Zen Climbing

Climbing is a State of Mind

Zen Climbing Photo by ground.zero

It’s mental…

September 14th, 2009 by Rikke · No Comments · Uncategorized

I think I’ve always known that climbing is a “mental” sport, and at the same time I’m only beginning to realise and how true it is – and how it’s true.

Have you ever thought about what differentiates a great climb from a poor one? Or what exactly you did right, when you realise than in your last climb, all of a sudden you found yourself in “the zone” and had a fantastic climb in flow and in complete presence with the rock?

I regularly have “bad” climbs and even entire bad climbing sessions/days – so when I recently had a climb in complete flow, during a trip to Sweden, I asked myself just that question: what exactly did I do right? 

Actually I’ve asked myself this question a ton of times and usually get answers like “good technique” or “that route plays well to my climbing style” or the like.

But this time I got a different answer – one that I’m still working on fully describing, but am willing to venture a preliminary hypothesis on, and that I will test and refine in the coming weeks and perhaps months.

The hypothesis is, that during the climb I was unaware of everything but the rock. More particularly, I was unaware of myself and for once not judging or commenting my own climbing as I was in the middle of it. Instead my entire focus was on one move: the one move I was doing in that very moment.

If this hypothesis should turn out to be true, there’s a simple learning in it: that while my head is usually swamped with thoughts of how well or poorly I’m doing, all these thoughts take away the focus I need in order to climb well?!



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