Almost there…

There are a few things that I am not great at! Shock horror! One of those is posting articles on my personal blog. It is a new year however, and I have a new-found drive to address some of my challenges 😉

I was going to write about the latest enhancement I have ordered for my BMW S1000RR (aka The Kraken) but decided to continue from where I left off in the first post; on the road to recovery.

The recovery from my climbing injury has been long and demoralising, to say the least. I have been unable to dedicate the required time to train, and my diet and exercise routines have not been the best. On top of that, I had some close friends who needed what little emotional and mental support I could provide.

Reasons (excuses?) aside, I have had a good few weeks recently. I have been at the climbing gym regularly and have made some significant progress. I ended 2019 with my second grade 23 climb, I ticked a couple of other climbing projects at the gym and am climbing strong now. Of course, I am still not where I was before my injury, but I would say I am 90 percent there. So, what has helped?

I would say three things;

  1. A great climbing partner who understands your injury and the long, long, recovery process
  2. Better exercise routine
  3. A new mindset

The first two are self-explanatory, but the third one perhaps not so.

What is this new mindset and how did it help, I hear you ask? Well, I have done several things;

  • Redefined my purpose
  • Changed my approach to fear and taking risk
  • Celebrated little wins
  • Was not disheartened by failure

I decided that it is less important to hit higher and higher grades and focused more on improving my technique, strength and endurance. It is as if I have changed my why (thank you Simon Sinek) from climbing higher grades, to improving my experience at the gym.

I also learned to better manage my fear of taking a fall and instead of focusing on the risk of falling, focused more on the consequences of it, which in a climbing gym are next to none. I have Alex Honnold (2:28 mark) to thank for this. His comments around Risk vs Consequence have resonated well with me.

Celebrating little wins was another small change with a big impact. It is easy to not take note of a small win, or a short advance you have made towards your goal, but I believe it is important to pat yourself on the back and acknowledge your success no matter how insignificant. This plays well into my final point which is around managing failure. It is far too easy to take a fall and curse yourself and everything else around on the way down, however, it is much harder to acknowledge the failure, put it in the ‘valuable experience’ bucket and try again with an ‘I will do this’ mindset.

The ‘I will do this’ is the new mindset I was talking about. It allowed me to climb swiftly and confidently, conserve energy, always have the next target in the crosshairs, and not allow failure to result in frustration. For me, it required all the four changes to have been made before I could embrace this mindset. I do wonder what will it require for you.

What is next? Well, I have a ridiculous goal now 😊; to climb a route that seems exciting enough and it just happens to be a grade 25 project. I have never done anything above 24 but I am trying – above picture – this grade 25 for fun.