Thursday, 30 April 2009

Fear of falling

I am scared of falling. Utterly completely "handbrake ON" "simply can't do this" terrified of falling AND of getting in any situation where I might fall or might be so committed falling might be an option. This is safe falls onto good gear on clear terrain, BTW. Not terrified all the time, but enough of the time to confirm it's my default state. I've got side-stepped this fear on many occasions, almost always by cunning, tactics, working things out optimally, and generally stacking the odds so far in my favour that falling simply doesn't feel like an option.

However it is still an issue - no, THE issue - that holds me back the most, holds me back from the most climbing pleasure. A "lack of committment" as I once described it is simply a fear of committing to a possible-falling situation....a "fear of ending up unable to place/clip protection" is simply a fear of of falling onto the previous protection. I can committ quite well on moves to a big ledge or bomber gear slot!

Some might say "this happens to everyone". Well, aside from that being factually wrong, I'm not interested in everyone. I'm interested in my climbing, what I can do to progress, and getting the most pleasure out of it. The most pleasure will come from being less scared of falling and being able to enjoy inspiring high quality climbs without being held back from actually climbing them. This is not rocket science and I've been aware of it for many years, nevertheless that awareness ebbs and flows and it is quite clear at the moment that I need to, and would like to, keep trying to deal with this issue.

Thus, I sentence myself, for my own good, to falling practise each and every time I go to the climbing wall. This - as intimidating as it is to me - has helped before (another way I managed to , well, not side-step it, but actually tackle it) and I expect it will work again. Thus, a plan for progress.

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