Gwendle Vs Everything

a blog for non-Gwendles to learn about Gwendle and other things

My Brain Vs. My Body: Rock Climbing Redux

Redux adjective. brought back; revived

I first tried rock climbing when I was about sixteen years old, and I fell in love.  Not with the awesome guy with green hair who worked at the gym and taught my friends and me the basics, but with climbing itself.  I became a fairly avid climber, and although there would occasionally be gaps of a few months in my climbing, at other times I was going weekly, or up to three times weekly. 

I was never spectacular at it — never learned to lead climb, and at my peak, I was just starting to do routes rated 5.10a — but I was pretty good, and getting better, and I really, really enjoyed doing it.

Then, about four years ago, I dislocated my shoulder halfway up a wall . . .

. . . and even after my shoulder was moderately recovered I was afraid to climb again.  And by the time I was ready to climb again, the people I had been climbing with either no longer did it or had moved away, and without the motivation of friends to go with I just never got back into it.  I also dislocated my shoulder a couple more times (because I’m me) and each time set me back.  

Well, on December 3rd 2015 (right now that’s today, but who the heck knows when I’ll publish this {February 26th} or when you’ll be reading it? {check a calendar}) I started climbing again. 

And it was wonderful. 

And my everything hurts. 

And I’m experiencing something that I go through every time I have an extended break from the gym, but which is much more frustrating when it relates to rock climbing — My Brain remembers how to do things that My Body is not currently capable of.

The gap between how I know I should be doing a route and the things My Body is actually doing is nearly a chasm.  I know what I need to do, and I also know that, at this point in time, I simply cannot do it.  The fact that I look around and see other people doing those things, thereby proving that it is in fact possible, doesn’t help.  The fact that I know I too was once capable of it helps even less.

Not surprisingly, My Brain doesn’t like it when I’m not capable of following its instructions, and (also not surprisingly) it gets rather mean and rude about the whole situation:

This kind of negative self-talk is nothing new — it seems to be one of My Brain’s main functions.  But what I have learned, and what My Brain needs to understand, and what I want to pass on to you for the next time you decide to try something new, or to re-learn a skill that you’ve let lapse for any reason, is this:

It’s important to never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle . . .

. . . even if that someone else is you from five years ago.


2 thoughts on “My Brain Vs. My Body: Rock Climbing Redux

  1. I like your conclusion. I think I feel this way about my productivity. I remember being more productive. I try to jump back into being highly productive instead of taking steps closer to where I am right now. Also you should link to your old blog when you mention dislocating your shoulder a couple of more times:) for non-linear reading;)

    1. Haha, I did link to it, but on the first mention of dislocated shoulder — I think you’re right though, the other spot would be more fitting 🙂

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