The Rest of My Day

17 Wed, 2010 § 4 Comments

So what did I mean yesterday when I said “most” of my day flowed smoothly?

After establishing my intent to see things for what they are, not let anything get to me & just work with it, my day went smoothly…I was happy…mellow…calm.

I was like water & the day flowed

until I hit a wall while I was about 40 feet off the ground.

I got off to a bumpy start on the warm up [not the actual climb above] because it was more awkward than I had expected.  I winced & wined but pulled through.  I was at my 4th bolt, debating which path to take over a ledge, & — BAM — I slammed into the wall.

It isn’t a “physically challenging” wall — this climb is well within my physical capabilities — it’s psychological.  I’m sketched & afraid; my head isn’t in it.  When I hit this wall, there is generally one of two ways to handle it:

A. Shift the blame to someone else, like the “bolters” who needlessly exaggerated the space between bolts or the fact that “we haven’t been climbing routes enough to feel confident” or onto my “belayer” because he’s not sure which way the route goes & I convince myself he is getting impatient [which is never the case].

I am focusing on the past, which obviously isn’t useful.  Then my brain jumps to future prospects, one of them being falling.  Now that’s all I can think about.  So of course, I fall…or give up, which actually feels worse.


B. Accept that I am the one climbing, I can’t change the situation of the rock, bolts, etc. & only I can do anything at that instance.

It is not the ego’s sense of “I” here.  It is accepting that I always have a choice in every situation I am ever in.  Only I can really do anything about it.  It is submitting to the presence & not glancing sideways, worrying about the future or the past, which are generally negative thoughts.  What can I do now?

Monday, I succumbed to choice A & gave up…left to freak out about the fact I just bailed on the warm up!  😦

After talking with Dave, I realized the moments I break through the wall, I am usually muttering something to myself like “I am totally lost here [on this climb]…”I have no idea what I’m doing”…I actually laugh…& think “oh well”…risk it — just go for it — “I’ll figure it out”.  If I don’t, yeah I fall, but only a few feet.  I’m not going to die.  I don’t think about falling; I only think about how I am climbing at that moment.

Life is a lot like this when we hit “walls”.  We can go with A & focus on everything except the task at hand OR be present & own it.


Did I tell you what Dave’s “intention” for the day was?  To make me laugh hysterically.  I thought this was a worthy intention 😉 & couldn’t help but be anxious for its execution.  If I knew it was coming though, it wouldn’t work, right?


He succeeded.  More impressive yet: he made me laugh…hysterically…only moments after I had been crying over the climb.  I know he’s beyond amazing.  You don’t have to say it. 😉


Not only will I start the day off by “shaping intention”, I will take a moment before doing things like climbing & determine my intention for that experience.  I did this a couple times while climbing with my friend Polly, & we always had “successful” experiences.  I’m not sure what else to do, but I hope this helps.

What do you usually do when you hit the “wall”?

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§ 4 Responses to The Rest of My Day

  • Julia says:

    I love the idea of starting off the day, as well as different activities, with an intention. Sounds like it could have a very positive impact on my day and my thinking.
    I hit walls pretty often, as I am very stubborn and somewhat easily frustrated. I don’t tend to react super well – Path A is my usual. Often I just need a little time alone to get over it, or like you my husband likes to laugh it out of me.
    I really enjoy how reflective and personal your posts are, and how you challenge your thinking and come up with ways to improve.

    • Allie says:

      You are so nice Julia — thank you! That just made my day. 🙂 I love hearing others’ input & perspectives — it’s a major reason why I started this blog — it’s pretty incredible to be able to connect with people this way. Aw, the blogasphere. 😉
      Try the first-thought-of-the-day-thing — you’ll love it! I get frustrated so easily, & it really helps me stay focused on what matters.

  • […] my mental disintegration on the warm-up climb last week, I’ve been trying to figure out how to overcome hitting “the wall”.  I think I […]

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