I was recently asked by Hold breaker on why I think everyone’s struggle is the same irrespective of level.
My response was ‘Everyone’s struggle is the same because at the end of the day if your your trying hard your trying hard. It doesn’t matter if your limit is 6a, 7a or 8a and above it all feels the same’
In the moment it was the best I could come up with which I found frustrating as I wanted to do better but my mind was just blank.
Although I stand by these words to a point I believe it goes much deeper than that.
And so it got me thinking about struggles within climbing and no doubt all sports.
More specifically, my struggle … the struggle of the mind.
Anyone who knows me will know that I have spent the better part of a year injured, I hurt both my left and my right rotator cuffs (tendons and ligaments that hold your shoulder together) one after the other.
Though they still feel tender I am now able to climb and start training properly again, mainly thanks to Tim Cunningham at Peak pro fitness.
He has done a tremendous job at helping me rehab my shoulders, retrain my posture and sort out my neural pathways.
Coming back into the swing of things has been great but hard, mentally hard.
Although a lot of my strength has come back and I’m starting to feel a bit like the old me there are still my memories of how strong I used to be and how well I feel I used to perform.
These memories have been hard to deal with when falling off things that would have felt easy before.
Being at the climbing wall feeling like people have an expectation of how I should be climbing and although I am back to being a relatively strong climber I don’t feel like I climb to the standard that is being expected of me (subconsiously what I expect of myself).
Even though this is all in my head through the way I perceive others I have found it very hard to deal with as often I have ended up feeling upset and frustrated with a session because of it.
Having to retrain movements, that with correct posture feel really hard when I perceive them as being easy. Thinking if people are wondering why on earth I am doing such simple physical drills.
Worrying that every ache is going to turn out to be another injury or not.
Due to these trying to find motivation to keep going has been very hard.
The silly thing is in reality, nobody cares but me, it’s all self pressure and keeping it in check by focusing on positives on every session has been the way forward.
I’ve had to take steps back but ultimately I’ll come back all the stronger for it.
I know I’m not the only one feeling this way and going through these struggles, anyone in any sport has mental frustrations regardless of weather or not they are coming back from injury.
Feeling like motivation at times is hard to find.
Putting in so much time and effort for such minute increments of improvement.
I think in the end it it worth the effort and we will be better and happier if we can push through these times.
When times are hard you have to remember why you loved it in the first place.
For me that the exploration of new places and having a good laugh with friends.
This picture for sums up the feeling I get from the above mentioned points.