I do also notice little islands of calm, the odd climber, still challenging themselves, pushing out of their comfort zone with a centred and methodical approach, seemingly in charge of their experience accompanied by a sense of fluidity.
However, the energy of the crag seems to be taught, anxious and frustrated. What I observe over and over again is that enjoyment, happiness, fulfilment in climbing appear to be, in many cases linked to ‘sending’, reaching the top, reaching goals quickly, climbing a certain grade or being regarded as a ‘good’ climber.
Not a big deal some may say. But what if our well-being is being sacrificed, what if really only ‘the send’ is bringing us a sense of worth, satisfaction and a sense of enjoyment, rather than the action of climbing itself? After all, we spend way more time climbing than sending (well I do anyways) or for those who always send, the time we spent on the route climbing is usually longer than clipping the chains. So is it not the climbing itself that is worth bringing our attention to rather than the top?
Where does all this come from? End gaining, performance motivation, end goal motivation, goal fixation…. Whatever you want to call it.
The answers are manifold and multifaceted. I think however there is a reason why more mental training is offered these days as part of coaching. Climbers, instructors and coaches are starting to realise that our thoughts, behaviours, and attitudes have a huge impact on our climbing performance and on our climbing well being.
I believe that no matter what we are engaging with, whether that is climbing or, a job, or being in a relationship, it is worth to stop from time to time, to pause, to create…