Losing your climbing psych


Original Post
Yeitti · · Colorado or sometimes LA · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 20

So after the best year as far as hard redpoints go for me last year, I find myself this year not stoked or motivated to climb. I don't know what happened but I hope it goes away and I'm motivated again. I had a personal best of my hardest grade ever last year and suddenly now I just don't care. I thought maybe climbing easy stuff could help get me back, but if I'm not trying hard I get bored. Has anyone had this happen to them?

Note. I still love being outdoors, I'm gaining interest in fly fishing currently.

Mike Brady · · Van Diesel, OR · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 551

After reading your contributions to MP it seems that finding something that makes you feel positive and therefore psyched would help.

Paul Hutton · · Dirtbaggin' western US · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 601

Find other hobbies, dude. I've invested in my ability to perform other hobbies that require some training. Scuba diving, skydiving, kiteboarding. I've met climbers that lose psych in a crag in which they've redpointed the hardest route. They don't wanna go back to that same place. It's ok to get bored with something.

I've been withdrawn from climbing as much as I want because of WORK. When I'm in love and can't wait to hit the crag, something fuckin' comes up that's important to the boss (active duty military). So, I try not to get attached to climbing, so I don't get my hopes up. I still check in on here daily, constantly think about cutting my feet from the wall, seeing my beloved partner at the next anchor, dynoing to something that looks too far away, getting pulled off the ground while belaying when my partner whips off the wall, watch the pro climbing videos on my laptop.

Soon, I'll be done with the military and will be able to travel all over and have fun with the classics! Maybe we can hook up. I don't take it too seriously, but am always psyched. I loved when I had a partner that wanted to rack up and walk to the crag from camp with a headlamp and climb a 5.8 after dark. Just one route, before turning in for the night. He always wanted to climb, but didn't get angry at stupid little things, and didn't try to solve technical beta like it was an equation. Just chill, and move up a rock wall. The psych will always be there. Let it come to you at full speed when it does.

Owen Darrow · · Garmisch, · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 1,160

What I did was get my friends into climbing when I lost y stoke. Many had voiced interest but I had been too busy with my own goals to give them any time. Getting new people into climbing will get your motivation back by just hearing and seeing their stoke for the sport. Give it a try.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

Have you thought about trying a different kind of climbing? E.g if you're a sport climbing hardman, try learning/pushing your grade in trad? Or, ice/alpine?

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 50

It's fine to take a break. I was heavy into climbing all through the 80's and into the mid 90's and then I found steep creeping kayaking and it all consumed me, especially during the winter months. Climbing became secondary and that was fine. Then wrecked my back at work and ended up having surgery which put an end to serious kayaking. After my back healed enough to become active again I started climbing again. No at almost 50 y/o I am not climbing as hard as I used to climb but close. What I have found is that my lead head is much better now than ever, especially in regards to trad climbing. I don't know if kayaking helped my lead head or my getting into big wall aid climbing in the last few years. Take a break but stay active in something.

Matthew Williams 1 · · Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0

Okay so I work in a psych profession so I'll have to ask this: Are you climbing for YOU or for others? Generally, when we are pouring our energy into appearances for others it's not "authentic" and thus draining. Or maybe sending your goal left you feeling empty for reasons unrelated to climbing... I would suggest that you think about getting "whole" first, and add climbing, not the other way around. People only power through stuff and come out the other side to the good because they LOVE what they're doing deep down. People who power through stuff without the love or because they have to will burn out.

Jon Rhoderick · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 560

Try onsighting, trad, simul climb fun easy stuff
Ask yourself why your doing it? Do you have an end goal route or is it more ethereal? Who do you climb with? Who do you have fun climbing with?

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240

Yeah, climbing's OK. But everyone loves cars and girls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H5rqaEzYcY

beensandbagged · · R.I. · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

Go with fly fishing it is worth the time.

TBlom · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2004 · Points: 95

After many years of climbing I got really into fly fishing. After foot surgery the fishing took priority. Wading and rock scrambling can be a lot of fun with some climbing skill...
Now I live in a place with no nearby climbing and no gym, sure do miss climbing!
The rocks will always be there for you when you are ready.

Kirsten KDog · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 0
Matthew Williams 1 wrote:Okay so I work in a psych profession so I'll have to ask this: Are you climbing for YOU or for others? Generally, when we are pouring our energy into appearances for others it's not "authentic" and thus draining. Or maybe sending your goal left you feeling empty for reasons unrelated to climbing... I would suggest that you think about getting "whole" first, and add climbing, not the other way around. People only power through stuff and come out the other side to the good because they LOVE what they're doing deep down. People who power through stuff without the love or because they have to will burn out.
WISE WORDS! After 5 years or so of constant, crazed climbing and living a climbing life 24/7 (because that's what friends/boyfriends/etc...did) I realized I kind of....hated it. I did a total 180. It wasn't fun and didn't make ME happy and I was exhausted by doing it for so long to make others happy. So I stopped and took up trail running, hiking, etc...and have had a blast! I still climb, much mellower and less often, but at least I have found the balance and am aware of what I care about and don't truly care about. I don't give a crap if I ever get on a hard 11 or 12 ever again! So my advice: take some time off. Do some other things. Come back in time and try it out again. The psych may or may not return---and that's OK!!! Good luck! ;-)
fossana · · leeds, ut · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 12,086

Take some time off and do something else you enjoy (like fly fishing). In my late 20s I developed tendonitis in both elbows from sport climbing and was unmotivated to climb. I stopped climbing for ~4 years and did a ton of road biking and ultrarunning. Now, once again, climbing is my primary sport.

Maybe you'll decide it's not for you, but it's more important that you're doing what you enjoy not just going through the motions.

T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 730
Jon Rhoderick wrote:Try onsighting, trad, simul climb fun easy stuff Ask yourself why your doing it? Do you have an end goal route or is it more ethereal? Who do you climb with? Who do you have fun climbing with?
I was going to say something similar, that and climbing for me is more about the people I choose to climb with, the fun and the cool rock way before the onsights,redpoints and pinkpoints. Of course it hasnt always been this way, many ups and downs and other hobbies along the way.
Owen Darrow · · Garmisch, · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 1,160
Kevin Mokracek wrote:It's fine to take a break. I was heavy into climbing all through the 80's and into the mid 90's and then I found steep creeping kayaking and it all consumed me, especially during the winter months. Climbing became secondary and that was fine. .
I'm deep into kayaking right now but for me it's all about where I live. In Washington state rain is the only guarantee so naturally kayaking took over my life. Now that i'm moving back to Montana climbing will take over because it has a longer good season than kayaking....it all depends on how happy they make me feel.
tim · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 50

Ice, alpine, aid, trad, bouldering, big wall, sport, new routing. Kinda guessing you mostly sport climb since you said redpoint (could be wrong). If I'm right you should pursue other climbing avenues and see it you get psyched.

Shane Zentner · · Colorado · Joined Nov 2001 · Points: 195

The same thing happened to me. I took a break and studied Muay Thai for 18 months. Came back to climbing with a new and improved attitude.

Your feelings are normal as there is nothing wrong with taking up another hobby. Climbing for me is a serious mental game where I can't run on red for extended periods of time...I need to let my mind rest. Try something else, maybe Tai Chi or a martial art. You're ok, just a bit burnt out from consistently pushing the envelope.

Good luck.

Yeitti · · Colorado or sometimes LA · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 20

Thank you All for good advice. Yes, I believe I burnt myself out on climbing. Always projecting hard sport lines has exhausted my psych. I think I will take break for few months from climbing all together. Time to go trout fishing, I try climbing again this summer, perhaps alpine trad stuff. As much as I love hard sport I need break from it, maybe a full year. Last year I redpointed my mega project but now I want to not climb these things at all.

Emmett Wynn · · Albuquerque · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

I didn't read much of these posts and I'm definitely a latecomer but if you're burnt out on hard sport, do some "easy" alpine routes if you can... 1500 feet of 5.8 in a beautiful alpine setting is sure as shit more inspiring then a contrived 12d in some hot, sweaty canyon.

And then there are routes like the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire:

pigeon spire

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/west-ridge/105869393

so yeah climbing is more than pushing the difficulty boundaries.

Mathias · · Loveland, CO · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 120

Have you considered going out and finding a big face somewhere in the back country, locating a line, and climbing it? If you like being outdoors you probably won't mind hiking some back country to find something worth lugging gear to. You may even enjoy it. Seems like a totally different experience to hard sport, which is what you seem to want.

John McNamee · · Littleton, CO · Joined Jul 2002 · Points: 845

I think this is pretty normal for a lot of folks, especially as work and family become higher priorities. I've had two major breaks over the last 35 years.

The first was in the late 90's, when I took a three year break. I was burnt out from working as a guide and then trying to climb every other moment. I just couldn't sustain it without something giving. I decided to stay married instead. It was a good decision.

The second one is right now. Since late 2014 I haven't really climbed after a very serious accident my partner had while rapping off a tower in Arches National Park. Interestingly he recovered much quicker than I have.

For the last couple of months I have been doing a bit of bouldering at the DBC and outside when the weather permits. I have been having a blast so I'm slowly coming back...

Sometimes you have to take a break from something to realize that you do actually want to do it.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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