I like climbing and there is an awesome bouldering gym pretty close to me. But I’m a big chicken when it comes to falling! The mental aspect of it was totally beating me down… so I decided to practice falling.
I was methodical. I climbed up just a bit, braced myself, and jumped off. I was in an area with huge cushy pads and every time after I fell I thought “see, I’m fine.” I did it over and over. Then I climbed a bit higher, braced, fell. Still fine, although I’m certain I used 200 beats of my heart’s lifetime in a very short minute. Again. Again. Ok, this is ok.
I was feeling good; I was facing my demon and forming confidence! It was working! I climbed up a bit higher – my feet were now about ten feet off the ground. I reached for the next hold knowing I would likely fall, fell, “great job!” my boyfriend said, then “uh oh, that hurt.”
Man did it hurt! Ow ow ow ow ow OUCH! I tried all the pain reliving techniques I know: I rolled around, waved my hands around frantically, attempted (unsuccessfully) to stand up, told my boyfriend in no uncertain terms not to touch my ankle. There were many inappropriate words for children in there too.
After awhile (I think it was about 20 minutes), the pain became manageable. But the loss of my burgeoning falling confidence was a huge bummer!
Now I’m nursing a sprained ankle, sprained dignity and hoping not to psychologically be creating more falling fears. I’m working on learning “proper falling” technique and prepping for the next fall. I will learn to fall without failing.