Pushing past the fear: lead climbing

My first day of spring break was not academically productive like I hoped. Instead of reading about social movements and collective identity, I brought new challenges into my life. I went on my first 10 mile run ever and got certified to lead climb and lead belay.

These two activities brought about new realizations.

1) I love running. I never thought I would be this person but I am. It felt so great to be outdoors on a beautiful day with just my thoughts. I took Nala of course and her boyfriend Louie. We are pet sitting Louie for a couple of friends of ours and he is one amazing running buddy. He doesn’t tire as quickly as Nala and he kept both of us at a consistent pace; I was able to do 10 miles in 83 minutes and 49 seconds.

the lovers after a 10 mile run resting by my feet in an ice bucket

2) I had been looking forward to getting lead certified for months now. I felt like it was time to step my climbing up a notch and take more risks. That was before I stopped climbing as frequently due to running and yoga taking up a major part of my life. The lead instructor finally got back to me after months of waiting around for him to make time in his busy schedule (seriously took him months) and we set up an appointment. D-Money and I were finally able to get lead certified to climb at our local wall and all I have to say is it was hard.

Like really hard. Not the class but what happened after. After the certification class, a climbing buddy of ours met up with us to do come celebratory lead climbing.  I was able to lead climb the routes in the class because I was familiar with them through top roping. However, the routes my friend and D-Money climbed were unfamiliar to me because they were truly lead climbing routes. I was terrified. So scared that I couldn’t make it up and didn’t try again. It was a numbing fear and a disappointing fear; why couldn’t I do it?

My answer to that question is that I can do it, I am just letting fear dictate my life.

I will be making some adjustments to the nine month plan to include getting past my fear of lead climbing because what’s the point of being able to do it but not ever going for it? One of the most important things I learned from the yoga workshop with Tim Feldmann is that I need to visit that feared place everyday, make it mundane and eventually push past it. Looks like I just became re-obsessed with climbing.

3) I need more hours in the day to fit in all my obsessions.


2 thoughts on “Pushing past the fear: lead climbing

  1. You never really lose the fear, you just become familiar with it – like those top-rope routes – and learn to approach it rationally. Eventually, it works for you rather than against you (at least most of the time). Congratulations, climb on.

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