What makes a person brave? I’ve done some things in my life that have meant people have referred to me as being brave... like cycling around a country by myself or ignoring the status quo and not getting a ‘real job’. Is that brave? To me, these things are as simple as following my heart (without sounding too cliche), and though they have incited some scary moments, in general they bring more euphoria than fear.
This is something I’ve been thinking about with climbing. It’s still all new to me, so fear is often the primary emotion I feel when on the rock. Yes, there are those moments of glee to finish a climb, and I’m always excited by the prospect of going climbing. But sometimes I finish a climb and want to be straight back down on the ground. I don’t even care about the fact I’ve just tackled a hard route and completed it with relative ease. I scold myself for the fear I’ve felt, rather than the fact I did the climb anyway. To me it doesn’t feel like a victory unless I enjoy the actual climbing. It doesn’t feel like a victory if I’ve been afraid the whole way up.
I’m feeling like I want to get back out on the rock and try to conquer that fear. I’ve been pretty scared on my last few climbs; sea cliff climbing when the top-out is often a thin ridge you can hardly balance on gets my stomach turning. It’s crazy to me how fear takes hold and makes me incapacitated, while other people can block it out so well from time or experience.
But, stepping out of your comfort zone is a good thing, and something that I’m trying to do more of. This means completing a climb and topping out and breathing while I steady my hands to set up an abseil.
If anyone has any tips for getting over fear in climbing, let me know. In the meantime, I can’t wait to go climbing again, I’m just terrified to do so... ♀️ Photo by @phil_sproson_photography