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About shaky

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  1. I've been humbled

    OK, Anna, a couple of things. I posted a bit ago on the long-term effects of such events, and got a good nuber of replies, some of which even had value... Although the proverbial salt grain must be applied. web page Anyway, with respect to your doubts of climbing/leading/gear, I got some new perspective a few days ago while talking to a practitioner of things mental. I was telling her of my accident and its aftereffects upon my confidence and mental state, and her response was - 'But what did it give you?' It's a grim thing, but she offered up that I should look upon that event as a gift, and that there was good and strength to be found in it. OK, that aside, and now to nuts and bolts (literally). I'm sure, as mentioned above, that plenty of us are mostly self-taught in the art and skill of climbing and pro, and protected by Fate, just as are drunks, small animals, and ships named Enterprise. We got ourselves into and out of trouble, partly conciously, sometimes out of stupidity. The important thing is learning what your boundaries of knowledge and skill are, and being aware of them. It sounds as if, even though you had a bit of experience, that you were not skilled enough in placements to be tackling the climb you were on, and that you may have been able to avoid this situation by being a bit more assertive with your partner regarding your doubts about your skills. Don't push your limits just because you're afraid that you may be letting someone down, or that you feel like you have to impress. That's a big one that me and my ego have played with. As someone mentioned above, and friends have talked with me, you can be an awesome partner and not lead a single pitch. So take a breather, as necessary, and look at your passion toward climbing - is this event something that will halt you, or change your focus in climbing, or take on that rack of pro and learn how to place with confidence? Your call. Good luck - and for being a fractious bunch of children much of the time, when someone among us asks for help, we tend to show up in spades. Good job, folks.
  2. Irresponsible Posts

    OK, folks, better weigh in, since that soloing advice was found on a thread I started. Briefly scanned the discussion so far - was going to comment yesterday, but (Heaven Forbid!) I got busy at work. Anyway - I agree that the advice was questionable. However, I took a look at what TG was actually saying - in that through soloing (for him) he was able to increase his confidence and prepare himself mentally more effectively for dealing with fear/runouts, etc. in other situations. No, I ain't going soloing to clear my head. But I can appreciate the theory behind it, at least. So, on to responsibility of posts - I'm an experienced climber, and think I can cull out bad advice or take even 'good' advice with a grain of salt. I'd like to think that most people posting to this forum or similar forums elsewhere would have enough of a bullshit filter to do the same. Where I've seen advice to newbies, at least on this forum, it seems to have been fairly responsible. I think that TG probably recognized that a reader to his soloing suggestion would look at it as a tool that worked for him ("Your results may vary.") and that, as an apparently experienced climber working through issues to help keep climbing a healthy and happy part of my life, I would look at it under such a light. I don't think that TG, or anyone else on this forum, would generally give the same advice to a newbie posting a similar question. Similarly, most people posting would have the sense to give general info, but perhaps recommend other resources to a beginner (classes, books, etc.) where they can get more formal advice and instruction - I'm not going to try to teach someone how to climb over the Internet - are you? The problem, and we see it in frivilous lawsuts everyday, is that for some reason or another, there are people who don't have these filters. And these are the ones that create the problems. Not me, not TG. So do we stop posting? No, we think on what we write, and recognize that this is a big, dangerous world. And that we choose to do something that keeps that metallic taste in our mouth to make it that much more real is our choice. Could some idiot read TG's advice to me and take it as gospel? Sure. But I think that sharing advice (even bad advice), making jokes, and generally not walking on eggshells is a much healthier way to help each other along than clamming up for fear that some mouth-breather may actually think that we know what we're talking about. That is all.
  3. Fear issues

    d-dog, Thanks for the well-reasoned post re: fear and the consciousness of consequences as one invariably gets more experienced. You're right - as we mature, or at least spend more time in a sport, we will eventually see consequneces go from theory to fact. I never cared to fall, then, I'm falling without a stop. To add to the story - my belayer was knocked unconscious by a rock I dislodged. He got the fun ride in the army helicopter, a week in a coma, and several months of rehab. Maybe in there is some 'survivor's guilt' for me, too. Branching out- I added the motorcycle to my repetoir of mitigated risk last year. Similar- the odds of me becoming fender food for a Volvo is somewhat greater than the danger of climbing - mostly because I'm working in a much more dangerous envronment - Seattle streets. And, a coworker, who began riding at the time I did, was killed by a truck as a 4-way stop. He, too, chose risk within his life- skiing, fast alpine ascents, hard-core single-track. So we have to accept that risk, and the fear that accompanies it. I do not deny that fear - My struggle is that it envelopes me, rather than me being able to envelope it. Thanks.
  4. Fear issues

    Alright, looking for some assistance here, as I'm sure I'm not alone in this... Several years back, I had a climbing accident, took a grounder from what was essentially death-fall height. Since then, I essentially shake on lead to some extent. This fear response can then affect me mentally, thus shutting me down with a cascadng effect of bad visions, defeatest thoughts, anger/frustration. Not to say that I have good days - I've still climbed hard, and often. It's too much a part of me, I've been climbing over 15 years, and I ain't walking away. I love so much of the sport - the challenge, the camaraderie, the places, the stories we generate. But this fear and the accompanying lack of self confidence keeps me from setting big goals, seriously hurt my consistency as a climber, makes me hesitate to ask partners to do long routes, as I may not be able to swing leads, and generally keeps me feeling like I may be a burden on my partners (a somewhat false image, but let's go with it for now.) The issue here is either how do I suppress that fear response, or replace it with another response that allows me to keep moving without the concern of the fall as a consequence? I've read a bit, had some professional help, including a bit of EMDR therapy, which has shown success with PTSD sufferers - I had some small breakthroughs with it, but the effectiveness seems to have worn off a bit. So, who else has done work on this, and how do you cope with the fear inherant with the sport? Dammit, I want to do hard slab again. Anyway, any sincere advice, referrals, or experiences are greatly appreciated.
  5. Fear issues

    All right folks. Been quiet, letting you parse out your experiences and advice. First of all, thanks for your input and experiences - A lot to sift through.. So - more info, and things that do work, if inconsistently. Yeah, I've done the mileage on easy terrain, and (infrequently) take jumpers on bolts and gear. I think that the thing that works best, tho', is a 'real' fall - going for it with no consideration for the consequence- suddenly I'm in the air, then I stop, safe. Unfortunately, that's the catch-22 - I need to be able to seek that place more consciously. Funny thing - the only/best fall I took this weekend was on a 5.7 - total brain-fart move. So, other things that work - redpointing - because of that fear/risk-aversion - I tend to do routes second try or later - when I can get to the point of focussing soley on the moves - then the beauty re-arises, and the hooting in joy begins- I've pulled .12 on bolts and low-.11 on gear that way. Positive visualization when I'm away from the route works, too. Reinforcing those visualizations when I get to the route helps - sequences, gear beta. I pulled a crack recently simply because I knew that #7 rock went in right below the crux, would hold a bus, and that there was nothing left for me to worry about. However, it is important to me to be more than the 'best second in the world' Sure, I did Freeway last year -awesome route, pulled everything but the crux, but a slightly hollow victory because I couldn't call any of those pitches my own. Yeah, I have some of the greatest climbing partners in the world. But then, I may be biased. Competition and the like isn't a big deal, and I don't have anyone yelling and calling me a pussy as I stand shaking on route. I am trying to expand my circle, and have picked up a few new this year. I'm pretty picky about partners, and it definitely deals more with attitude than experience. So I'm actually happy to have expanded the fold a bit. One thing - and I think a few of you may have touched on it- is being able to let go of setbacks or external stresses - for instance, when climbing with the gf, her mood affects me, as I take too much responsibility for how she feels/performs. Likewise, occasionally an external event can rattle me - a good example was climbing this weekend when a climber next to us called 'Safe!' to his partner on the ground - 3 of us on the ground, due to our experience/standard training heard 'take', and proceded to nearly rush the partner on the ground as he unclipped his belay device - we quickly resolve our misunderstanding of the situation - but I couldn't let it go - I've been there- I've seen other stupid shit. All I could see was a person falling and dying. And it kept me frazzled into the next day. Gaack. One thing I do try to think of is the baseball pitcher - even after he has just thrown a pitch that was hit for a home run, all he can do is forget it and concentrate on the next pitch. I gotta find ways to do the same -concentrate on the next pitch. What else - Anyone else played with self-hypnosis or other formal mind-work - any experiences - yes, your results may vary. Damn, I make long posts. [ 08-19-2002, 07:43 PM: Message edited by: shaky ]