How to avoid a sprained ankle: weak messages create bad situations

“It’s too fast!” I pushed my hands against the overhanging rock and landed abruptly on the ledge, ankle twisting over my foot with a “scrtch” sound. Oh no, not another sprained ankle; how long before I can climb again? And how am I going to get down? I gingerly put some weight on my right foot but it hurt. My belayer shouted suggestions for how … Continue reading How to avoid a sprained ankle: weak messages create bad situations

It goes, boys!

Just over a week ago, I rendezvoused with 3 women I’d never met before at The Castle Climbing Centre1 in Stoke Newington, London. We arranged to meet there after a conversation in Womenclimb Climbing Confidence2 group on Facebook; we’d discussed the need for a women’s climbing session that welcomed all levels of climbing. We met in the cafe of The Castle, which uses organic vegetables grown … Continue reading It goes, boys!

Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 7

In part 6 of the Mind games blog post series, I came up with a challenge for myself: to climb three times a week, with or without partners, which means using the auto belayers when there’s no-one available to climb with; I wanted to see whether climbing more often would dampen my climbing anxiety. Whilst carrying out this experiment I became acutely aware of the … Continue reading Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 7

Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 6

In part 5 I looked at how breathing helps overcome fear and freezing, how after-climb analysis helps zone in on personal learning style, how practising falling eliminates terror, and how asking a graceful climber how he feels whilst climbing can help lessen internal pressure. In this post I’m going to discuss putting my learning style into practice, and whether a comfort zone is actually comforting. Putting … Continue reading Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 6

Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 5

In part 4 I came to the conclusion that a loud, busy environment is not conducive to learning well and quickly for me, especially when going there alone; therefore going to climbing gyms with people I know and trust makes for a better experience. In addition, I found out that teaching climbing skills to beginners is fun and makes me forget about my own stuff. … Continue reading Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 5

Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 4

In part 3 I became aware of just how negative my self-talk is and came to the conclusion that I must “go slowly and gently, with an open mind about myself, my environment and the stuff going on in both.” In conjunction with this, if there’s a lot going on outside of climbing that I’m feeling anxious about, I’m probably not going to climb well … Continue reading Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 4

Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 3

In part 2 of Mind Games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing, I noticed there was a link between pressure and fear, delved into scientific studies that showed the brain can change through the use of mindfulness techniques, which bodes well for people whose fear expression is too much for the situation, and realised I needed to build trust in my feet by focusing on feeling them whilst … Continue reading Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 3

Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 2

In part 1 I outlined and carried out an experiment for overcoming my irrational fear of climbing up whilst bouldering, based on psychological theories in two books: The Rock Warrior’s Way1 and Vertical Mind2. In this article I’m going to discuss a further experiment’s results, explore how the physiology of the brain affects ability to overcome irrational fear and what can be done about it, and … Continue reading Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 2

Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 1

I aim to work on overcoming my irrational fears and internal pressures that are getting in the way of me being able to climb and have fun. I’ve been climbing for nearly a year and for about three weeks I’ve been frightened of climbing up whilst bouldering¹. During this time I’ve been traversing only, and even then it hasn’t been fun: I’ve felt vulnerable and … Continue reading Mind games: overcoming irrational fear in climbing – part 1

Serious play at Coaching Development’s Alum Day – Sunday 29 October 2017

I am utterly grateful to my first Coach, Alma Neville (who is sadly no longer with us), for introducing me to Coaching Development’s Coaching Skills1 course in 2005. I completed my training in 2006 and am so glad to attend the Alum Days2 that Coaching Development offer to alumni. They are rich experiences, in addition to providing Continuous Professional Development. What is particularly great about them, … Continue reading Serious play at Coaching Development’s Alum Day – Sunday 29 October 2017