The main point I’d like to make as we wrap up this series of blogs is to reiterate the importance of understanding your motivation and the mindset it creates. Remember, your mind is motivated by achievement, causing you to easily slip into practicing falling to get it over with. This motivation negatively impacts your falling practice. The goal is to shift your motivation so it’s learning-based and to tune into your comfort (or stress) level as you practice. This will help create a mindset that engages your attention in the moment and allows you to more easily enjoy the process.
Specifically, moving forward, you'll want to integrate falling into your climbing. Some climbers do this while projecting routes, but for most of us, integrating falling into our warm-up works best. Climb up several bolts, clip one above your head, and take a fall. Then climb to the next one, clip it, and continue climbing until the clipped draw is by your waist and fall. Then climb to the next one, clip it, and climb until it’s by your knee and fall. Slowly increment to longer falls as you get higher on the route.
Doing a little falling practice frequently is better than doing a lot occasionally. This shift speaks to the shift from all-or-nothing thinking to the incremental steps I’ve introduced in this series. Integrating falling into your warm-up changes how you view falling. Instead of seeing falling as something you have to do, you see it as something you willingly engage. Falling becomes an important part of your climbing—just like any other type of climbing training.
Integrating falling into your climbing maintains and grows your proficiency with this often- misunderstood skill. You approach falling as a skill that needs regular exercise, just like our muscles need regular exercise to grow strong. Enjoy, and be attentive to your practice.
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