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Losing your climbing psych
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Feb 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: me
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.
Yeitti
From Colorado or sometimes LA
Joined Dec 8, 2015
49 points
Feb 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Slashface goodness taken by RTM
After reading your contributions to MP it seems that finding something that makes you feel positive and therefore psyched would help. Mike Brady
From Van Diesel, OR
Joined Jul 14, 2014
692 points
Feb 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: El Potrero Chico
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I've been withdrawn from climbing as much as I want because of WORK.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.
Paul Hutton
From Boise, ID
Joined Mar 26, 2012
848 points
Feb 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice view
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. Owen Darrow
From Garmisch,
Joined Feb 22, 2010
1,933 points
Feb 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Belaying 2nd (or was it 3rd? 4th?) on Turk's Head ...
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? Ted Pinson
From Chicago, IL
Joined Jul 11, 2014
183 points
Feb 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Triple Direct on El Capitan
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. Kevin Mokracek
From Burbank
Joined Apr 5, 2012
192 points
Feb 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Annapolis Rock, MD
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. Matthew Williams 1
From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Joined Nov 26, 2014
88 points
Feb 24, 2016
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?
Jon Rhoderick
Joined Jul 21, 2009
823 points
Feb 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Yeah, climbing's OK. But everyone loves cars and girls.

Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,669 points
Feb 24, 2016
Go with fly fishing it is worth the time. beensandbagged
From R.I.
Joined Oct 20, 2013
16 points
Feb 24, 2016
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.
TBlom
Joined Jun 29, 2004
426 points
Feb 24, 2016
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! ;-)
Kirsten KDog
Joined Jun 25, 2010
121 points
Feb 24, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: cowboy ridge
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.
fossana
From leeds, ut
Joined Apr 30, 2006
13,063 points
Feb 24, 2016
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.
T Roper
From DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA
Joined Mar 31, 2006
1,053 points
Feb 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice view
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.
Owen Darrow
From Garmisch,
Joined Feb 22, 2010
1,933 points
Feb 25, 2016
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. tim
From Boulder, CO
Joined Aug 6, 2006
60 points
Feb 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: The Sun with Pikes Peak in the distance.  South Pl...
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.
Shane Zentner
From Colorado
Joined Nov 5, 2001
383 points
Feb 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: me
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. Yeitti
From Colorado or sometimes LA
Joined Dec 8, 2015
49 points
Feb 25, 2016
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:


Rock Climbing Photo: pigeon spire
pigeon spire


mountainproject.com/v/west-rid...


so yeah climbing is more than pushing the difficulty boundaries.
Emmett Wynn
From Albuquerque
Joined Nov 11, 2015
72 points
Feb 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Acquisition of Knowledge
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. Mathias
From Loveland, CO
Joined Jun 4, 2014
313 points
Administrator
Feb 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Artist Tears P3
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.
John McNamee
From Littleton, CO
Joined Jul 29, 2002
1,929 points
Feb 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Aleks
Yeitti wrote:
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.


climbing friend,

do not give up on the grade chasing! with consistent hard effort you will reach even higher advance gradings on the climbing rocks, even though perhaps right now it seems distant or impossible. with higher numbers, we all can feel warm and justify the ridiculous amount of time money and energy spent on this seemingly pointless sport!
Aleks Zebastian
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jul 3, 2014
162 points
Feb 25, 2016
Aleks Zebastian wrote:
climbing friend, do not give up on the grade chasing! with consistent hard effort you will reach even higher advance gradings on the climbing rocks, even though perhaps right now it seems distant or impossible. with higher numbers, we all can feel warm and justify the ridiculous amount of time money and energy spent on this seemingly pointless sport!



Never ending journey of building neck meat. Hymen!!! Or something like that



OP: go outside, have fun, live life, whatever it is.

It is not a college application, but I find a well rounded outdoor existence is way more fun. Refreshed and hungry when the next season comes.

I personally suck at climbing, but it is fun and let's my mind rest from skiing.
JohnSol
Joined Sep 30, 2015
15 points
Feb 25, 2016
Yeitti wrote:
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.


I find that my psych tends to ebb and flow along with my partners. When I am having trouble getting motivated, I try to climb more with really motivated folks.
christopher adams
Joined Apr 5, 2006
25 points
Feb 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Me, on an early attempt of Chasm View Wall, Black ...
What ever you do don't sell your gear! It could take years to come back to climbing but if you save your gear the rock will always be waiting for you. You will be sitting around the house with your batch of teen age kids who are arguing about who gets to drive what car and you will drift off into a reverie - the warm touch of the rock, the nice breeze that has the smell of the outdoors, that funny psychedelic lichen that grows on the rock, the crazy mating birds flying by, the fear and knowing that you will conquer it, you know; FREEDOM. Next thing you know you will be sneaking your gear out to the car and heading off to the old climbing areas even though you are 90 years old. THE URGE TO CLIMB WILL COME BACK!!! Chris N
From Loveland, Co
Joined Jan 27, 2011
627 points
Feb 25, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: El Potrero Chico
I hooked up with a couple dudes that were projecting 8a in Italy. That's a big hell no for me! There were some 7a's and a 7b on the right side, but the rest of the small wall was blank 8 levels. I took off down the wall to check it out. The bolts stopped, and there was this huge flake leaving the ground, slightly overhanging. I racked up for a trad climb, taped up the hands, took the girlfriend of one of dudes to belay me. I climbed that flake and used a tree to rappel to the ground from the top! I was so satisfied! I may have gotten the first ascent on that! Then, went to try the moves on the 8a. I broke the ice on gaining confidence in myself that day. Exploring the unknown. I've had less hesitation in climbing with gear since then. Makes the hobby more interesting. Paul Hutton
From Boise, ID
Joined Mar 26, 2012
848 points


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