Climbing is frightening. That’s part of the point. Breaking through a fear barrier, physical or mental, gives you a euphoria afterwards
Climbing is frightening. That’s part of the point. Breaking through a fear barrier, physical or mental, brings a euphoria that would take you months of running to approximate (I’m estimating, there; I’ve still never had running euphoria). In the general run of things, it’s hard to scare yourself, without incurring life-threatening risks. So climbing is a simulation exercise, really, in going to the brink. It cuts both ways: either you get the rush of a challenge met with adequate confidence and skill, or you get too scared and end up clinging, sweaty-palmed, to a wall, slightly too high up to leap off, too jessie to look down, trying to feel your way to safety with blind and jittery feet.
Bouldering on an indoor wall doesn’t let you go that high. Holds that involve more dynamic moves – effectively leaping from one to another, with a split second of “holy-shit” in the middle – tend not to be at the very top of the wall. But actually, your body doesn’t listen to reason: I can get scared when I’m two feet from the ground, a height where falling off on to the padded crashmat flooring would be no more consequential than jumping into bed in a lively fashion. I can also get scared when I’m on a totally secure hold at the top of a wall, nothing but a blank brain and a thumping heart. I can get scared on a novice route (or “problem”), or on one I’ve done five times before. Obviously it’s not a competition, but your mind can do things to your body, liquefy it in a way that no muscle in the world could withstand. But remember: you don’t want never to be scared or you’ll never get your mojo.