These past months have been wonderful and hard at the same time. On one hand it is great to be back at the wall after 18 months without climbing at all. On the other hand it is hard to know that I can climb well, know the moves and the techniques, – and only be able to climb for a few minutes at a time, and simple climbing on top of this.
So I have been bound to find a different appreciation of climbing that I cannot remember having had before I stopped climbing almost two years ago.
In the mean time, I have been on a journey of self discovery along with massive client work, so I am becoming more aware of myself and the possibilities that I have mentally.
The state of Zen Climbing is thus becoming more important for me, since right now I can not reach the state by pushing myself physically under the roof or on hard pinchy routes.
Finding Zen in slow moves
Zen Climbing is about presence in the now. And pushing yourself to the limit will sometimes produce this state – almost as if it comes by it self. A full focus on every move, and a complete lack of thoughts to go, which allows for so much more sensing and physical presence.
So how can you produce this state “manually” while climbing without pushing yourself physically?
For me it has been about moving superslow. I climb so slowly that I have time to register details on every hold before I grab it. I touch the hold lightly before I decide where to hold it. While touching the hold, I sense it – how is it shaped, how rough is it, what colours does it have, where can I hold it? Only then do I hold it and move onto putting weight on it.
While doing this I keep my mind free from judging the hold. It has no “value” – good or bad – it is there to be held.