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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 2 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 49
Author
Mind games, visualisation & being in the 'zone'.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
15/12/2004
5:40:13 PM
On 15/12/2004 butter_fingers wrote:
>uhh, m8, were you a5?
Yeah.
The grade is the same, only its the Aussie version now.

Nick Kaz
15/12/2004
9:31:01 PM
On 15/12/2004 M8iswhereitsat wrote:
>The grade is the same, only its the Aussie version now.

Sorta like Russell Coight, eh?

AlanD
15/12/2004
10:17:58 PM
On 10/12/2004 M8iswhereitsat wrote:
>~"Absence of thought as the doctrine means not to be carried away by thought
>in the process of thought, not to be defiled by external objects, to be
>in thought but to be devoid of thought."~
>-The Tao of Jeet Kun Do, Lee.
>
There was a series of books written along a similar line called the "The Inner Game of" by Timothy Gallwey. The ones I read were about Tennis and Golf, but in reality they had little to do with a specific sport, but lots to do about a training your mind. Separating the highs and lows in your achievements into a more analytical process about why some worked or didn't work (self coach), whilst working to overtrain the body to do a move or series of movements until they become the automatic instinctive move or movement. The result is that you do an activity without thought. Although I haven't delibrately tried this process for climbing, I suspect it's would work extremely well, as it does for sailing.

Kris
17/12/2004
10:49:40 AM
That's the great thing about climbing is that it forces you to be in the moment, if you're off with the fairies you really will be off quick smart. I guess it must be really important in trad climbing to stay in the moment

Salamander
17/12/2004
1:40:51 PM
I totally get that, it's a feeling that I rarely get elsewhere. Most sports you just kind of let yourself go, like skiing where you just kick back and relax. Climbing's different, it can be mentally as well as physically taxing

mousey
17/12/2004
7:00:01 PM
cant speak for skiing, but ive had some pretty mentally taxing moments on asnowboard!! i think its more a matter of how you approach it...(ie. you can have an easy day at the crag, or you can up the ante to somethingreally intense....you can stay on the blue runs, or you can commit to throwin down off the massive backcountry booter...)
andrew coe
21/12/2004
5:26:36 AM
On 17/12/2004 Mighty Mouse wrote:
>cant speak for skiing, but ive had some pretty mentally taxing moments
>on asnowboard!! i think its more a matter of how you approach it...(ie.
>you can have an easy day at the crag, or you can up the ante to somethingreally
>intense....you can stay on the blue runs, or you can commit to throwin
>down off the massive backcountry booter...)

Booter. Is that the same as a kicker?

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
22/12/2004
10:57:58 AM
On 15/12/2004 Nick Kaz wrote:
>On 15/12/2004 M8iswhereitsat wrote:
>>The grade is the same, only its the Aussie version now.
>
>Sorta like Russell Coight, eh?

Who is Russell Coight ? (This question shows my ignorance is diverse!)

AlanD
>until they become the automatic instinctive move or movement. The result is that you do an activity without thought.

I see how this would make one technically proficient, but I wonder at what kind of experience we are having if we 'divorce the mind' by such means ?

Kris
>it must be really important in trad climbing to stay in the moment

Perhaps, but I find the ability to 'regroup' (focus) the mind, especially after making an error of judgement or action is more important.
I constantly marvel how easy it is to make silly mistakes in climbing.
There must be hundreds of mistakes made every weekend by climbers (worldwide?) generally, but fortunately %99.9 of them do not have dire consequence.

Salamander
>Climbing's different, it can be mentally as well as physically taxing

I think many other adventure sports have heavy duty mental components also, but for me I find climbing has an extended (mental) timeframe by comparison to say compressing the 'moment' into a drop down a big wave face; freefall parachuting etc.
... Have never skied at a high standard so cannot comment on negotiating a gnarly couloir (sp?)
Goodvibes
22/12/2004
12:02:53 PM
Sure climbing has a huge mental aspect involved but as M8 pointed out it is not the only activity that does. Just thought I would point out that in surfing big waves (at least paddle in) it is not just about riding the wave. You have to be switched on the whole time you are out there, paddling out, trying to locate and stay in the take off zone, trying to avoid getting caught in by bomb sets, forcing yourself to stand your ground and wait as a huge set is approaching and turing around and taking off. Trying to stay calm as a huge set breaks right in front of you and puts you through the whole wash cycle before you grab a few quick breaths and get pummelled by the next ones can be extremely hard but as in climbing a scary route, absolutely essential as panicking can have some pretty scary consequences.

Whilst there may be moments of relaxation it is usually a pretty intense experience for the whole session and is only over when you are standing on the dry sand, and fu#$ doesn't that come as a relief sometimes.

I guess you could compare it to climbing a long, scary, multi pitch route with little option of bailing.





IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
22/12/2004
12:15:10 PM
On 22/12/2004 muncher wrote:
>Sure climbing has a huge mental aspect involved but as M8 pointed out it
>is not the only activity that does. Just thought I would point out that
>in surfing big waves (at least paddle in) it is not just about riding the
>wave. You have to (snip)
>Whilst there may be moments of relaxation it is usually a pretty intense
>experience for the whole session and is only over when you are standing
>on the dry sand, and fu#$ doesn't that come as a relief sometimes.
>
>I guess you could compare it to climbing a long, scary, multi pitch route
>with little option of bailing.

I have done both (at a level some would consider foolish).
They are similar in some ways, but completely different in others.

Due to having more experience in the surf (arena), provided I had appropriate equipment (read rhino chasing gun-board), I generally did not feel 'out-there-uncomfortable'. Perhaps this was because its a dynamic medium and the relatively calmer times between sets allows a degree of recouperation.
On the other hand I find a long runout on thin pro (particularly with the timeframe involved in aid or solo), a different kind of fear !
The savouring of the moment when it becomes extended allows the mind to dwell on the consequences with much more detail ... ?
Goodvibes
22/12/2004
1:46:43 PM
Hard to disagree with you there M8, I guess there are few things like a ropelength of bodyweight placements to truly keep you focused and in the moment for hours at a time (not that I would know being mostly a sport climber/boulderer).

As you pointed out, they (scary climbing and big wave surfing) are worlds apart, perhaps the only similarities can be found in what you get out of them, which can be even harder to explain.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
22/12/2004
3:41:00 PM
On 22/12/2004 muncher wrote:
>(snip) worlds apart, perhaps the only similarities can be found in what you get out of
>them, which can be even harder to explain.

... which brings the thread back on topic of sorts; as it is indeed hard to explain what we get out of it, why do it, how best to ..., etc !

Here is something I have found when retrospectively trying to re-live moments from 'scary' surfing vs 'scary' climbing.
In surfing I have found that my visual memory is more like a chronological compilation of 'still' photogaphs (visual pic 1 seeing set loom, visual pic 2 looking down the face while paddling in, vis 3 half through bottom turn & looking down the line etc), whereas my memory of runout thin lead climbing is more akin to video (as opposed to 'stills'), but with sometimes incredible detail in the most obscure areas eg the colour and pattern of a particular lichen patch enroute !

I don't have answers to why this is so, but attribute it (as a guess), to the degree and nature of the mind focus/ing taking place.
I suspect fear and appreciation are in balance like on a see-saw. While one concentrates (deals with the fear), then the mind is NOT free to appreciate, with the result of 'still picture' memories, albeit disjointed but still sequential.
On the other hand if the focus of the mind is fairly continuous (due to the lengthy timeframe involved?), then the resultant memory (mind pictures) tends to flow more; ... kind of like chronological short video sequences.

I guess my goal then is to have sufficient control in the activity-emotion so as to simply be able to fluidly replay the experience in my mind without gaps of any sort?

(... how airy-fairy am I sounding???, ... though its interesting to bounce these things around the mind corridors!)

mousey
22/12/2004
7:33:58 PM
i also do both, i find the biggest difference in mental terms is probably that on a climb you know what you are getting yourself into, the rock is right there...the oceanis so much more cryptic and unpredictable

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
4/01/2005
6:55:30 PM
I found this (quote) which I like, and think is relevant ...

>~" I began doing meditative practices in the late 1950s, mostly along the lines of Zen. Initially I was seeking a greater and more efficient command of my body and mind in order to advance my personal standards of difficulty. And, to some extent, this worked.

>However, I was surprised to find that a much greater gift had been bestowed: I was able to get more enjoyment out of the act of climbing - at any level of difficulty.
>As the years passed I spent more and more time repeating moderate and easy climbs, experiencing them as moving meditations, from which kinaesthetic awareness would evolve. >Now, in old age, I continue this pursuit.

>It is, in fact, not necessary to focus exclusively on difficulty and risk in order to have a full and meaningful climbing career.
>One should learn not to be intimidated by the absence of difficulty and danger"~

>- John Gill.

steph
3/02/2005
10:25:43 AM
i think climbing is all about mental strength - not just the obvious physical side. especially when leading. i find whenever im at a bolt on a hard climb if i dont focus i am more likely to fall just from stressing out. im not even afraid of heights - i love falling so i don't get it! whenever i compete i also get really nervous (not cos im scared of losing.. i actually don't know why, i gess i get nervous at a lot of stuff pretty easily) to the point i either pull out a brilliant performance or my body folds completely! i think over time i've found the balance, but yeah... its all in your head.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
Online Now
15/06/2005
11:34:21 AM
On 3/02/2005 steph wrote:
>i think climbing is all about mental strength - not just the obvious physical
>side. especially when leading. i find whenever im at a bolt on a hard
>climb if i dont focus i am more likely to fall just from stressing out.
> im not even afraid of heights - i love falling so i don't get it!

Generally when I arrive at a bolt (no matter how manky it is), I find 'mental relief' to a large extent rather than an increase in stress level. This is especially the case after having clipped said bolt. I assume you are talking about a pro situation before the crux moves here.
An exception and the only time I have truly been concerned about committing to bad bolts (which were the start of the next pitch being an aid bolt ladder) once, was whiile belaying my partner up to that point. I had plenty of time to dwell on the 'what if' scenarios associated with them. The lack of mental focus due to letting the imagination run wild sure tested my nerve on that occasion.

Uncle Chester
15/06/2005
1:42:22 PM
On 22/12/2004 M8iswhereitsat wrote:

>Who is Russell Coight ? (This question shows my ignorance is diverse!)

he had a tv show, he is also on kath & kim, hes a comedian,

i find that if i need to get in the zone, i go for a mel gibson style head slapping then scream and jump on the wall...

ohh yeah, and today i went to the biggest climbing gym in south america... it was cute :?

climbau
15/06/2005
4:57:17 PM
Funnily I find that good gear doesn't always relax me when I am climbing, but dodgy gear 9 times out of 10 gets me more relaxed and makes it easier for me to focus. Having spent a fair amount of time thinking about this (yeah, I know), I have come to the conclusion that bomber gear = a safe fall and therefore must mean that falls are common, and that poor gear is related to the relatively easier climbing and least chance of falling. Sounds crazy, but I reckon thatz jhust the way I rationalise it in my head *shrugs*.
As for getting in the zone, these days it takes a couple of consecutive days for me to feel comfortable and in "The Zone".
Visuialisation, has never really worked for me. As long as I can relax I can send.

steph
15/06/2005
5:30:25 PM
On 15/06/2005 Uncle Chester wrote:
>i go for a mel gibson style
>head slapping then scream and jump on the wall...

you mean babboon style?!?

Back to the topic, I also find i climb better when slightly nervous. It's also easier to shut things out and focus when you're 99% sure you're about to fall...or die to be more dramatic. I can always onsight harder when in a comp situation or when trying to redpoint some outdoor bia*#h of a climb that I know backwards in my head. Yes, I turn pale and need to be force-fed food, but focus-wise its a great method to send.

The good Dr
Online Now
15/06/2005
6:07:07 PM
A neat way to re-set your focus that I find really works is to concentrate hard on placing the gear and completing the clip. This usually ensures that the clip goes well and 're-sets' my focus for the next section of climbing, particularly when at my limit.

I have found on a number of occasions that I have been thinking about doing a climb and have just got up and had to go and do it (when I am at the crag, not on the other side of the world - unfortunately). I have always onsighted or completed a project when this mood has taken me. How it happens, I don't know, and I have not been able to make it happen.

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There are 49 messages in this topic.

 

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