Day 17, Hand(stands) for Quinn

QuinnRisk is part of climbing. Pushing ones limits in climbing can come with increasing risks. These risks can kill or seriously maim a person, yet it doesn’t stop someone from setting ambitious goals. Mostly the life or death risks come from those taking the boldest challenges. At that level, in my opinion, success comes with a bit of luck, yet that doesn’t stop people from striving to be faster, bolder, smarter, etc and it doesn’t stop people from wanting to see them try.Β  People should follow their passions and if something tragic happens, we as a community should step up to support them, just as we were doing before something went awry.

This blog is short because the website describing the Hand(stands) for Quinn says it all. Quinn is an example of an accomplished climber, trying to push her limits and something going terribly wrong. She’s now paralyzed from the waist down and is looking at a long road of rehabilitation. Visit the site to learn more about her and even if you can’t join the event, consider donating to her cause.

Disclaimer: WordPress may include ads, which I do not endorse, to various blogs following posts.

Posted in Climbing, Writings | Leave a comment

Day 16, something bigger than you

KilimanjaroSometimes I feel like life is going by quickly and I can’t find a pause button to get a grip on things. I do my best but it’s still not good enough. When this happens, it can lead to a downward spiral of feelings and thoughts of incompetence, impatience, lack of motivation from feeling overwhelmed, etc. When the pressure doesn’t ease up, the spiral can be magnified and if I am focusing too much on myself, I lose sight of everything else. Taking the focus off of myself and putting it onto something bigger than me helps to elevate my mood and inspire me to take action when I otherwise might not have.

For instance, these blog posts. Today I just wanted to crawl into bed and be done with the day, but I have this blog post. Some might say it’s ok to skip it; it’s ok because it’s my own self imposed challenge, or I shouldn’t be expected to write every day if I am not up for it. All of those notions defeat the purpose of what I am trying to do.

In life, it’s easy to just go along with what is happening in front of you. But, when you set a goal or in this case a challenge, there’s suddenly something very committing about it. Sticking to it, making it happen, is bigger than me. It’s a goal I’ve put out into the world and committed to doing and by doing it, I will learn something about myself and maybe you, too.

I could have ignored this commitment today and the world would not have cared, but I would have. I would have known that I let myself down and it would only make it easier to do in the future. These small scenarios portray what can happen on a larger scale as well. Instead of succumbing to the desire to crawl away, I remembered the reason I set this challenge for myself: to break this dry spell, to be brave and put myself out into the world no matter how I feel or think in the moment and no matter who is reading, and to inspire others to find their own voice and live to their maximum potential.

As soon as I reminded myself of the bigger picture and made this moment bigger than myself, that’s when I sat down to write. Too often we forget to do this by becoming overly consumed by our own lives. I see people stuck, depressed, wavering, and even lifeless.Β If you ever find yourself in this position, find a bigger purpose than yourself. Create one if you have to, like this blog challenge. Simply start looking beyond yourself and you will find the inspiration you need to get out into the world and live life to its fullest.

Disclaimer: WordPress may include ads, which I do not endorse, to various blogs following posts.

Posted in Musings, Writings | Leave a comment

Day 15, The little things in climbing

IMG_5462Sometimes in my coaching or when I’m seeking coaching for myself, I (like my clients) want the revelation that will unlock their climbing. It’s like we are searching for an epiphany about ourselves, something we have overlooked or simply haven’t grasped well. Over time what I have learned is that there is no quick fix, magic revelation, or technique that will propel someone forward. It’s usually the little things that can add up to a breakthrough.Β Some of the biggest gains can be had after focusing on the little things, a little over time.

When I leave a prescription for someone that doesn’t feel magnitudes in volume or depth, I worry they won’t appreciate what they are about to learn.Β  This doesn’t often apply to a beginner who has a lesson at every turn, but for the person who is experienced and been climbing for a long time, it’s hard to imagine that you need to go back to fundamentals.

Revisiting fundamentals became clear to me some years ago when I was teaching a Climb Like a Girl clinic for the Red Rock Rendezvous (I won’t be there this year unless I’ve hindered my chance to participate in US Nationals for Sport Climbing). I usually do the clinic on this 100′ slab climb called Ultraman. It’s an amazing climb and unfortunately, it has a powerful start for a slab climb…oh and it’s mega run out in places. But, let’s keep focus on the technique part of that climb.

Some years ago, I was teaching slab climbing on this route. It was an all day clinic for both days of the event. Then, they changed it such that I was teaching 4 clinics on that route over the course of the weekend. My initial thought was “how boring” but then I realized, after spending all of that time focused on footwork that my footwork after the clinic was way more effective than I had realized prior. This experience was transformative in the way I think about fundamentals in climbing today.

I firmly believe no matter how experienced and proficient you think you are in climbing, there is always room to improve–layers to peel back and explore or reconsider. Spend some time working on fundamentals and experience immediate shifts in your climbing. Gradually, the shifts should translate into big gains like actualizing new grades, new strengths, or new efficiencies.

Disclaimer: WordPress may include ads, which I do not endorse, to various blogs following posts.

Posted in Climbing, Training, Writings | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment