My Climbing Mentality

I don’t know why or how I became like this, but I overthink everything. I mean everything. If there is a situation, I am going through every possible “what if” in my head whether it is good or bad. When I climb, I don’t really think of any “what if’s” other than; what if I can’t finish it. I find it frustrating because my mind can sometimes take over. I started climbing last summer and I started leading last fall. My first lead climb I did without top roping first, so I had no idea where the line was (other than what I saw from the bottom and of course where the bolts were) or where the holds were. But I liked that. I liked not knowing because it made me try harder. I knew I had to hold on for dear life and grab whatever I could so I could get to the top without falling and I did it. It is such a good feeling. From that moment on, anything I lead, I did it for the first time, without trying it on top rope first.
I ended up doing all the easier sport climbs at the cliff so I started trying things that were a bit hard for me. There was one climb I did where I fell right before clicking in to the second bolt and fell on the rope… Ended up getting rope burn which doesn’t feel the greatest. But I kept going and made it to the 4th bolt. From there I just had to make it to the chain but everytime I tried, I fell. There was a bit of a ledge that I couldn’t pull myself over. I don’t know whether it was the fear of falling from a bit higher, I was tired, or if I was just not strong enough. Either way I was very frustrated that I had to give up. I don’t like to give up but after 5 or more falls I needed a break. My boyfriend lead that same climb the other day so I climbed it after him to clean it and now I wish I didn’t. I don’t know why, but after climbing it on top rope, I now know where the holds are, which moves to make, and I know which spots I find hard. It makes me not want to lead it now…

I like leading something I have never climbed before.

And if I climb it on top rope first, then go to lead it, I am scared. If I lead it for the first time without ever climbing it before, I am excited!

Does that make any sense?

So from there we moved on to a different climb, one I have never done before and one that was way too hard for me (5.11b). I knew it was too hard for me but I still wanted to try and lead it because it was something different and new. My friends are also very supportive so they encouraged me to try it. As you can see in the pictures I posted, I only got to the 2nd bolt and needed a few breaks and a lot of chalk to get there. From there, I almost got to the third bolt but by the time I finally did the move I needed to make I had fell many times and my arms were done. I had no strength left in me. It is definitly something I want to try again when I am fresh.

I am not sure if my attitude towards leading is a good thing or a bad thing? But I hope to get better and will be able to lead anything and everything, with or without having already climbed it before.

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