I once heard it said that “The only way to fulfill your potential and discover your true strength is to break out of comfort zones and challenge yourself!”
Humans have always liked to engage with that which challenges the mental and physical prowess and a balance of both is extremely healthy. Recently I have taken to Indoor Rock Climbing something which is challenging yet highly enjoyable. That and I am not in a position to commit to yet another weekly meeting exercise group and can drop in and out of Rock Climbing when I have the time.
What’s it all about? Rock climbing with ropes can be done indoors or outdoors and usually involves two people, but it can be done in a group, if you are feeling a little more sociable.
In indoor climbing, the person climbing follows a series of holds or grips, each coloured to a corresponding level of difficulty. The climber is tied to a rope that is controlled by another person, preventing injury should the climber fall. Controlling the rope is called belaying and the person doing this is called the belayer.
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is performed without the use of ropes and harnesses. Instead, you climb only a few metres off the ground with crash pads beneath.
So What’s the challenge?
Real life happens outside comfort zones. Stepping out, you connect with your real self and are capable of much more than you ever imagined!
Climbing can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be and following the grading system you can decide how much you want to push yourself. However, digging in your heels, hanging up your boots or letting yourself sink that comfortable place climbing only the easy routes or what you know brings a level of satisfaction – but no challenge. Comfort or satisfaction cannot be a state of being because we all know that very quickly it passes and you no longer remain either comfortable or satisfied. So its about adjusting your altitude… or attitude.
The level you rise to depends upon your willingness to climb.
Eddie Harris Jr.
When climbing I have found the only way to move on is to press into challenge but this comes with risk. “What goes up…must come down” and in rock climbing the aim is that you make an awesome climb with no snags and are safely lowered to ground level – but we know it’s not like that and those one time awesome climbs where you get to the top straight away only happen with practise and determination. When you hit a challenging section often you have to go for it and risk the fall, and if you fall, try and try again taking every fall and getting up for another go. When climbing I have to try and conquer my fears and doubts and go beyond what I think I’m capable of, often revealing the real me and the heights I am capable of achieving.
We challenge the limits of our mind and physical ability by pushing our abilities and taking on fresher and bigger challenges.
- Challenge gives focus – On the Rock there is an element of focus and attention needed to use the right technique or follow the most appropriate route.
- Challenge brings motivation – It is easy to be lazy and stick to what we know. When we face those challenges, we become bolder and take up even more challenges pushing ourselves further and allowing the courage and spirit inside to flow out.
- Challenge helps us to build our character – By pressing on with uncertain climbing routes we have to overcome obstacles that we may have not foreseen. As we learn we build upon what we know and move from strength to strength.
- Challenge triggers change – if we realize we aren’t quite doing something right then we try and approach it from a different angle. In rock climbing this can often mean changing technique, or reaching that little further or in some cases just blatantly going for it!
I love rock climbing. I love that the challenge is between me and the rock. I don’t have to impress anyone or compete against others – it is just a battle of my own will. When on the wall I feel unstoppable and drive and resilience to overcome obstacles fuels my passion to climb. For me there is no success or failure – there is challenge. It’s about trying and learning and not giving up when the going gets a little bit difficult. With a little effort and determination every mountain can be climbed.