It Begins in Your Head

The day before Brandi’s class, I decided to do a spot of “light” climbing with C. I hadn’t been climbing for a whole week and I didn’t want to appear too rusty the next day.

After a few top-ropes, we went over to the boulder cave. I spotted a black boulder problem that I knew C could complete. With a bit of spurring on, C was soon sitting at the base of the problem. She made the first move in her first attempt after a little beta. She was fine until she saw the dynamic move. After some hesitation, she dropped off without trying.

“Get back on where you fell off and try the move,” I told her.

She moved slowly, but she got back on. She shuffled around a lot before she attempted the move. Her left hand touched the hold but the grip was not firm enough to keep her there and she fell off. I knew at once the thoughts that had flitted through her head before she made the move. It wasn’t a lack of ability – it was a lack of confidence.

“Do you know why you didn’t stick?” I asked. C stayed silent looking at the hold. “I bet you thought before you made the move, ‘Is she out of her mind? It’s so far. I’ll try anyway, but I really don’t think so.’ You didn’t think you could make it, but when you touched the hold, you were surprised, weren’t you?”

She laughed sheepishly.

“Try it again. You’ll get it this time.”

And she did.

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