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Beginning Bouldering

At this point in my life, I think I’d almost forgotten what it means to be a beginner. Most of my hobbies I’ve been doing for a while. I’ve been reading since I learned how in first grade, running since late 2009, and even my yoga practice goes back about four years (although it wasn’t very consistent for the first two.)

Bouldering is reminding me what being a beginner is like. It’s humbling. It’s challenging. It makes you want to forget about the whole thing sometimes. But when it starts to click, you know you’re along for the ride.

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I’ve discussed my fear of failure before, and I’ve seen its influence on my approach to bouldering (which is climbing without a harness, if you don’t know like I didn’t know.) Although I was invited to climb over the summer when I taught a few yoga classes at Climb Nulu, I never went because deep down I felt insecure. I wasn’t sure I was going to succeed, so I didn’t attempt it.

Now that I am regularly teaching yoga, I have a membership to climb whenever I want. What I’ve realized is that I have to be a beginner. There is no jumping straight to being a great climber. I might not ever be a great climber, but that shouldn’t stop me from trying it and having fun. Being a beginner means starting at square one before you move on to square two, let alone square 100.

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Today was my fourth time climbing and I’m (surprisingly) content to be patiently working on easy routes. I have a better feel for what types of movements my body has to make. I know when I need to rest before down climbing. I’m feeling braver, taking more risks, and finding that (most of the time) they are paying off.

The learning process will probably cause both frustration and elation, but I’m here to enjoy the journey.

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