Go Outside. Be Silly. Notice the small things!
– my mantra
Climbing for me is definitely my Mindfulness, my ‘clear head’ space, the point where I can find peace and quiet – peace from a busy, worrying mind. I’ve suffered with anxiety on and off since the age of 16. At that point, when anxiety hit me, I was in a very low place. I luckily had counselling for a year through the NHS, which massively helped me through my anxiety and gave me the support and encouragement I needed. Add a good few years, now into my mid 20s – I decided to give climbing a try, as it’s a sport that’s always fascinated me and, once I learnt rope climbing, I was hooked! I wanted to find other people that understood just how fun and exciting this sport was and to share in that.
Recently, my physical health and mental health hasn’t been as great as I would like it to be; experiencing chronic stomach and chest pain had an impact on my mood and at times I was extremely low, exhausted and run down. Worrying and becoming frustrated about my physical health, not being as active or as good at climbing as I wanted to be, has at times brought on more anxiety.
Now, I try and let things be, and try to be more accepting towards myself, that this is just how things are right now and it will be ok!
But climbing has been there for me when I’ve been stressed, anxious, and lonely, and it’s definitely a sport which has helped me through some tough times. Not only that but I’ve made some awesome, lovely friends through this sport.
Because it’s not just climbing! It’s moments of pure engagement, where nothing else matters, no worries, no thinking. It’s just you and these weird coloured shaped rocks you’re trying to figure out, or a boulder outside in the Yorkshire countryside on a blustery day, laughing with friends. What’s not to Love? ☺