I’ve been climbing around 2 years… actually, probably 2 and a half. I decided I would start it as a New Years resolution – I planned to start lots of new things, climbing was just one of them. Yoga, boxing, clay pigeon shooting, all sorts of random things like that.
But, I just really enjoyed climbing.
Maybe it was because you just keep going until you’re absolutely exhausted, and then you keep going more. And you get the same physical benefits of going to the gym or wherever but you also get a sense of achievement and focus you don’t really get with other stuff.
I used to get really stressed at my old job and I would get… I don’t know. I would feel quite tense and stressed out, and I’d get a really tight chest sometimes, and then I’d go climbing and complete forget about it all. I’d just get into the zone of it and it would destress me.
It would just help me feel much calmer and at ease.
And now if I ever get really annoyed or stressed out, I’ll just go climb. Even if I am on my own I will just go climb and feel much better in myself and less stressed out.
I think if I hadn’t have used climbing as a way to clear my head I would would have just picked up something else… like I used to go to the gym.
But… the gym wouldn’t have changed my life as much; with climbing you can just get out, with climbing you can go and climb a mountain or somewhere that’s miles away and you can go to other countries to climb and each climb is a unique thing in the world.
I think I just like to be able to see something, look at it, and think “I’m going to get to the top of that” – like a mountain.
My favourite thing is just getting out and spending a long day just climbing something that’s like hiking in, climbing something, seeing really nice views, the adventure of it is what draws me and I think that’s what it is about winter climbing; the ground is covered in snow it feels really untouched, you get that sense of adventure – no footprints – you’re making your own way up. And when you’re outside you have to be more measured, you have to be sure you can do it because there’s more risk.
But I still think it’s about pushing myself.
I don’t tend to try something unless I’m pretty sure I’ll succeed. So maybe I don’t push myself indoors.
If I don’t feel I can do something, I don’t give it my hardest shot…