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red:chili, originally uploaded by monkey_pushover_tree.

So easter has come and gone. It was great to have the break; it was a crazy week before hand and I really needed the extra time off. So, what did I do? Well we wend down to Nowra and did some climbing. Second week on real rock. Great to get out there again, and also not.

The first afternoon was fantastic, had great time on the rock and climbed well. With this in mind and having seen the climb we were going to do the next day, I knew I was going to do well. How wrong could I be.

For the first time in a very long whilst climbing I freaked… I freaked big time. I freaked to the point where I thought I was going to die, fall, hurt myself. My arms felt like ice; the rain before hand made the rock cold and I could feel it traveling up my arm. Looking around there it looked like there was no holds. It all just looked like a black sheet of glass. Before I knew it, I was shaking, sweating and losing control.

My breathing was uncontrolled and tunnel vision was upon me. I was tense and overgripping everything. My muscles now hurt and I was close to crying. The environment now took hold of me. I could here the golfers shout “fore”; the birds; the water skiers; the helicopters and my fellow climbers. It was all beginning to close in on me. Panic, pure panic.

I didn’t know what to do or how to get past it. I really didn’t. I was going to give up; just let go and forget climbing completely. I was ready to just give it up for the rest of the day.

Yet, I didn’t want to quit. I don’t like quitting, my competitive nature doesn’t like it. There was a battle between these two feelings.

Suddenly for a brief second there was nothing; bliss; emptiness; stillness. Without even thinking, I moved my feet put my hand up found the hold and moved past the problem area. Then the battle returned. It did so for the rest of the climb. I could find the holds this time, they were big but not obvious to me.

When I finally got to the top I was dripping; soaked to the skin in sweat and still shaking. As I was lowered down I had to re-clip. Again the panic started. I started to downclimb; bad idea that really got to me. So I was lowered to the same height as the quick draw and moved across the big ledge and eventually clipped the rope in.

When I got to the ground, everyone released how shaken up I was. I had some food with high sugar content and felt better.

After Rob climbed “The Grouch”, a harder climb, I wanted to go again. I didn’t want to try the one I freaked on earlier, I wanted to do the harder one. Why? who knows, I think it was because Rob was confident on it and hence I thought I can do that. So I got and tried to get up a few holds; found a really good one that turned out to be an ants nest, tried to stand up and fell. I fell good. I was top roped and on belay, but with my weight and dynamic nature of the rope, I pretty much feel to the floor; only such that my feet just touched the floor. With the fall all the panic left.

I then climbed “The Grouch” without a problem; I was sooo pumped when I got to the top; so happy. This is why I climb for this feeling. I got up there on my own; no one else just me. That’s how good it is.

I then had a rest whilst Amy climbed it. We then went back to “Uncle Udfuddy”, the one that scared me horribly. Rob climbed it without a problem, then it was my go. This time it was fine. I found the holds, felt strong and got up it without issue. Why did I have a problem in the first place? I do replay it in my mind now and don’t get it. Its something to learn from and use for focusing and strength in future climbs.

Sometimes you just get scared – how you deal with it is what matters.


~ by monkeypushovertree on April 12, 2007.

3 Responses to “red:chili”

  1. Sometimes you just get scared – how you deal with it is what matters.

    Amen to that!
    What a great story

  2. Thanks Kate; its all true too.

  3. Well done Tim. Very impressive.

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