For me, climbing outdoors is a lot like starting all over again. Except this time, it’s more so a mental game than it is a physical one, and although my arms are much stronger, my fingers more nimble, and my feet more sure than when I first began, none of that can make up for the weakness that I create in my own mind.
Because of this, I find myself doing all the things I always tell others not to do: clinging to the wall with my arms bent, trying to stand on my entire foot instead of just my toes, and taking breaths in short, shuddering gasps instead of practicing intentional inhaling and exhaling to aid me my climbing.
It’s funny how fear does that to you.
How easily it causes you to forget months of practice and forsake what you know you ought to do in an attempt to appease a more primal instinct: I don’t want to fall.
The irony is that it is precisely these things that make you more likely to fall. Surely I’ve fallen enough times at this point to be accustomed to the feeling. So why is it that falling from a five foot drop outside seems so much worse than a fifteen foot drop indoors? I don’t know how to explain it. It just does.
What I do know is how after five months of climbing, it’s humbling to be brought back to those initial fears, to have to retrain myself, to retrust myself. It’s definitely a new frontier out there. And boy does it feel good to dip my toes in.
My beta (solution to the problem):
So Shahan and I actually have no idea what the grade of this problem is, nor do we even know the name of it. I read somewhere that the service in Joshua Tree is spotty, but for us it was nonexistent. So although we had the basic idea of where to find bouldering problems, we were pretty much walking around looking for rocks with chalk on ’em and attempting whichever ones seemed doable.
We also didn’t plan to stay in Joshua Tree for very long. It was only a pit stop on our way to the Imperial Sand Dunes down south.
As you can see, Shahan and I have two completely different betas. He swears this way is easier, butttt I like my way better. True to our natures, we almost never agree on how to do something. *shrug*