1 In bouldering/ fitness

The fear of letting go

This is not a cryptic title to a deep & meaningful post. It simply means that I’m not as tough as I sometimes think I am – for example, I am terrified when I climb to the top of these walls:

White Spider Climbing

Climbing up is actually not the part that troubles me, it’s the letting go once I’m up there. To be specific, it’s the letting go when I climb with the auto-belay device that lets you fall for a second before it catches you. I’m breaking out in cold sweat even as I type this.

When a human belays you it’s not that scary to come down, they lower you down bit by bit and at no point are you in free fall. The darn auto-belay device though is what my nightmares are made of.

Last Sunday I did a bit of bouldering as usual but then my hands started to get sore and I decided it was time to face my fear.  I harnessed myself up, clipped myself in and started climbing. I went up and up and up and up and when it came time to let go, I couldn’t. I climbed down.

I did that a few times and then sucked up my pride (although climbing down from a rock-climbing wall is pretty embarrassing as well), climbed up about 1.5 metres, hang on to the rope for my dear life, closed my eyes and jumped.


Just maybe that one time I did the Tower of Terror in Dreamworld.  I threw up straight afterwards.

Anyway, I kept going and eventually managed to let myself go from about a third of the way up. Not a totally conquered fear but I hope that next time I climb a tricky route and actually fall off the wall, I won’t throw up.

And to finish off, here’s a little video of bouldering, excuse the almost smiley face sweat patch 🙂

Good fun. Try it out if you’ve got a place nearby. It’s great exercise without feeling like exercise and it’s especially fun if you do it with a group of friends.

PS. The place where we go climbing is White Spider.

PPS. What fear are you working on conquering?


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1 Comment

  • Reply
    The fear of letting go
    December 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    […] Read the rest of the post at its original source […]

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