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wa_hoo


Dec 22, 2004, 7:05 PM
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Biggest improvement!
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Okay - so the threads are old in here, and I've had the greatest leap in my mental climbing and wanted to share. I bet there are others that would enjoy sharing/reading too!

My leap has been in evaluating the true fear that is present and taking on the 'fear in my head'. I had no physical risk experiences as a child (I was a girl in a traditional family) and started climbing when I was nearly 36. When I started, I wouldn't go past the second step on a ladder for fear of heights.

I have fully taken on Arno's suggestion of evaluating the fear - if it's for a real risk, then assess and deal with the risk until you are comfortable or bail. If the risk is not real, remind myself what I know to be true, that I am safe and capable, and proceed with the learning experience.

So I can now boulder up to the max of 16' or so on easier routes I am confident on WITHOUT ANY BUTTERFLIES!! I'm so proud of myself! I also can easily determine when on a harder route if I want to continue or not.

If I'm not comfortable, I stop, re-evaluate, sometimes go up if my fear was based on old messages, etc. or I rest assured I did my best for where I am now and move on without regrets.

It's been so liberating! I love the RWW!! Let's hear your biggest result(s)!


eagleseyre


Dec 24, 2004, 11:28 AM
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Remembering my breath I focus. The breath becomes louder drowning out other noises and distractions, so loud I know others can hear it. I send.

Afterwards, the atmosphere around me changes. Other's too stop their usual bantering of what brand of shoe they use, how they like this rope or that one. Instead I saw others around me change as they too stopped holding their breath and took responsibility. Maybe they realized how silly and useless their whining sounded.

Keeping that breathing going has helped me relax and be able to keep it together. To move through challenges with a momentum. TC


dirtineye


Dec 24, 2004, 3:43 PM
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Thanks for giving a great forum a little kick start.

My Biggest improvements lately have been recovering lost skills, and somehow adding a few new ones.

WW methods help when you are trying to get something back that you have lost too. It's still one step at a time, focusing on the task at hand, and not being distracted that works.

Getting upset and thinking, "Man two years ago I ran up this thing and now I can't even get on it.", does NOT help, hahaha!


wa_hoo


Dec 25, 2004, 7:27 PM
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In reply to:
It's still one step at a time, focusing on the task at hand, and not being distracted that works.

Getting upset and thinking, "Man two years ago I ran up this thing and now I can't even get on it.", does NOT help, hahaha!

So how do you keep your spirits up when this happens? I am doing pretty well with going one step at a time and focusing on the daily growth, no matter the size. That helps a ton, but occasionally I still get frustrated with the big picture.


dirtineye


Dec 25, 2004, 10:31 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
It's still one step at a time, focusing on the task at hand, and not being distracted that works.

Getting upset and thinking, "Man two years ago I ran up this thing and now I can't even get on it.", does NOT help, hahaha!

So how do you keep your spirits up when this happens? I am doing pretty well with going one step at a time and focusing on the daily growth, no matter the size. That helps a ton, but occasionally I still get frustrated with the big picture.

What is the big picture? Maybe your big picture is too big.

Why don't you try limiting your big picture to a few attainable goals, and set a reasonable time for you to achieve them, and then stop worrying about anything but ," Am I enjoying climbing?" until that time has passed?

At the end of the period, review your progress, and compare how you are then to how you were a few weeks or however long ago it was that you started on these quests.

As for your spirits, for me, just about any day climbing is better than a day not climbing, even if I have a poor day skill wise or achievement wise, because I just like climbing so much that it's fun almost no matter what.

Even if I drag myself out to the boulderfield in a blue funk feeling physically like crap and cant pull much of anything, I still can do some climbing, and see smoe friends, and meet some new people. ( At least for me, I find that I almost always meet nice people when I go climbing (if I'm climbing around other people at all). Only a couple of times ever have I met any jerks, only two or three ever.)



CLIMBING IS FUN. IF you are not having fun climbing, see if you can figure out why not, and do something about that.

Boiled down, stay in the moment. Forget the big picture. Climb more, worry less. I have more trouble with my spirits when I am not climbing than when I am climbing haha. Guess that measn I should climb more.

Hope that doesn't sound too shlockey.


iamthewallress


Dec 26, 2004, 3:47 PM
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I've been a lot more detached from my climbing performance the last year...equating my climbing performance to my self-worth much less.

I've been more open to what is going on in front of my face on the rock and less stuck on what I expected the climb to be like.

I've been happier to train at whatever level is appropriate for the skills that I'm trying to learn and less hung up on whether or not I'm acheiving a certain level.


I've been getting over my mental blocks with certain types of moves...First by trainging on TR and easier leads to do the techniques better and often by seeing that a certain scarey move (from my mental list of moves that I don't like to do) will be required and then deciding long before I get to the commitment point that I will commit. I've even layed it back well above gear this season...more than once. Who says there are no miracles? I've largely pretended that slab climbing doesn't exist, but I'm gonna work on that one this winter too.

I'm been psyched for succeeding at things which are nominal easy but for me were hard without those old ugly feelings about how it was 'supposed' to feel.

In a nutshell...My greatest improvement has been being a lot more relaxed and having a lot more fun on the rock. The biproduct is that I'm climbing harder and on a wider range of terrain which is cool above all because it means I have more options than I did last year.


wa_hoo


Dec 26, 2004, 6:48 PM
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In reply to:
In a nutshell...My greatest improvement has been being a lot more relaxed and having a lot more fun on the rock. The biproduct is that I'm climbing harder and on a wider range of terrain which is cool above all because it means I have more options than I did last year.

I think this is key - dirtineye said it too. Just enjoy the ride. Congrats on coming so far! I feel I've grown tons with the fear thing, which I am proud of. I think I've been feeling old, like I have to hurry - for what I'm not sure. I guess after read your responses I am reminded that we often do our best when we're just having fun and enjoying climbing. Thanks.


salathiel


Jan 9, 2005, 7:34 PM
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I have been away from climbing for the longest period since I started almost five years ago. I have not tied into a rope since August. I will be going to Josh in two weeks, and am really excited to start over again, I am going to focus on having fun and breathing when I get nervous, and when I am not nervous.

I am re-reading the warrior's way, alng with related material, ald will be signing up for a course when I get back from J-tree. I think it is a matter of keeping a light focus on what you love about the sport. Improvement is inside, not in the numbers. I plan to have more fun and learn more about myself this time around, and not be so hung up on the grades.

I think this may have nothing to do with the original post, and I apologize.

Blur


dirtineye


Jan 9, 2005, 8:24 PM
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In reply to:
I have been away from climbing for the longest period since I started almost five years ago. I have not tied into a rope since August. I will be going to Josh in two weeks, and am really excited to start over again, I am going to focus on having fun and breathing when I get nervous, and when I am not nervous.

I am re-reading the warrior's way, alng with related material, ald will be signing up for a course when I get back from J-tree. I think it is a matter of keeping a light focus on what you love about the sport. Improvement is inside, not in the numbers. I plan to have more fun and learn more about myself this time around, and not be so hung up on the grades.

I think this may have nothing to do with the original post, and I apologize.

Blur

Most people would make a big improvement if they could remember to keep breathing in a tough section. Forgeting the grades and climbing would also be an improvement, so your post fits here.


greenmachineman7


Feb 8, 2005, 12:05 PM
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Heh. My biggest improvement as of late was actually just forcing myself to brave the cold and get myself back out on the rock, even just for bouldering, since most of the rock around here is still ICE!

-Tom


wa_hoo


Feb 8, 2005, 1:53 PM
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I am so happy to still be moving ahead with fear issues. The RWW approach has been so valuable. I am willing to jump for stuff on TR and when bouldering (which is big for the huge chicken I started out as) and am now able to trust my feet on tiny edges and even rotate my feet as I'm standing to get in a good spot for the next move.

I also started leading stuff I'm not 100% sure on and pushing a little farther - not much yet, but I'm proud I'm making progress.


wonderwoman


Feb 9, 2005, 10:45 AM
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I am able to forgive myself when I don't finish something. I don't look at it as a failure anymore or as a precedent that's going to determine how I'm going to climb for the rest of the day. I just accept it and set my next goal.

I still hear my head-voice say 'Don't Fall' but I tell myself that I can keep going. And I keep going! And if I focus on my breath I feel that I have more energy to keep going.


xuehui


Oct 9, 2005, 7:00 AM
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The RWW have helped me plenty. I started reading the book and it actually made me evaluate myself and why my progress is so slow. After reading the book..... I started working on my fears and trying to get through them. My progress was slow at first but just yesterday I improved so much that I cannot believe myself. Instead of thinking about falling now...I just climb......and amazing what progress that does. My husband could not believe how well I climbed.

I think our mental state has so much to do with climbing..of course physical is important too. but RWW is definitely a great book to read and rock climbing. definitely builds character.....!


_fiend_


Nov 17, 2005, 3:39 AM
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My biggest improvements haven't been "permanent" improvements - climbing has been a dizzying (nauseating?) rollercoaster of ups and downs, of ecstatic heights and crushing lows - they have been been parts of the ups on that rollercoaster, temporary but noticable boosts.

Things that have caused the biggest improvements for me:

Realising that in sport climbing you can climb a lot quicker and it's quite easy to clip bolts and move on, compared to trad - enabled me to actually climb sport climbs with some committment and go for it, made a noticable difference in how I approached them. Fairly long lasting improvement actually.

Focusing very clearly on improving, analysing my climbing scientifically, and working out plans to improve - this worked very well for several months, I made a general committment to improving and focused on all aspects of my climbing to do so, and managed to lead quite a few routes with good confidence. Unfortunately shut down after witnessing a bad accident.

Bouldering a lot to get used to the technicalities of specific rock types - went along with the above, enabled me to feel more confident leading on gritstone as I was used to the rock. Unfortunately shut down by time off climbing in general and particularly that rock type.

Doing some falling practice after reading RWW - got me more used to falling - practised down the wall and was able to go and lead a couple of fairly challenging trad routes with a reasonable confidence about the fall potential. Unfortunately shut down by injury and time off climbing.

I'm going to try to have a big improvement soon, probably by working on my mindstate using RWW methods, but also probably combined with trying to bring together all I've learnt in the last few years... :idea:


arnoilgner


Nov 18, 2005, 6:57 AM
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Hello fiend,
Your comment below:

"I'm going to try to have a big improvement soon, probably by working on my mind-state using RWW methods, but also probably combined with trying to bring together all I've learnt in the last few years..."

Don't try to have a big improvement. Rather, keep your primary focus on the latter part of what you said: working on your mind-state and bringing together your learning. Too often we don't value the learning process and get too attached to improving and achieving grades. Attention must be focused intently on learning. Use end-result goals as tests of how well you learned the mind-state skills. Stay curious. Our attention follows our curiosity.
best,
arno


_fiend_


Dec 21, 2005, 2:27 PM
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Hi yeah, sorry, I am getting two things muddled up there.

At the time of that last post, I was anticipating a big improvement in my general standard, because I'd been injured and had only recently got back into climbing. Thus, I naturally progressed fairly rapidly back towards my previous plateau - and in general had a big improvement (apart from trad gritstone leading :evil: ). That's one aspect and not really related to RWW.

The other aspect, yes it is more as you suggest, focusing on improving my mind-state. This may or may not correlate to any current improvements in my actual standard - which doesn't matter yet*. This aspect is about applying RWW methods AND the various things I've learnt in recent years, hopefully meshing them together somewhat.

* In fact at the moment I've been quite shit at the trad leading I've been doing, so pushing myself in that direction doesn't feel right yet.


harmonydoc


Dec 21, 2005, 3:51 PM
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Really enjoyed RWW, have read through once but need to read again and re-digest parts of it.

I got serious about climbing only about 6 months ago. My strength has improved quite a bit and I'm beginning to program in some technique. One thing that has really helped me improve is that instead of stopping and getting mentally stressed out when I find myself in a body position that feels uncomfortable or tenuous, I try to instead focus on the possibilities for moving through the sequence, then do my best execute the moves. Sometimes I fall, but sometimes I don't! If I fall in the process of honestly attempting a move, I've learned a lot more about what I have to do to sucessfully execute it next time than if I fall while overgripping in an awkward position without any real attempt at upward motion. Even though externally the two falls might not look very different, internally the first type of fall is not a "failure", since I have learned something from it, while the second type of fall just leaves me feeling frustrated/unhappy. Also, every time I do successfully move through a sequence that my mind was previously telling me was awkward/difficult, it creates/reinforces the idea that the next time I am in a similar position I will be able to execute the moves sucessfully.

Caveat: I've done the above mainly on TR - given my NOOBishness I haven't wanted to push the gear placement skills and climbing skills at the same time on lead (I've only led easy stuff so far). I'll get there eventually, though.


arnoilgner


Dec 28, 2005, 12:39 PM
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Hi harmonydoc

Seems like you are beginning the process of practice quite nicely. Keep it up. When progressing to lead climbing I think you'll find it more difficult to practice so you may need some falling practice. Practice in small increments.

arno


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