Same ideas as Rock Warrior’s Way, but refined after 15 years of teaching.
- Comfort-seeking - using distraction to escape stress
- Labelling / value judgements - values don’t exist in the world
- All-or-nothing thinking (I can do it vs I can’t do it)
When you encounter a stressful situation, accept the stress and explore its details. Accepting stress will help you see a situation as it is and avoid the distracting tricks your mind plays to satisfy its desire for comfort.
You cannot effectively deal with a situation until you accept it as it is.
The Awakening Process:
- Set an intention (finish climb)
- Witness doubts (this is too hard, I’m going to fall)
- Delay reacting to doubts (stop and wait instead of letting go)
- Dissociate to redirect attention to intention
- Find little ways to engage (just get to the next bolt and then decide)
Combine meditation with stressful postures to observe stress reaction.
Redirect attention to BERP:
- Breathing (deep, even)
- Eyes (direction of gaze, broad vs narrow focus)
- Relaxation (unused muscles)
- Posture (shoulders and heels down, relaxed grip, open shape)
Process goals > end goals. Can’t act on end goals in the moment. Make learning the primary motivation, so that you want to engage stressful situations.
Learning can only take place if stress can be processed into comfort. If there is too much stress, you will revert to habitual behaviors and contract in the face of the stress. If there is too little stress, you’ll act out your current behaviors with no need to change. You convert current behaviors into more effective ones by processing through stress.
Fear of the unknown = fear of experientially unknown. Can only be conquered by volume of experience ala COZE.
- Aiming for sweet spot of stress - outside comfort zone but not overwhelming
- Use BERP to measure
- Start under bolt and work up to 4/10 stress
- Spend time regaining comfort after each fall
- Fear of losing control - shift locus of control to BERP, aiming and impact
- Once comfortable with a given set of falls, switch to having the belayer calling them
- Catch and release
- Extra slack makes fall harder, not softer - just increases the distance before catching
- Soft catch requires moving with the catch, or even jumping
- Requires COZE too, or will be contractive/stiff on scary catches
Practice BERPing while climbing one element at a time and gradually combine
To move continuously, climb a little faster than usual. This allows seemingly individual moves to flow in combinations and diminishes the interference from your thinking mind.
By making small steps on intermediate footholds (I like to call this “little feet”), you can easily and quickly flow from one move into the next.
- Fall evaluation - no-fall vs yes-fall zones
- Decision points and decision criteria
Fall evaluation - DAO:
- No-fall zones - slower, listen to doubts, explore
- Yes-fall zones - faster, ignore doubts, commit
Move or stop - sharp delineation.
- Look up - choose next rest spot
- Look down - evaluate fall
- Look up - plan route
- Decide to commit or retreat