There are some climbing days when you just don’t feel right. You can’t quite put your finger on the reason why you are feeling off, but nonetheless you are.
It would be easy to write these days off. Call it a short day and forget it even happened. Or worse, continue on and bum out your partner to.
But I know you don’t want to do that, so I’m here to offer a solution for your bummer mood.
I know I may not be able to say anything at all to help you out of these moods, because when you are in one you just are not yourself.
But I would like speak to that person for a second.
That you that isn’t really you.
Here is something to try.
Talk a walk and collect yourself. Go to the bathroom if you are in the gym or somewhere quiet if you are at the crag.
Put your hand over your heart, feel it beat.
Now I want you use your mind to think of three things: a brag, a gratitude and a desire.
First, a brag:
Think back to a time when you did something you were so proud of on the rock.
I know you have a moment. Probably lots of them.
Don’t rush this part.
Sit quietly where you are at, or keep walking. And really go deep into that memory.
Maybe it was a time where you lead something that you were totally nervous to start up. Or a time where you climbed until you fell off. Or a time where you helped someone else do their best on a climb.
Close your eyes and go back to that moment and those feelings.
What have you done in your climbing career that you could “brag” about?
Next, a gratitude:
Feel this one out.
What can you be grateful for, in this moment, even in your darkest of moods.
Your health, the ability to use your body, having access to the environment you are in, the people surrounding you, nature…
You can even play with being grateful for being in a bad mood but being able to acknowledge it. Why? Because acknowledging your bad mood, being aware, is the first step to reducing their occurrence.
Lastly, think of your climbing desire:
What is it that you want most from your climbing?
And don’t let your Ego answer this one, if you can help it.
Do you want to climb with grace? Do you want to have more fun? Do you want to do long endurance routes, or super inspiring boulder problems? The comradery of the climbing community?
Think of what you want.
Go to the source of yourself for the answer.
A brag, a gratitude and desire. Talk five minutes to contemplate these things when you are in a funk. No one has to know you are doing it. It may not bring you back to your happiest self, but it will leave you feeling humble and inspired.
Like anything, do it with a sense of honesty. This is a good opportunity to get to know and trust yourself, take it.