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New and experienced climbers over 50, #3


Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Lori Milas wrote:

"...without any preconception " I think is the key.  Deepak Chopra used to say positive thinkers were the most exasperating people.  I really liked that. (back in the day when everyone was reciting their affirmations all day long like mantras.)  I have tended to be more anxious and fearful and sometimes face a climb or a particular move that I believe I can't do... and that usually turns out to be true.  I've just been focusing on letting that go, if possible, and seeing what is possible.  Detachment is a great word.    

Yeah, our current President is actually a huge "Power of Positive Thinking" practitioner. Look where that's gotten us. I think we'd all be better served by more detachment and less ego-serving affirmations. 

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
Señor Arroz wrote:

Yeah, our current President is actually a huge "Power of Positive Thinking" practitioner. Look where that's gotten us. I think we'd all be better served by more detachment and less ego-serving affirmations. 

Crickets.   

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 773
Lori Milas wrote:

"...without any preconception " I think is the key.  Deepak Chopra used to say positive thinkers were the most exasperating people.  I really liked that. (back in the day when everyone was reciting their affirmations all day long like mantras.)  I have tended to be more anxious and fearful and sometimes face a climb or a particular move that I believe I can't do... and that usually turns out to be true.  I've just been focusing on letting that go, if possible, and seeing what is possible.  Detachment is a great word.    

Well...I'm in between. I size up routes, and usually am looking at if it looks like it will go, or not, and where I think it will give me trouble. That's fine, but the problem then becomes making assumptions about what I can and can't do. I really limit myself, I know that. Then, common to new climbers, I think, I'm well aware that I'm "holding things up" if I can't just motor on up something...which means I just quit, rather than "waste" someone else's time.

That, can also be the difference between a true partner, and someone you just swap belays with.

Two trips recently really drove this home. Both were with wonderful partners who really wanted me to succeed, and were pushing me (in that good way we all need). The first, was the scared shitless traverse I talked about. In that case, it simply came down to do the moves, don't fall. No choice, buttercup, suck it up. So I did. I'll cherish that dumb 5.4 forever.

Second trip? Just a week.or so ago. Out bouldering with an incredibly good climber, who was coaching me. He started chalking out something for me to do. I, start talking, telling him all the reasons I can't do that. He says, "Hey,! Sunshine!, you haven't even tried it yet!!"

I reiterate all my crap.....and don't even try.

He was right. I talked myself out of it.

When the stakes truly were serious, I got it done. When I could get away with it? I shot myself down before I ever left the ground.

For myself? This has big applications. The Big Ticket, dramatic stuff we are given in life, well, you simply have to rise to the occasion.

But the little shit can just as easily pull me down. And it is ever present.

I told my boulder guy I will take my hardest shot at anything he thinks I can take a shot at, safely.

That's a skill set I know needs work, and will make all the difference in how my life plays out going forward.

Knitting is no longer the life I want, on or off the rock.

Best, Helen
Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
Old lady H wrote:

Well...I'm in between. I size up routes, and usually am looking at if it looks like it will go, or not, and where I think it will give me trouble. That's fine, but the problem then becomes making assumptions about what I can and can't do. I really limit myself, I know that. Then, common to new climbers, I think, I'm well aware that I'm "holding things up" if I can't just motor on up something...which means I just quit, rather than "waste" someone else's time.

That, can also be the difference between a true partner, and someone you just swap belays with.

Two trips recently really drove this home. Both were with wonderful partners who really wanted me to succeed, and were pushing me (in that good way we all need). The first, was the scared shitless traverse I talked about. In that case, it simply came down to do the moves, don't fall. No choice, buttercup, suck it up. So I did. I'll cherish that dumb 5.4 forever.

Second trip? Just a week.or so ago. Out bouldering with an incredibly good climber, who was coaching me. He started chalking out something for me to do. I, start talking, telling him all the reasons I can't do that. He says, "Hey,! Sunshine!, you haven't even tried it yet!!"

I reiterate all my crap.....and don't even try.

He was right. I talked myself out of it.

When the stakes truly were serious, I got it done. When I could get away with it? I shot myself down before I ever left the ground.

For myself? This has big applications. The Big Ticket, dramatic stuff we are given in life, well, you simply have to rise to the occasion.

But the little shit can just as easily pull me down. And it is ever present.

I told my boulder guy I will take my hardest shot at anything he thinks I can take a shot at, safely.

That's a skill set I know needs work, and will make all the difference in how my life plays out going forward.

Knitting is no longer the life I want, on or off the rock.

Best, Helen

Ah hah!  So you do it, too!  So glad you shared that, Helen!  

I've been enjoying getting to know Ryan at my gym who really likes to work projects, indoors and out... and so his partnerships require time and patience.  He climbed a route I couldn't figure yesterday, and he had me belay him-- it was a real learning experience to bring him up, down a bit... hold him while he looked over some options, then belay him on up.  I think this is what real partners do for each other... and I'd love to have that kind of partnership in climbing.  He said that when he climbs he works routes with his partner sometimes for hours... over and over and over again.  

It seems we are also talking about cross-training here, of the kind that develops various climbing skills.  I'm not bouldering... much.  But I have been doing more yoga, long stretching, and slack lining. Watching kids hop over some serious rocks outdoors... it might come in handy to slowly relearn some higher impact moves.  

And I'm loving the balancey stuff both inside and out... and our sorta slab wall indoors, where the climbs are more thoughtful and piecing moves together like a puzzle.  I'm not going to get out of the strength work, and power moves... but they'll never be my favorite.  

Do you have a favorite type of climbing?  Are you better with lower or upper body strength?

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 773
Lori Milas wrote:

Ah hah!  So you do it, too!  So glad you shared that, Helen!  

I've been enjoying getting to know Ryan at my gym who really likes to work projects, indoors and out... and so his partnerships require time and patience.  He climbed a route I couldn't figure yesterday, and he had me belay him-- it was a real learning experience to bring him up, down a bit... hold him while he looked over some options, then belay him on up.  I think this is what real partners do for each other... and I'd love to have that kind of partnership in climbing.  He said that when he climbs he works routes with his partner sometimes for hours... over and over and over again.  

It seems we are also talking about cross-training here, of the kind that develops various climbing skills.  I'm not bouldering... much.  But I have been doing more yoga, long stretching, and slack lining. Watching kids hop over some serious rocks outdoors... it might come in handy to slowly relearn some higher impact moves.  

And I'm loving the balancey stuff both inside and out... and our sorta slab wall indoors, where the climbs are more thoughtful and piecing moves together like a puzzle.  I'm not going to get out of the strength work, and power moves... but they'll never be my favorite.  

Do you have a favorite type of climbing?  Are you better with lower or upper body strength?

The real treat, after my friend took me on my first multi, was when he jumped on a crack climb he wanted to try. I got the pleasure of truly partnering, what you are getting a taste of, that full on belay when someone is really working something.

For myself,  I prefer outside climbing, far more than in. Inside, I often climb entire walls, whatever routes are on that anchor, ignoring the pretty colors, lol! I just tell people I'm on the 4.11 variation.

Hm. If I lived elsewhere, I'd perhaps be a crack and offwidth climber, weirdo that I am! It's still a matter of trying to figure out what I can do, with the parts I got, just about every move, though. Stuffing in a hand, arm, leg, or foot, is pretty satisfying. I also go to opposing moves a lot, pushing on something to help shove my weight over on a knee that doesn't work, for example.

Strength? Another hm. I don't have very many pullups in me, bar well down below chin, but, if I've got a bomber handhold, I can, and will, use both arms and haul my legs up. Like half pullups. Not optimal technique, but again, those knees.

Slack lining appeals, but the sideways torque is a no-no.

To be clear, I'm doing outside bouldering. Very different from gym stuff. Gym routes just kill my hands, so I don't do much of that. I'm just on really easy stuff, so it's quite fun, more like really short roped climbing with a very fast turnaround. You can go pretty nonstop, if you wish. I can't peel off any distance at all, so I either have to suss out a downclimb (way, way harder than up), or commit to doing the thing and topping out. Oh, and make sure we've figured out how to get me off the thing, lol!

My real bugaboo here in Boise, are the top parts of our stuff. Almost always a scoop and a bulge, with some great handhold that gets every one else over it, just one, jusssst out of reach! Grrrrr.

I'll edit in a photo. You'd like what we were bouldering, I think, Lori!

Not me, the photo from MP for one of our boulders:
Traverse Wall: A) Clean and Crank #3 V1 B) Pocket Change V1 C) Bucket List V0

Best, Helen
Carl Schneider · · Adelaide, South Australia · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

Well. I haven't been here for ages.  Had a trip to the Grampians and Mount Arapiles planned, first few days with my son bouldering and then I was going to stay for a few weeks and boulder, sports climb and trad climb.  

Didn't turn out like that.

On day three after just starting to get in to it and trying a V5 problem in Hollow Mountain Cave (where The Wheel of Life is) I decided after a few unsuccessful attempts on a V5 to walk a few meters to the lip of the cave where another nice V5 is that I've never been able to do and just pull on to the start holds as a sort of stretch.  It had been raining a bit.  So stupid Carl pulls on to the start holds which are at the height of me standing with arms stretched high as I can, pull up, get my feet up to my hands (so now I'm hanging off the roof) and CRASH, down I come straight on to the rock floor below, no crash pad.  As I'm lying there in extreme pain wondering if I can even move my legs I look at my hand and see that my little finger is sticking out at right angles dislocated.  So I pop it back it and it pops out a further three times.  After being told by a young guy (everyone there was like 20 years old) that I'd 'alpha maled them all' I hobble off the mountain back to my camp site and get drunk.

Next day my son helps me pack up and we come home.

So after two weeks of doing NOTHING at home as I can hardly walk I start to get better and even do seven laps of a grade 21 back to back on top rope. Start to feel strong again.

Then on my last day of holidays I decide, after getting all fired up after listening to a particularly firing up type song by Evanescence, to do a abs workout on my chin up bar.  The chin up bar hooks over the door frame.  Up I go, try to do a bit of a front lever type thingy, feet are touching the ceiling, I'm hanging off the bar, CRASH down I come AGAIN on to the floor right on my shoulder and hip.  

Now I can't hardly move my bloody arm and I can't even change gears in my car!!

Stupid Carl is very stupid :-(

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 773

Oh dear, Carl! I'm so sorry you're getting bashed in. I do have to say, you write a great (and humorous) story. No, you are not stupid. Stuff happens. Glad you went for it, anyway. Heal up fast, great to hear from you! I'm sure some ice cream would help. :-)

Best, Helen

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Old lady H wrote:
That's a skill set I know needs work, and will make all the difference in how my life plays out going forward.

Knitting is no longer the life I want, on or off the rock.

Best, Helen

I love the comment about knitting no longer being the life you want. That's a good one.

Just want to say that I'm very supportive of learning not to talk yourself OUT of things before you even give it a go. That's another form of attachment. Most people I know who are expert at talking themselves out of of things do so because they're terrified of failure. Or, as you say, of being some kind of imposition on others. It's a way of making yourself small. Which can be a good defense as a child but it's a terrible way to be an adult. I find myself trying to talk myself out of scary things before I even give it a good whack. Best thing I ever do is just not give a shit and give it a go.

Mark Orsag · · Omaha, NE · Joined May 2013 · Points: 760
Señor Arroz wrote:

I love the comment about knitting no longer being the life you want. That's a good one.

Just want to say that I'm very supportive of learning not to talk yourself OUT of things before you even give it a go. That's another form of attachment. Most people I know who are expert at talking themselves out of of things do so because they're terrified of failure. Or, as you say, of being some kind of imposition on others. It's a way of making yourself small. Which can be a good defense as a child but it's a terrible way to be an adult. I find myself trying to talk myself out of scary things before I even give it a good whack. Best thing I ever do is just not give a shit and give it a go.

Generally agree, the one caveat that I would put on that statement concerns safety (which mostly applies only outdoors) and the potential for injury. The latter really needs to be taken into account -- especially by older folks such as ourselves. Injury potential also should be taken into account when working a redpoint/send indoors. Outdoors it is more "go all out" at least for me. The two routes that I have given up on indoors in recent months were an explosively dynamic V4 boulder problem and the contorted awkward route mentioned in my earlier post. Definitely felt "pummeled" after I worked those to the point that I felt an injury was probable if I didn't quit on them. I have an outdoor trip scheduled and didn't want to miss that!

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
Carl Schneider wrote: 
Now I can't hardly move my bloody arm and I can't even change gears in my car!!

Stupid Carl is very stupid :-(

Oh I'm so happy to hear from you!  I've been asking "Where's Carl?"  Apparently you need to crash to the earth and break almost everything but your typing fingers to stay in touch.      

No... you're not stupid.  You're a big kid.  You sound wounded but happy.  Thanks for checking in! 

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
Mark Orsag wrote:

Generally agree, the one caveat that I would put on that statement concerns safety (which mostly applies only outdoors) and the potential for injury. The latter really needs to be taken into account -- especially by older folks such as ourselves. Injury potential also should be taken into account when working a redpoint/send indoors. Outdoors it is more "go all out" at least for me. The two routes that I have given up on indoors in recent months were an explosively dynamic V4 boulder problem and the contorted awkward route mentioned in my earlier post. Definitely felt "pummeled" after I worked those to the point that I felt an injury was probable if I didn't quit on them. I have an outdoor trip scheduled and didn't want to miss that!



Hey Mark... where are you going on your next trip?

 
This has been an interesting conversation, along with Senor, Tom and others...  it is really teasing out motivation, fear, and ability.  After reading Senor's post last night I thought back on all the times a good coach or guide pushed me to attempt something I absolutely believed was impossible (for me).  And when it worked, I learned a whole new skill.  So many times someone watching from the ground would say "Now stand up on that foot!.." which seemed absurd.  Yet... when I stood, I stuck it, and realized that going forward I could do it again.  In the gym there is a huge difference between a friend cheering and encouraging you to be stupid... and a good climber/partner KNOWING you can make that next move, or route, and being willing to coach you through it.    

Ya'll have mostly moved forward on your own, without all that coaching, but I think the theory is the same.  There's thoughtful, planned courage and fortitude on a climb... and there's recklessness full of ego, that is NOT mindful or detached.   

Señor Arroz · · LA, CA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Mark Orsag wrote:

Generally agree, the one caveat that I would put on that statement concerns safety (which mostly applies only outdoors) and the potential for injury. 



Oh, I agree. What I've learned is that that the voice of self-doubt and the voice of real danger sound very different if you listen carefully. I'm really good at pulling the plug in the face of real danger. 

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 773
Lori Milas wrote:

Hey Mark... where are you going on your next trip?

 
This has been an interesting conversation, along with Senor, Tom and others...  it is really teasing out motivation, fear, and ability.  After reading Senor's post last night I thought back on all the times a good coach or guide pushed me to attempt something I absolutely believed was impossible (for me).  And when it worked, I learned a whole new skill.  So many times someone watching from the ground would say "Now stand up on that foot!.." which seemed absurd.  Yet... when I stood, I stuck it, and realized that going forward I could do it again.  In the gym there is a huge difference between a friend cheering and encouraging you to be stupid... and a good climber/partner KNOWING you can make that next move, or route, and being willing to coach you through it.    

Ya'll have mostly moved forward on your own, without all that coaching, but I think the theory is the same.  There's thoughtful, planned courage and fortitude on a climb... and there's recklessness full of ego, that is NOT mindful or detached.   

Yeeesss... But.

There is also "don't give a shit" territory, sorta as Senor mentioned. My biggest climbing day to date, was closing my gym. 38 "pitches" (granted some were only a few feet). The last two pitches were on the hardest part of the lead wall (on easiest holds). Way beyond tired, yet 37 went so well, that I gave 38 a shot. That meant my last move was a full on, four points dyno attempt. With a wonderful, beery, cheering section, close to midnight.

That shouldn't be SOP, of course, but alpinists come close, in a much more measured, thoughtful way, and with a great deal of training for a high stakes game.

There is also doing it anyway, when you know full well you are completely, entirely, utterly out of your element. A whole village of people helped put together my ice climb last winter, including asking on MP about socks and underwear! That day? Came down to complete and total trust in the people I was with. There are times to do exactly as you are told.  There are very few people out there I would do that with, but this thread is an exception. I would trust any one of our crowd. That doesn't mean I wouldn't ask questions, or argue, lol!

It's 22 this morning. Winter is coming, the season of bleakness. Ah well. Maybe I'll take up pole dancing....

Best, Helen
Tim Lutz · · Colo-Rado Springs · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 5
Old lady H wrote:


 Maybe I'll take up pole dancing....

Best, Helen

photos?

Tom Hickmann · · Bend, OR · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 35

Heading to Smith this morning. It was 12 degrees when I got up this morning, so the rock is going to be chilly. Not sure what routes we are doing today, but the discussion here just got me excited to get out again. As for pushing limits... I always ask myself what am I really trying to accomplish and what are the consequences. If its just some minor abrasions and a bruise, I go for it. If its more like a chance of pulling or tearing something I back off. I always tell the young people I go play with, I have nothing to prove to anyone, only to myself that I still can. And I am so incredibly fortunate that I have my health that allows me to go, and incredibly fortunate to live so close to an incredible climbing area. Hope everyone has a great day and gets to climb this weekend.

This was a couple of weeks ago on a route called Friday's Jinx 5.8 trad with my daughter and her friend. Life is good!

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 773
Tim Lutz wrote:

photos?

Maaaybe. Wanna join me? ;-D

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 773
Tom Hickmann wrote: Heading to Smith this morning. It was 12 degrees when I got up this morning, so the rock is going to be chilly. Not sure what routes we are doing today, but the discussion here just got me excited to get out again. As for pushing limits... I always ask myself what am I really trying to accomplish and what are the consequences. If its just some minor abrasions and a bruise, I go for it. If its more like a chance of pulling or tearing something I back off. I always tell the young people I go play with, I have nothing to prove to anyone, only to myself that I still can. And I am so incredibly fortunate that I have my health that allows me to go, and incredibly fortunate to live so close to an incredible climbing area. Hope everyone has a great day and gets to climb this weekend.

This was a couple of weeks ago on a route called Friday's Jinx 5.8 trad with my daughter and her friend. Life is good!

Yeah, I'm jealous, I admit it! I'm actually thinking of driving to a climbing gym this Monday, two hours each way, lol! 

Really, I am happy people are getting out or getting after it, one way or the other. Reminds me to stop whining and just get on with it.

I heard you and my friend bumped into each other! Thanks again for your beta and company. He really liked your recommendation of the lions something route, it's a new favorite. And, I have used your info to build a 'to do' lust list for next time!

Best, Helen
Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
Tom Hickmann wrote: Heading to Smith this morning. It was 12 degrees when I got up this morning, so the rock is going to be chilly. Not sure what routes we are doing today, but the discussion here just got me excited to get out again. As for pushing limits... I always ask myself what am I really trying to accomplish and what are the consequences. If its just some minor abrasions and a bruise, I go for it. If its more like a chance of pulling or tearing something I back off. I always tell the young people I go play with, I have nothing to prove to anyone, only to myself that I still can. And I am so incredibly fortunate that I have my health that allows me to go, and incredibly fortunate to live so close to an incredible climbing area. Hope everyone has a great day and gets to climb this weekend.

This was a couple of weeks ago on a route called Friday's Jinx 5.8 trad with my daughter and her friend. Life is good!

Just look at that smile.  That says it all!

wendy weiss · · boulder, co · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 10

My gym strategy for intimidating routes: announce to anyone within hearing distance that the route looks too hard, too reachy, and I probably won't be able to get off the ground. Then I can proceed, having made my excuses in advance.  

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175

“Fortune favors the bold.” seems like an appropriate saying for climbers.  Except for Carl. Carl needs to chill for awhile.   

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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