Hello anybody who still reads my blog! Long time no see. Sorry I have been MIA for a little while, the start of summer is always a little crazy. Anyway, today I think I’m going to talk about fear.
It’s always been a big deal for me. For most people, I think. Ever since I was really little, I have been scared of a lot of things. A LOT OF THINGS. Death, cancer, sharks, kidnappers, the ocean, fire, heights. That last one is pretty surprising right? A climber afraid of heights seems like a recipe for disaster. Or short climbs at least. I have always loved climbing, but up until a few years ago I have been scared out of my socks while doing it. I know there are a lot of climbers that felt as if being suspended thousands of feet above ground was as comfortable as their own bed, but that is never how it has been for me. It took a long time, a lot of commitment and trust in myself to get over that hump.
Getting over my fears was a matter of learning. For years I have pored over any piece of climbing related text I could get my hands on, from Royal Robbins to Jon Krakauer to Steve House. The more I learned the more I trusted myself, and my intuition to keep me safe.
The other huge part of it was strength. I don’t know why, but I really like working out. Getting stronger, improving the shell I was born in, learning about my physical as well as mental presence in the world has been huge. The stronger I got, the fitter and more skilled, trust was built up within me. Trust that I could defend myself, and I rely on myself to stay alive.
I thought I should spend some time writing about this particular subject, because it is a question I get a lot. Learning to control my fear, but also knowing the difference between irrelevance and my instincts trying to tell me something isn’t safe. I’m still working on the shark thing.