Growing up I was always eager to be adventurous and to push boundaries to the next level. One of those things I enjoy was climbing the pine trees or getting stuck in awkward places such as under the house or on top of the house. I’ll call them the adventures of a country boy. Living in a rural area any place could turn into unlimited fun.
One of the recent hobbies that I’ve come to enjoy over the past couple of years has been rock climbing. I have been indoor rock climbing for about three and a half years and I’m hoping to expand to outdoor rock climbing soon. Each time I approach the climbing wall two thoughts pass through your mind.
First thought “wow this is a big wall” and the second thought” which path should I take”
As you approach climbing the wall two things happen your body.
The first: Your body starts to tense up. Second: your mind wondering all kind of thoughts.Starting from the bottom and climbing higher the more pressure you put on yourself and on your body. The pressure is a combination of things like gravity is pulling you and the stress your muscles.
When I first began climbing, I thought it was an impossible test to make it to the top. For a long time, I had a fear of heights, a fear of embarrassment and how to be able to live down falling. I tried to start out small but I realized even the smallest climb was work but I was able to complete climb with ease. I tried to go up another level and eventually I made it to one of the hardest climbs. That day, I experienced the three different levels of endurance of beginner, intermediate and advanced. They call it advanced for a good reason.
If you ever wanted to do rock climbing, each hand and foot holds are not the same. Some are much bigger than others and some are so much smaller than others. On the course, some hand and foot holds can fit your entire hand and some only fit two fingers put together. The little ones are scary ones.
While you are on the wall, you go into strategy mode trying to think which way to go. In the middle of going up the climb, you realize that your original plan goes out the door so now you as you’re at a point where rely on your next steps on the wall. Your goal is not to reach the top rather than your goal is to overcome challenges and to enjoy each success as you progress.
You start to realize that your entire body has to work in coordination with your arms and your legs in order to keep moving up. With all muscles working together you are constantly making sure your body weight is shifting. Having the pressure of your on your toes, legs, and arms everything will play a part even your breathing. While you’re on the wall at the point of exhaustion, your body will hurt and you don’t know which way to go. Often times looking in the wrong direction can shake your confidence to the core. You start to doubt yourself on something that looked so easy to do. Your mind can have you thinking about being suspended about 50 feet or more in the air. This is the point where have to keep going up and down is not an option.
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of beginner rock climbers make is looking down. This is the crucial point of completing the climb. A person realizes how far they have come off the ground and looks to see how far they have left to reach the top. This is where most people get stuck and can’t move anymore and plays a big role in for them to keep going because battle internally if they should give up or keep going.
I remember taking one of my friends who wanted to try to rock climbing out. I gave them some wise advice to take your time and most importantly do not look down and keep moving. As my friend climb to the top, he got three-fourths of the way up and started to question himself. On the ground I know he’s at the point of mentally thinking too much. I noticed him in his body language change and he started to tense up.
Before going up, you tie into one end of the rope and the other end of the rope is held by an instructor called a belayer. The job of the belayer is to manage the rope to catch you in case of a fall. The belayer instructors also help coach you to your next move. You hear the words of people shouting from below as you scale the wall. Keep going you almost there, you got this, one more step one more, one more, one more. The problem is that when you are suspended 40 feet off the ground everyone seems muffled talking to you. Your mind is going everywhere because you have to center your mind and focus on how your body feels also understand what’s your next step.
Just as he made a few feet of progress, he did the thing I told him not to do which was look down. His face showed all his emotions and he tried to look up to see how far he still had to go. He didn’t make it up the first time because he gave up but as he came down the instructor and I gave him some advice to keep looking up and each time he had to continue to keep looking upon his second and third try on the wall, he managed to reach the top. The excitement on his face and his confidence shot through the roof. You could also see the release of emotions of accomplishment that he has tackle something that he thought he couldn’t do after the first time.
I’ll bring this in reference to whatever state you are in a life transition. Keep looking up and keep moving forward making progress. When you become stale your body becomes complacent and in familiarity then you won’t continue progressing.
If you are in transition in life, here’s some advice.
Take a look transition as being on the ground before getting ready to climb a wall. The view from the top of the rock is different from the view from the ground. A lot of people think being on the top is easy and many often ask a how did you get to the top.
Most have said through hard work, sacrifices, loneliness and long nights, etc. I would say all those things are the rocks/ little nuggets holds on a rock climbing wall. When you start to transition it seems easy, but as time goes on easy holds become the difficult holds. These difficult holds one will require you to test your body. It will cause you to cause you to shift your weight, test inner strength and mental capacity. Your mindset has to ship just keep moving at your own pace. I have seen other dive head first at the pace of others and eventually burn out. You will never know what the other person had to endure to get to their current pace. If you stay at your own pace you will realize that once on the accomplish one step then you can use it as a footstool to your next level.
There will be times where you will have to pull yourself up, you will feel uncomfortable
Each time as you climb remember those steps that you had to go through to get to the top. Don’t get too complacent once you reach the top always set another goal. Keep pushing yourself because you will have others on the ground looking at you climb. Not everyone on the ground will be encouraging you to keep going but waiting for you to slip up or quit. You will have others are those will keep encouraging you and believes in you. Those are the people who help carry some of your weight so that you don’t fall off. If you slip these are the people who will keep you going.
IN THE END KEEP MOVING
Ask yourself these questions:
What are your strong points?
In rock climbing your legs are stronger than your arms, so focus on using your strengths and recognize your weaknesses.
Why do I want to do this?
Taking time to learn what are the reasons that you do things will help you find success more quickly.
Who has done this before?
Watch more experienced people in life to learn their techniques, but don’t expect to be able to replicate them right away.