Monday, April 8

Trad climbing 101. Part 2: Stress management

I'm not the bravest one in the parking lot when it comes to leading. And this, friends, is an understatement. I like to say that I have a very strong preservation instinct, but the truth is, I am chicken.

Trad climbing requires so much ballz than sport climbing that most of the time my brain is so bewildered that I am even trying it, to even get in the way of my climbing. My body, on the other hand, is not afraid to say something. And it does, at the worst possible moments.

To counter that, and to keep my brain busy, I have named the cams.

Josh does not have all in the set, but, starting with the small purple one, I have on my rack:

  • The Purple Slurple (x2)
  • The Green Machine
  • The Red Fred
  • The Yellow Below
  • The Big Red Fred
Whenever I reach a crack and think that a cam would go in, I say out loud: "This looks like a case for the Purple Slurple!" and take the cam out and try to place it. If I'm wrong, I shout: "No, I was wrong! It is a case for the Green Machine!" and so on. I have progressed now to only a whisper, but when I'm really stressed I try to say it out loud, mainly to stop myself from biting my lip and drawing blood. 

Sigh. It has just occurred to me that I have these in my office:

Perhaps they could be attached...

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