I listened with wonder as he described his dreams. Climbing in Utah, Colorado, Texas.
"This is amazing, exciting." I said, as I silently thought, how? What if the car breaks down, you run out of money?
Turns out I became apart of that dream it became a reality, along with some of my worries. But it happened.
'How' stops most of us from dreaming big.
Give yourself a gift this Christmas; don't let 'how' limit your dreams for 2018. Dream big, get excited and tenacious, do the things that will help support the dream and just maybe the dream will come true.
If you need help with the strategy... sign up for the Goal setting session Sunday December 17, 10 am - 12 pm. email: email@example.com
Usually the answer to that question is no. But in the event that the answer is yes, ask yourself whether there is anything helpful to you in believing, thinking, being stressed about the thought? Here, the answer is definitely NO.
Repeat as often as necessary. With as many stressful thoughts as necessary. Check out Byron Katie... The Work.com
With a background in anatomy and physiology and an insatiable curiosity to understand the challenges I experienced when climbing, I eventually came to understand that the way I was climbing - doing multiple pull-ups - was preventing the development of my grip strength. I was also using more of the flexor muscles in my forearms, than the extensors and this muscle imbalance was causing the tendonitis. Fortunately, I knew how to develop the muscles I needed and I learned how to climb differently. Within a few weeks, I was able to get back to climbing at my best.
What would your performance look like if you climbed with better technique?
I recently learned how frightfully easy it is to become a coach. My experience as a coach says it is much harder to be one.
Coaches can help you understand your purpose. Coaches can offer tools and resources, but the client must bring the courage and the effort, the purpose and the direction.
Coaches must surrender their own hopes and dreams for a client, letting go of all of these elements and merely hold the space for the client's journey to unfold.
If you are looking for a little help finding your purpose & direction, just connect.
Climbing is Yoga.
Climbing can be the desire to fully express oneself freely and fully. Climbing can be to move beyond how one is defined. To move with clarity, not because it matters to anyone other than oneself.
When climbing is about winning, being THE best, the grade or the money, it ceases to be like Yoga and becomes constricted even when grades are increasing.
When Yoga becomes about deepest expression of a pose, handstand and a workout... it too stops being about Yoga. Freedom. It is constricted by the desire to be THE best.
"Free your mind and the rest will follow."
The best climbers know you cannot force a route. You cannot force success.
First, you learn the flow of the movement and you go with it.
If the only tool you have is a front step or a pull-up, the flow will be disrupted and you will work very hard to overcome, when perhaps, by moving with the direction of holds, it would have been less struggle and fewer falls.
Need coaching? Just send me a message.
If you do not use the wave of extension, you often push through the foot and leg to stand as you pull with the arm. The pull with the arm actually begins to pull weight off the feet and load the arms with more of your body weight. This means your upper arms, grip and back and shoulders have to work harder.
Don't believe me - try campussing and see if it is harder than using feet. Or try doing pull ups without any movement through the torso - just a straight arm pull. Then allow the movement to flow through the body as you pull up.
In my book, Climbing Your Best, published in 2001, I wrote the following about the wave of extension...
" A key part of efficiency in movement is maintaining the momentum carried from one hold to the next."
How to Practice
One of the best practices to make you practice this skill is to climb with straight arms in slow motion.
Best not to follow a route and use really good handholds as you try this initially. If your gym doesn't have enough hold options, try this on easy for you routes. Open the foothold options because you will need to try to find balance as you climb through slow motion. When I ask for straight arms, what I mean is that as the left arm reaches, the right arm is relatively straight. And vice versa. In slow motion, you will notice you need to use your core to stay close to the wall. Try it. Send your questions, I would love to hear from you.
Sunshine, beauty. The smell of the woods and earth.
She sits with her shoes, her love.
She plans and calculates. Remembering the moves.
Remembering the effort.
Calm, Calculating, Safe
She prepares and smiles.
He smiles back.
The rock moves beneath her tips, her toes. This is the move.
The top is only the beginning
It is done and yet just started.
Possibility has awoken.
I will admit I may not be much of a poet, but within these few lines are the WHY of my climbing. This poem describes what I love about about and the elements that inspire me to be my best climbing self. Nature, Remembering or rehearsing, sense of safety and assurance, movement, the adventure of what's possible.
So when I go climbing with you, if some of these things are missing, I find it super hard to be inspired. I will climb and probably have fun, but I won't be my best. I won't shine. I definitely won't train. These are the qualities that ignite my fire; or in physiology speak, give me that dopamine rush that allow me to try hard. Actually, to try my best.
We all have our own reasons, our own WHY. If you want to know yours, before you write your own poem, sit still and just focus on breathing. Just watch breath as it moves in through the nostrils and out again. Take a few moments and then recall a climbing experience that you might recall a peak experience. Recall every detail you can. You may find your mind brings forth more than one experience, that is fine. Just relive, remember as much of the experience as you can. Feel it, smell it, be there again.
Then write your poem.
Once you write it, maybe walk away for a while. Your brain maybe telling you it's a terrible poem... that's okay. No one else needs to read it. Trust that your head got out of the way and a deeper part of you, your heart or your subconscious knew what to write.
When you re-read your poem, look for the phrases, the words that resonate - that charge you. Or excite you. These words tell you about your why. Then if you bring these qualities to your regular climbing sessions and you will enjoy it even more. Pretty simple.
Last weekend, I attended a competition with the youth team participants. Each in turn tried a variety of routes with varying degree of success and failure. For all there was frustration, which for most led to distraction. They quickly moved on to a different problem. Interestingly, for a particular individual that frustration just lead to more focus. As I watched his effort increase and his focus remain strong, pointed out to this young man that this was his super power.
We all have superpowers. Most of us do not want to acknowledge or have not even considered what our own superpower might be. What if we were wrong and isn't it a little arrogant? It is an asset to understand it. When you know it, and you use it, climbing not only can become more successful, it can be more fun.
How can you figure out what your strengths? Ask yourself these questions and see if something resonates.
Think of a time when you were climbing at your best. Think about a time when you seemed to be on your A game. The movement you had seemed precise and the holds seemed relatively easy to hold, and yet, it was a route that was challenging for you. Recognize that moment of feeling successful.
1. What led you to that moment?
2. What obstacles did you have to overcome?
3. What was the main challenge for you in being successful on that route?
4. What made the successful attempt successful?
5. What did you do differently on the successful go that you could not do on the other tries?
Take time to actually write down the answers in full detail. Or if you prefer just write a poem about the successful attempt. Yup a poem. And yes, describe the version of you that was able to overcome.
Once you have that paragraphs or the poem, look for the key words that inspire you, that make you take notice in what you wrote and highlight them or underline them. These words hint at your super power. Let's say you have the words focused, determined, calm. Then you are your best when you bring these qualities forward.
Still not sure... book a free 30 min coaching call and see if you get more clarity.
Many years of coaching many different personalities has taught me a few things. Firstly, that climbers come in all shapes and sizes AND there is no PERFECT size or shape. Secondly, many climbers want to get better even though they may each come with different preferences and personalities. There is a wonderful read by Dr. Stuart Brown on Play and the Way it Shapes the Brain. Not into reading, you can check out the TED Talk. Dr Brown proposes we all have a play profile. Got me to thinking about the climbing personalities I have met so just to have a little fun, I have characterized some climbing characters for you. As you read through, perhaps you will have one description stand out more than another. Perhaps there is a little bit of all of them in you. Either way, I hope you find the tips helpful to maximizing your performance.