Climbing to New Heights, By Resting First

Life lessons from the rock gym

rock arch 1 shutterstock_83067163 20%Last Saturday I went to the rock-climbing gym with Jeff and the kids. It was only my second time at the climbing gym. I still had a blast because I got out of my routine in a safe and fun way.

Looking back, I am happy I made the effort to do two things differently. The first is that with the help of my coaches (Jeff and the kids) I learned that it’s much more effective, and easier, to use my legs to push up the wall, than my arms to pull up the wall. This is more challenging than it sounds–you have to use your legs when just a couple of square inches of foot is resting on a small knob, plus the leg is turned out so the large quad muscles are not very useful.

In addition, I was nervous about putting my weight on such a small area of my foot. About half-way up a 20-foot wall I realized I needed to do it differently if I was going to make it to the top. But, hanging in the air, with the muscles in my arms and legs wearied, is not the best time to try new moves. However, I was already halfway there. What to do?

Then I remembered, “Oh yeah, I am in a harness, I won’t fall.” I realized that I could rest a bit–I did not need to cling for dear life!  Even writing about this now, I have a big smile on my face at how my instinct against falling had me clinging to the wall when I did not need to.

KC_OverTheHump_Masthead 230x200This is when I came to my second realization–resting for a few moments would give the necessary physical and mental strength I needed to try something different and possibly make it to the top. We humans recover a lot more quickly than we think is possible when our muscles, and psyche, are wailing.

So I did rest a bit, settling into the support of the harness, and Jeff holding me from below. And, then I kept going. I made it to the top.  It was not pretty, but it was a win.

There’s a theme here that you might recognize already.  We humans tend to focus on what’s right in front of us, especially when we have on the blinders of being nervous or scared. However, when we stop and rest into the support that is almost always present around us, we recover more quickly than we could see inside the tunnel of our blinders.

What are the blinders you put on when you are nervous or scared? Does it make sense to peek around the edges of them in order to climb to new heights?

Let us know by sharing below. Continued success!

my signature 3

(Thanks to Jeff and the kids for getting me on the wall in the first place.)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “Climbing to New Heights, By Resting First

  1. Lisa,
    I love how you used a rock climbing example for this wonderful epiphany!
    What you said about how fear gives us blinders is so true, yet how being in the body and out of our monkey minds helps in realistically seeing what is possible.
    Keep up the good work- and keep climbing!

    • Thanks so much Penny! I can count on you to add beautifully to me insights. Have fun on your wilderness retreat this weekend!