying to take me back into a comfort zone instead of putting myself in the midst of chaos and feeling comfort in that risky area.

i cannot say how many times i have finished climbs simply because my partner had me delay - and had he not done that - i may never have finished any of them.

it is scarey sometimes being in that chaotic moment, but if we can stop and take a little bit of time - we find that it really wasn't that bad after all.

lou


evan


Nov 4, 2003, 8:51 AM
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Hi Jay, Lou,

Ah, "belayer-assisted delay mechanisms." It's worked for me in the past. Necessary elements:

1. A safe fall. You're not going to hit a ledge or deck.

2. Bomber pro. In my case, preferably a bolt.

3. You trust your belayer to give you a good catch.

4. Firm, but supporting belayer. You're not going to be able to take, but the person attached to the other end of that cord believes in you and will be with you through those next moves.

I'm not sure why it works so well for myself. I believe that knowing that you can't rest on the rope actually takes away a large amount of uncertainty regarding possible outcomes, and lets you concentrate on the climb. In other words, taking away an option helps unclutter your mind, and delivers you into a realm of certainty or decisiveness.

- Evan


dalguard


Nov 4, 2003, 8:56 AM
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Todd and I have been arguing 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.


iamthewallress


Nov 4, 2003, 2:25 PM
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In reply to:
Todd and I have been arguing over this for years. I hate it when I say take and he won't do it.

I guess I'll get a little personal and say that this has been the source of my worst arguments with my bf. It almost always results in me mounting a full-scale panic attack, and I feel like 10x bigger of a coward than I would have for taking. It disturbs my trust in the belay, which is something that I'd do well to get over. J waffles on his response to this. Sometimes he says "You're right. It's not up to me to decide how you should approach your climbing." And sometimes he says, "It would be a perfectly safe fall of 12 inches if you came off, which you don't need to do. I don't want to hold your weight all day, and I don't want to enable you to keep fostering your irrational fears." I guess I agree with both of his takes on it too...depending.

I've found that I don't respond well to that sort of tough love, and feel like once I've yelled "take" or "lower", I've made my choice. Delaying needs to happen a little earlier for me. A "you can do it" when I'm starting to balk at a move can help immensely.

A gentler example of something that worked...Last weekend I was working on a route on TR. Both my partner and I were hanging A LOT trying to learn how to do the moves. We'd go as high as we could, hang, go a little further, lather, rinse, repeat, until we were too nautious or raw to go higher. Anyway, I declared "I'm done" after many failed attempts at moving past a particular spot, and her "Are you sure?" was enough to get me to get back on and try to finish it, which I did.

So...I have a question after all of this. What are you doing to get your partners to interact with you in the way that you feel maximizes your efforts with "The Rock Warrior's Way"? Have your partners read it or are they reading it? Are you telling them about the pricinples that you are working on, like parnter assisted delay?

I feel like my bf (who is my most frequant partner) is someone who comes by the WW priniples naturally, but it might be helpful as far as having someone to point out when I'm decidedly not acting in a way that is consistant with the goals of the WW.


calliope


Nov 4, 2003, 2:35 PM
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What are you doing to obtain cooperation from your partners? [In reply to]
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Moderator's note: this thread was split off from another, in which Melissa asked the following questions:

In reply to:
What are you doing to get your partners to interact with you in the way that you feel maximizes your efforts with "The Rock Warrior's Way"? Have your partners read it or are they reading it? Are you telling them about the pricinples that you are working on, like parnter assisted delay?

I don't have dedicated partners as of yet. I climb with a couple of guys during the week (mainly bouldering) and try to get out on the weekends when I can. I have huge trust issues with this particular device because most of the time I don't have complete trust in the belayer. On Top Rope, it doesn't make since to yell take because I'm afraid I'll fall. So what if I fall. Where I have the most problem delaying is at the top of a bouldering problem. If I fall from that, there's damage that can be done.

I'd love to climb with someone who does know these principles, but so far, my partners haven't read the book.

Angela


on_sight_man


Nov 5, 2003, 1:09 AM
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I have many times been prodded by my belayer to not take and it has worked. Just recently I moved into a crux after a resting place and read it wrong. I said take and my belayer (just met that day) said "NOOOOOO, just go back to the rest" so I did, and then sent.

There IS the trust thing for some people. When I'm climbing, I ALWAYS trust my belayer COMPLETELY, otherwise, I come down. period. Not trusting my belayer is like not trusting my rope on TR or having a bolt MOVE in its hole on a sport climb. For me, the idea of actually not trusting my belayer to catch me if I fall is just.... awful, unthinkable, something that simply MUST be gotten over SOMEHOW.

My girlfriend also gets creeped out when I do this sometimes (rarely do it, rarely she creeps out). And it's hard to understand. I actually got hurt by it a couple of times because sometimes it feels like a lack of respect for my belaying. Like I'm actually enough of a wanker to DROP HER were she to let go. Maybe here's an idea, rather than saying take, we should just... weight the rope. This way it's "like" a fall only much less, AND it'll help with the trust issue...


dalguard


Nov 5, 2003, 8:03 AM
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This last weekend I was going to try an exercise - I'd picked the breathing one - and to follow the suggestion that you should ask your belayer to remind you of your intent as you're climbing.

So I said to Todd, "instead of saying 'go for it' or 'put in a second piece' or whatever, you're supposed to say 'breathe." And he says "How about if I say 'You're a loon' and that'll be our code phrase for 'breathe'".

So you see how much cooperation I'm getting.


evan


Nov 5, 2003, 8:16 AM
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In reply to:
What are you doing to get your partners to interact with you in the way that you feel maximizes your efforts with "The Rock Warrior's Way"? Have your partners read it or are they reading it? Are you telling them about the pricinples that you are working on, like parnter assisted delay?

Hey Melissa,

One of my climbing partners actually recommended the book to me. We have a running joke, whenever we're nervously racking up for a climb you'll usually hear the following exchange:

"Do it for the love man."

"Dude, it's *all* about the love."

A bit cavalier I suppose, but it helps remind us why we're willingly subjecting ourselves to stress-inducing climbs. A couple of the guys we climb with know we're reading / have read the book, which often leads to comments like this:

"'Love-based' motivation? What the hell is this? Christ, are we all going to have to join hands and sing 'Kumbaya' at the base of the climb now?!?"

Seriously though, despite the granola-chewing hippie comments, they actually do respect the effort and the intent of the program. I had a similar training program last winter, concentrating on fall therapy in the gym. It wasn't uncommon to walk in to the gym and see me taking whippers off various walls for a greater part of the evening.

The best way to get your partner involved, is to pick your partner based upon the principle you happen to be working on that day. If I'm working on climbing until I fall, I get the owner of one of gyms I go to - Peter - to belay me. If you call for take, Peter always feeds out slack to you. Peter is a bit of an old school eastern European sport-climber. You climb until the route spits you off.

If I'm working a route outside, I let my belayer know my intentions on that climb before I start up. I don't go into the principles, but I explain that I'm climbing until I fall, or I'm gunning for the redpoint, etc. Often, I'll point out a particular problem area on the route, (i.e., remind me to breath or relax there) or particular dangers they should be aware of. I basically outline what I want them to remind me to focus on in case I forget. Usually I pick one thing, something as simple as "remind me not to hold my breath." I find that I learn much more during my climbing if I have a conversation ahead of time with my belayer, as opposed to just charging up the route.


Dawn,

You have a good point. Either make things clear ahead of time, or make sure you know your climber's state of mind before subjecting them to a refusal.

- Evan


robmcc


Nov 5, 2003, 8:21 AM
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In reply to:
So you see how much cooperation I'm getting.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm hearing a lot of "My partner sucks." Get a new one? I'm not trying to be unsympathetic, I have 2 regular climbing partners who are nothing short of perfect. Maybe well beyond perfect. Certainly what I get from them is well beyond what I think I have any right to expect.

But really, maybe you're just not climbing with someone who suits your personal style and goals.


dalguard


Nov 5, 2003, 8:34 AM
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No, no. I'm not trying to say that my partner sucks. He's great actually just not necessarily in tune with this Warrior's Way thing. Since I'm trying to learn to love climbing again I can't see how ditching my favorite climbing partner is going to make that happen.

And as far as him sometimes not taking when I say take, well, I guess that's in keeping with the Warrior's Way. I just don't like it. We've discussed it and I think he's clear now that it's important to me that I know that he'll do what I ask and not play mind games with me.


jt512


Nov 5, 2003, 9:34 AM
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Moderator's note: I've split off the posts relating to partner cooperation to another thread. Please post responses to that topic there, and continue to discuss "delay" here.

-Jay


on_sight_man


Nov 5, 2003, 2:11 PM
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In reply to:
And as far as him sometimes not taking when I say take, well, I guess that's in keeping with the Warrior's Way. I just don't like it. We've discussed it and I think he's clear now that it's important to me that I know that he'll do what I ask and not play mind games with me.

It sounds to me like he's not playing mind games with you. He's watching you play mind games with yourself.


arnoilgner


Nov 6, 2003, 7:57 PM
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Re: What are you doing to obtain cooperation from your partn [In reply to]
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What typically happens when we get up on a challenging climb is we fall into limiting habits, like grabbing draws, holding our breath, stopping, etc. Then, usually, when our partner sees us stalled out he/she yells up "go for it, you can do it."

When I'm preparing to climb I think about how the route will challenge me and what I need to do to rise to that challenge. Then I tell my partner to remind me of what I need to do, especially in specific spots, like cruxes.
Like if I tend to "give up" and not commit I tell my belayer to tell me to stay with my intention to climb...


lou_dale


Nov 7, 2003, 10:55 AM
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when dale and i went through the course with arno (thank you, arno, for having the courses).....we rec'd a small card that we keep with us.

during the class, key words were used that are printed ON that card and dale and i both use those words.

FOCUS

WITNESS

DELAY (or D & D)



after having been through the course, after having read the book (and continuing to read it actually) - we found that by using those words with each other, it really helps us while on a route.

sure helps better than somebody telling me to jump for it or try harder or work harder or even in some cases - what's wrong with you, you can do better than that........etc. those actually take away from me instead of adding to me.

so by using key words outlined in the book, i have found it places me back into the "classroom" and helps me realign my thinking in line with the principles.

thanks,

lou


iamthewallress


Nov 7, 2003, 11:05 AM
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Thanks, Lou. That's really helpful. In a stressful situation, the reminders need to be short. I find myself trying to mentally flip through the pages of the entire book. Maybe I'll write those words on the back of my hand/tape gloves next time.


vivalargo


Nov 12, 2003, 8:13 PM
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[quote="iamthewallress"][quote="dalguard"]

I've found that I don't respond well to that sort of tough love, and feel like once I've yelled "take" or "lower", I've made my choice. Delaying needs to happen a little earlier for me.

You've already decided the conditions that will contribute to your optimal performance, and you're sticking to them. "Responding" here sounds more like reacting, and you might be conditioned to raise your cackles when someone acts otherwise than the way you want. I struggled with that one for years, and still find it challenging when someone is abrasive. The illusion heere is that someone "out there" is creating my negative reaction, and it feels that way because it's spontaneous and mechanicaland involuntary. But I'm sourcing my reaction 100 percent, and that means I can stop reacting if I understand the reactionary process well enough (meaning, observe it happening in real time).

A "you can do it" when I'm starting to balk at a move can help immensely.

The "help" is still coming from "out there." How might you muster you own "help" from within, rather than reacting favorably from someone elses que?

JL


iamthewallress


Nov 13, 2003, 10:02 AM
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John...I think I see where you are coming from...I see being independently confident and unflappable by others as the ultimate place to be, even if my track record is just about nil for implementing this behavior.

If we are falling too quickly and automatically into our habitual behaviors before remembering to tell ourselves to delay, do you think that we should make recommendations to our partners as to how they can best help us to remember to delay (choosing to take, etc.) or do you think that the ultimate goal is best served if we personally take 100% responsibility for delaying and our subsequent reactions? Do you think that the "partner assist" is a crutch and an external influence that would ultimately get in the way of our own individual consciousness? If you think that it's useful to get our partners to help us delay, do you think that we should take that help however they offer it, or do you think that it's constructive to ask for certain types of help (or that our parnters avoid other things)?


jt512


Nov 13, 2003, 10:45 AM
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In reply to:
I yelled "take." However, my partner didn't "take," but instead suggested that I keep climbing... The delay gave time to reconsider my decision. I looked around and in fact figured out the move and executed it...

In reply to:
Todd and I have been arguing over this for years. I hate it when I say take and he won't do it.

In reply to:
I've found that I don't respond well to that sort of tough love, and feel like once I've yelled "take" or "lower", I've made my choice. Delaying needs to happen a little earlier for me.

I think I should clarify that when my partner didn't "take" it didn't feel like "tough love." Rather, I think he saw clearly that I didn't need to "take" there. I had, in fact, "jumped the gun" (ie, reacted habitually). In this case, the delay was an enlightening experience. I saw for the first time that my "taking" behavior was just a habit, and that I have choices.

-Jay


vivalargo


Nov 13, 2003, 3:56 PM
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Friends:

I think it is always positive to strive to take 100% responsibility for our actions and reactions and our conscious doings. So long as we expect someone else to do that job, we remain children. Once we start moving toward taking more responsibility, we move toward our real power. But this is anxious work for all of us, and that too needs to be responsibly accounted for. I try and remember that no one does this perfectly, that we effort towards "progress, not perfection." Perfection would mean we've finally done it all the way -- which would be the end of learning.

JL


boz84


Nov 13, 2003, 4:42 PM
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So, aside from external influences like your partner, what sort of internal devices have you used to gain a delay, thereby making it possible to find the problem and form a solution?


jt512


Nov 13, 2003, 6:00 PM
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In reply to:
So, aside from external influences like your partner, what sort of internal devices have you used to gain a delay, thereby making it possible to find the problem and form a solution?

Set the intention before heading up the route to observe your thoughts and, if you find yourself thinking "take," gently tell yourself, "no, I'm not going to take right now. I'm going to delay." Then, redirect your attention back to the process. Look for possibilities. Ask yourself what you can give to the effort, what you can do. You may find that you didn't really have to "take," that you could continue to climb. If so, what does that tell you about "taking"? Isn't it just a habitual reaction to the insecurity of climbing?

This leads to a contradiction. If you wanted to feel secure, then what the hell are you doing climbing at your limit!? It's at your limit! It's insecure by definition! If you wanted to feel secure, you'd have chosen a route well within your abilities, or maybe you'd have just gone hiking, or taken a nice drive in the country! So, apparently, we don't want to feel secure all the time we're climbing. We want to challenge ourselves with insecure moves and risks and see how we deal with them. What we're learning here with the WW, I think, is how to become more effective climbers while in the midst of the "chaos," the "risk," the "insecurity," or whatever you choose to call it. We choose insecurity, so let's embrace it, not run away from it.

-Jay


arnoilgner


Nov 19, 2003, 9:37 AM
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Yes Jay. We want to find comfort in the chaos. Meaning, our attention is emersed in doing anything that leads to a more efficient use of our energy, rather than attention drifting to that next comfort zone--like at the next pro/rest. Doing this helps us feel more comfortable while in the chaos because we aren't using up our energy as fast.

The belayer can help us be the Witness by understanding our intention for the effort. The belayer can simply say, "Jay, can you delay taking?" Or, "Be the witness. Can you delay." This way the belayer isn't doing tough love but rather helping us be the witness--reminding us to be the witness.
arno


arnoilgner


Nov 19, 2003, 9:44 AM
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Some of the words Lou is referring to are the action words listed at the end (usually) of each chapter.
Also, check out the very last exercise where you "put it all together." That should help.
arno


mrme


Jan 23, 2004, 9:46 PM
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i have a belayer that does not quite inspire most, he does not rope climb much because he is scared of heights. when i do climb with him it is bouldering (mostly) and i boulder (and rope climb) extremely well when it is me and him climbing. his technique to get me to climb harder is to tell me i am a sissy and i can't climb worth crap that there is never a snow balls chance in H@ll that i could be capable of the climb (i am sure you get the drift). this works for me though because i can block my ego out and except that i will not let him down because he does not expect i can do it in the first place. he is a great partner because he can lock onto a persons sensitivities and bring better performance out of them by making them face the sensitivities and realize they are who they are and climbing is fun.

i don't know if this really goes here or not , but i just wanted to brag about one of my climbing partners who knows what to say and when to say it.

some of the other people i climb with are hard to obtain cooperation from some people can not even be quiet no matter how many times you ask for silence. i don't like to be told you can do it ,you can do it , with out an acompening breath ...relax.... look for your feet...stuff that gets you focused on what your doing. it is amazing at how many people don't say that stuff and even more amazing at how many people will get mad or look at you weird when you ask them to not say good job and all that sh@t and tell me to remember my foot when i get to that position i just fail from. or to relax my grip from the first to the secound bolt.

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