/ I've lost my motivation :(
I love to be outdoors, getting up to all sorts - a bit of everything really but the bit about being away from it all is definitely a major factor
A few years ago, I did the training for summer ML and for a couple of years every bit of spare time involved climbing or walking and lots of very memorable trips to our national parks - I decided not to pursue the leadership route but I met a lot of great people and generally had an awesome time. However, I started a new job and found less and less time and energy to get out. Then a few other things happened which more or less lead to me stopping altogether for a couple of years.
A few months ago, a new job came along which will give me bags of time to get out and about again (4 on - 4 off). I decided to hang on until the weather improved a bit, it made sense at the time but I now realise it was more of an excuse than anything. I decided something needed to be done so I got all my gear together for a 24hr wild camp and drove the 200miles to my starting point but, by the time I arrived, I couldn't get parked anywhere sensible. Sleet was starting to fall quite heavily and I ended up scrapping the idea and heading home! I'd have been up there in any conditions other than a nuclear apocalypse a couple of years ago, what's wrong with me!? 400miles to make an excuse, it's not funny when you're getting through a gallon of fuel every 28 of those miles!
So, I rejoined the local climbing club thinking that would give me a bit of a push - although the fee is small, I'd still want to get something out of it having paid for it. I love climbing, I won't claim to be much good at it but I really enjoy it - though I'll confess I've stopped and started a couple of times now; I miss a week for whatever reason, a week becomes two, then a month and before I know it it's several months! That aside, I genuinely wish I could get out climbing a few days a week and finally get myself climbing 7s and possibly higher
Yet, here I am while the club's at the crag. To be fair to myself, I didn't get home from work until gone 3am but it's not that long ago I'd still have been up, packed and at the car park excited about a spring's first day climbing outdoors. Albeit with a huge, strong coffee in hand....
I can't figure it out, I'm missing out on things I love to do because I just can't get myself "in gear"! I'm not old, I'm not fat, I'm not unwell - I'm lazy and I hate it....
Anyone else had to refind their mojo? How did you do it?
I've lost my climbing mojo for the moment but considering that I've been climbing since 1964 that's hardly surprising. Try watching videos and reading guide books and climbing books. Classic Rock. Hard Rock, Extreme Rock and Cold Climbs always worked wonders for me. Rebuffet's Mont Blanc Massif, the 100 Finest Climbs got the Alpine juices flowing.
Actually, "the Swiss account" has helped a bit before even though I've done very little bouldering so maybe you're onto something there
I would be asking myself if I was happy in the rest of my life. From personal experience, I find it much more tempting to shy away from adventurous things if other aspects of my life aren't going as well as I think they ought to be.
That's all a bit "deep" for a Sunday afternoon! You might have a point though and I'm hoping I'll get a bit more lively as the weather warms up. I had this dream of it being a bit of an epic summer when I got the new job but I feel a bit like a car with a flat battery at the moment; SOMETHING needs to get me going!
> I would be asking myself if I was happy in the rest of my life. From personal experience, I find it much more tempting to shy away from adventurous things if other aspects of my life aren't going as well as I think they ought to be.
Bob on. That's been my experience, too.
To the OP: don't give up, it does come back. I'd also second GridNorth's comments re videos and books - they help remind you of why you got into it in the first place, and what held you there.
If you want to do it. Do it.
If you don't. Don't.
There's a couple of other possibilities worth considering:
1) you've moved into a different phase in your life and deep down would rather be doing something else with your spare time (a different sport, go back to university, learn a language write a novel), in which case work out out what that is and do it
2) you're depressed, in which case go see your GP.
Who knows, the weird thing is it's something I want to do ( this applies to a few things, not just climbing).
Sounds like you're jaded with climbing. maybe you just need a new form of adventure to keep your mojo working? For many climbers this can be road cycling, mountain biking, sea kayaking etc. Climbing will always be there and you will get back when you are ready.
Have you tried a different discipline or sport? I haven't rock climbed for quite few years now, but I love outdoors. I did some scrambles, multi-day mountain trips, long distance walks, mountain bike rides, mountain or trail runs, winter mountaineering activities, even road running, etc... yes, I don't do the hard stuff, but it wasn't what made me happy! I actually sold my MTB as I didn't enjoy it anymore either. I still average similar outdoor days a year, I reckon.
Do what makes you happy, not what you think is going to make you happy!
I get what you're both saying but it's not that I've stopped recently; I had to stop for a couple of years because of work (mostly) and I really want to get back to doing the things I enjoy now that I have time but - no matter how keen I am in the few days leading up to an outing, I can't seem to shift myself and get out there
It's a puzzle! I'm sure when I actually get out and back with friends or new people I'll feel much better and it won't be a problem anymore, I just need to motivate myself those first couple of times, hopefully!
You sure that your job is not just taking it out of you and you need a bit of a rest? I reckon when you start you’re new job that the enthusiasm may come flooding back as the available time opens up.
That's what I was hoping fella but I started the new job months ago 😕 I feel a bit like I stopped (having a life) and forgot how to start again (two years of 60+ hour weeks and only getting home at weekends does that I guess)
I'm determined to make the most of this summer though so hopefully I can get my head around it
Be kind to yourself.
No-one wants to go backpacking in sleet. No-one wants to go climbing when they’ve worked till three am. Some might still go for it if they’re especially strong and motivated, but they are only likely to be in that state of mind if they’ve banked some easy days when they haven’t had to overcome a devil on their shoulder.
Maybe plan that backpacking trip again but be flexible so you can go somewhere with good weather or cancel and go the next weekend instead.
Be kind to yourself.
I echo the try something different. I've been a windsurfer now for nearly 20 years and have been pretty obsessed with it in the past to the point of it being a bit of an addiction at times. However, in the past 18-24 months I've slowly fallen out of love with it. I have forced myself to go and did enjoy it but increasingly the hassle of driving 2-4 hours to the coast has not seemed worth it. So I have now not windsurfed for over 6 months (in the past the cold winter with nice waves was the best time of the year).
At the same time I have slowly been getting more and more into climbing after being a hill walker for years. Mainly indoor and outdoor bouldering but a bit of roped stuff as well. Living in Sheffield, climbing is much more convenient than windsurfing and that has been a big attraction. But probably the biggest draw has just been doing something different, learning new things etc. The same spark of doing something new is there again. I am sure I will go windsurfing again but climbing has certainly become my number one passion. So have a think about what else you might want to have a go at and take the plunge. Perhaps think of things close to home so you have less reason not to do it due to travel time. Whilst sometimes the extra effort of a big trip adds to the overall experience I think day to day having something nearby is better. I increasingly like the convenience of something nearby and also not adding unnecessarily to pollution/global warming by driving lots.
I would also not dismiss the potential for the lack of interest being due to other aspects of your life as others have mentioned. I suspect at least part of my waning interest in windsurfing has been due to lots of other things in my life in the past 2 years as well. But I think starting a new interest in climbing has helped here as well.
As others have said, you can hardly blame yourself for not going out in bad weather or when tired. The more climbing you do, the more you learn to focus on quality rather than quantity. Skip the crap weather for a start! Gives you a chance to catch up with life’s chores.
Not quite the same but I've almost fully lost the motivation for trad climbing. Mainly having to drive for hours to get to wales or wherever, and then the faff of it all. Getting home from a weekend where I drove for 6 hours and did barely any climbing. Also actually climbing at my limit requires getting on hard routes which I find absolutely traumatic. So I just turn up and bimble around and don't feel like I've done anything when I get home. I also always have a lull in motivation for climbing when the sun comes out which is prime trad season. All in all, can't be arsed with it. I am goin to pabbay soon tho so I better shake this off!
I’m exactly the same! Been windsurfing for 20 years, would never miss a session even in the depths of winter. But lately I’ve kind of fallen out of love with it and make excuses not to go. It depresses me when I do that though.
i think the general lack of consistent wind for the last 2-3 years has been the main driver.
sorry to Hi-jack the thread OP. Pasbury has it spot on though I think.
I used to live for climbing, until I discovered paragliding. Then I did that to death until one day (the summer of 95) we were sat on a hill, waiting for a thermal that never happened. I suddenly thought "what a waste of a day, I should have gone climbing". So I went back to climbing, then had another diversion into caving, and then back to climbing
It's always there for me but there are other fun things to do out there. As Kevin and others have suggested, give it a break until you WANT to do it again.
This was exactly what I was thinking. Maybe in younger or less tired years you might have gone out in the sleet.
We change and it's important that we accept the changes. I've just traded my little mountain tent in for something I can fit a double air bed in because if I sleep well I climb well the next day !
Be kind to yourself , plan something that is out there, super exciting , work out the steps you need to take to get there and you'll be ok.
And if you're not, you'll still be ok
The most important thing : do not bit yourself up.
I AM LAZY too, so I know what it feels like. I never got the motivation to train (lots of excuses: long days at work, family, no time.....) and, after many years of climbing I have not improved and I am getting old fast.
Accept yourself and be happy. As "bouldery bits" correctly said, do it if you want or don't do it if you don't want. Life IS too short!
In my case, I have accepted this. I go out when i feel like and I am happy with challenging myself with what for others is beginner's stuff. I found out that, gradually, I am going out more and more.......because I am having fun! no pressure!
Thankyou all, especially for the kind words
I spent a while watching videos last night; it wasn't making much difference until I found a couple of lady climbers trad climbing at about my level in some of my favourite spots in the peak and having a lot of fun (no it wasn't a blue movie you mucky minded reader!! Lol) It's really helped! So, I think the first (baby) step will be to promise myself that I'll go to the wall at least once this week and work on it from there - I don't think the club has anything planned outdoors for a couple of weeks now so it'll give me a bit of time to get back into the swing of things
I think you've got it right. Sometimes mojo goes. The biggest problem is often forcing it, wanting it, needing it to come back.Taking it easy, no pressure, is often just what you need and then it comes back in bucketfuls (although sometimes in unexpected ways).
> Also actually climbing at my limit requires getting on hard routes which I find absolutely traumatic.
God, tell me about it. I can't think of anything worse right now than climbing something where the holds are shit, and there's no escape from the abject terror of maybe falling off and getting a grazed knee or something. (I don't really mind the stuff where it's easy but you'll die if you cock it up). I might have to start being honest and just admit that I only like climbing if it's easy. You see, the problem for me is that I hate sport climbing and bouldering too (bouldering's OK if it's somewhere new with lots of good problems with safe landings and I can do a 3-strikes and out circuit). It's really only steep trad routes on massive buckets with insane levels of exposure that I actually like.
What would get me psyched for climbing again is some kind of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind type process where I could just go an climb all the really brilliant jugfest routes again "onsight" and be totally made up every time I manage to complete an HVS in less than half a day.
Some of the Bald Eagle vids can provide some inspiration. Those vids are not high grades but just a bunch of guys going out and enjoying some interesting places with great pitches. Last year our best day on the ropes was a multi pitch v diff on the back of Cadair, not the harder grades at other crags. Reminded me why we go out, not to tick boxes but just for the fun of it.
Hey! I'm going through the same thing, I used to be desperate to get out and would think nothing of driving three hours and camping at North Lees in -8. I thought I was a lifer but after one to many crapped out trips and dissapointing indoor sessions I also found myself planning and then canceling a multitude of trips. I finally went on one last weekend and enjoyed it but not enough to make it worth while. Its hard to get my head around why something I once lived for is now no longer a priority but since I bought a wreck of a house two years ago climbing has become less and less important and more of a struggle to fit in. I have decided to stop forcing myself to carry on and see if I miss it
I empathise, and struggle with the same issues myself. It's frustrating because I do enjoy climbing and am happy when I'm into it, and dropping out of it slows down my progress at getting better (though that's not the end of the world of course!).
Don't underestimate the importance of sleep, exercise, and diet (and minimising alcohol) on your mental state. Also just being outside. It's hard to break out of a rut, but committing to improving those things three weeks ago (and subseuently doing so) has resulted in me suddenly being interested in climbing again.
Whilst other life stress is often an issue for me, as for many I'm sure, I find my ability to absorb that and roll with the punches goes up massively if I get the above stuff right.
For sure it's challenging to break what can be a vicious circle and turn it into a virtuous circle instead. I have no recipe for that, but when I do so it's usually when things have got pretty bad and I set a strong intention to make a change for 4 weeks and then see how it goes. For me a short horizon is less daunting and in practise I'm normally fired up by then: "it takes motivation to get started, then addiction keeps you going"!
Anyhow apologies if all the above doesn't apply to you, it's just my personal story! As others have said it could just be you need a new activity or learning experience, there are heaps of other fun ways to spend your free time other than rockclimbing (hopefully I won't be banned from UKC for saying that!).
Have a more flexible view on what "feeding the rat" is for you at the moment. I think as plans get more ambitious (which can be driven by watching videos, and reading guidebooks), the danger is anything less than a mythical, perfect trip when all things align can seem not worth bothering with. Maybe try for very small steps, an hours bouldering, easy solos/scrambles a short hill run, or walk up a small local hill.
I find that these regular outdoor experiences tend to then build an authentic, resilient drive for bigger stuff, as well as the actual physical fitness and logistical platform to do them. It is all habit forming, when I'm getting outside to do anything a few times a week all those activation energy barriers are way lower, my gear is sorted etc. It also reduces the mismatch between how you feel trips should be when imagining them, and reality (often cold, wet, scared!), so reduces the chance of making "all or nothing" decisions. Most importantly you will almost certainly enjoy some of this, and stumble across new goals, (boulders to work etc.) which will kick start your genuine motivation. In your aborted trip, a compromise would be to get out of the car and go for a walk, with a see what happens attitude (keep the tent in the bag).
I've also just opted to reduce working days in order to do more outdoor stuff, and can empathize with this putting a feeling of pressure on the days off, particularly if you are conscious of possible financial or career penalties associated with this. Seems to be more realistic to view this kind of a decision as enabling a more balanced overall life, more chance to rest, and go into activities feeling fresher etc. rather than setting targets of spending each day at the maximum limit of your own potential.
Certainly for me this is also feeling like a process of spinning back up stuff I used to do, rather than an instant transformation to every day off being a top level adventure.
Thankyou everyone! Some of you especially have put a lot of thought into what you've said and it means a lot to think strangers would do that - thankfully us outdoor types still seem to do these things even when it's something society is losing fast!
I'm back to being quite excited about this summer - though I'm not entirely sure where to start so far: I do know I'm going to need to lose a few pounds and work on my fitness a bit even at this early stage. Any thoughts?
Do you boulder at all? I know I am still in the earlyish stages of enjoying climbing but I find bouldering (indoors and outdoors) gives few excuses not to get out. Not the same as you but I spent years thinking about going indoor bouldering. But something put me off. Then when I finally went it was very much, why didn't I do this before? Just being able to turn up, play as easy or hard as you want and engage with others depending on what mood I am in. Simple, hassle free fun. I actually started indoor bouldering to get fit for ice climbing but now it is a key activity for me (at least 3 times per week).
And outdoor bouldering is not that different. You can get out on your own or with a few friends. Just need a pad, some chalk, and some shoes. You can boulder easy(ish) stuff or have some projects to push yourself. It gets you outdoors, feeling rock and just enjoying life. I had a great evening last Saturday. Pretty much everyone had gone home, it was still, warm and lovely light. I was alone working a project to get my first font 6A so nothing ground breaking but to me I am sure it feels the same as Ondra pushing 9C - one of the things I love about climbing is we are all equal, just pushing different grades. I was working the moves and just enjoying relaxing in the peace and tranquility lying on my mat between attempts looking over the landscape and watching the light playing on the rock. It doesn't get much better than that.
And both of these will work on climbing fitness and get you back into climbing mode ready for bigger things if you want to.
I've never set out to go bouldering, I've bouldered about a bit at the wall while waiting for people to turn up but that's about it.
I do have a pad though, my brother was interested in getting into it so I bought one and he's not mentioned it since! So perhaps an odd evening out would be a good idea.
In my experience, just exploring a different aspect of climbing can be great for re-fueling psyche.
If you've never really bouldered before, you might get that delightful steep learning curve where you can feel like you're learning and making progress on each session. And extra strength and power from bouldering will be handy for any other sort of climbing you want to do.
I concur with what others have said and OP youre right mojo is easy to loose.
Personally I find its not one thing, not just one of the above but a culmination of things. As others have said life gets in the way. In fact I have found that when life is getting the better of me just going to an indoor wall helps me through whatever it is. This can leave me pretty unapproachable on the bouldering areas as i just climb and dont talk much... I clear my head but as its something i need to do. I dont mind the reputation. Either way I find slowly slowly I can cumulatively counteract bad mojo with good and return to form... it just takes time.
Best thing to do I'd your depressed is go climb a trad route in the mountains 😉
Again; thankyou very much everyone!
I've not got out or to the wall yet but I have been getting other things in order - clearing space for press-ups and sit-ups and so I can get back on the fingerboard (softly-softly though). I've also found that the local wall now offers coaching sessions so I think a good start would be to get a couple of those booked.
And, a major boost in moral; I've been cutting calories back slightly and trying to be more active and in a week or so I've lost a kilo! I've a way to go with that yet (another 6-10kg would be great) but I'm still chuffed.
The plan was to get over to the peak district for a bit of bouldering early next week but, with it being school holidays, I might rethink that, if I can come up with an alternative
Glad to hear it.
Get at it!
> Again; thankyou very much everyone!
> I've not got out or to the wall yet but I have been getting other things in order - clearing space for press-ups and sit-ups and so I can get back on the fingerboard (softly-softly though). I've also found that the local wall now offers coaching sessions so I think a good start would be to get a couple of those booked.
> And, a major boost in moral; I've been cutting calories back slightly and trying to be more active and in a week or so I've lost a kilo! I've a way to go with that yet (another 6-10kg would be great) but I'm still chuffed.
> The plan was to get over to the peak district for a bit of bouldering early next week but, with it being school holidays, I might rethink that, if I can come up with an alternative
This appears to be a lot of planning but no action, it would seem you have an idea of who you would like to be as an outdoor person. But and it’s a big but it’s seems you are afraid to try in case you don’t get there. Maybe you need to look elsewhere for the answer to this.
Well, thankyou for the reply. Let's not kick a man when he's down though hey? It's been 5 days, I've worked three of them, lost a bit of weight, refound a bit of enthusiasm, made it easier to get myself into better shape and decided on a way forward. I don't see that as doing too bad to be honest - yes I need to actually DO SOMETHING... but it's coming whereas a week ago it wasn't.
I wasn’t try to put the boot in but wondering why if you have the time and the desire. You can’t get moving.
As that sounds like a different issue.
Just struggling to get myself moving I suppose - being a bit lazy maybe, I don't know really, that's why I started this thread - I want to do it, have done in the past and had a great time, have all the gear and now have the time but find myself wasting the days instead most of the time; it's as though I've had no spare time for so long, I don't know what to do with it now! That bit of encouragement on here has made a world of difference though.
Things are moving anyway, I'm hoping to squeeze a visit to the wall in when I get up tomorrow (I'm at work), I'll stay for a while if i can but I don't think I'll have time unfortunately. I can probably go speak to them about coaching and get something organised
Do you have any mates who live a couple of hours or so away? Perhaps you could arrange to meet half way to walk or climb. Making arrangements might be what gets you out and about In order to fulfil the commitment. Fingers crossed for some good weather over the next few weeks/months!
The biggest concern from this thread is that you are only getting 28mpg out of your car! Anything less than 60 these days should be banned!
"Anything less than 60 these days should be banned!"
......unless you're anything to do with agriculture and drive a 4x4 for that reason 😉
> The plan was to get over to the peak district for a bit of bouldering early next week but, with it being school holidays, I might rethink that, if I can come up with an alternative
What's the problem with it being school holidays? Kids to look after?
I'm just not keen on crowds & would like to just get on with my own thing once I'm there; without getting in anyone's way
As it stands though, I'm going (once I've decided where) but if the weather turns I'll be going to the wall instead. I've got 4 off starting tomorrow so I'm sure I can figure something out.
I payed for a month's membership at the wall today and discussed coaching - I'll get my stamina built back up and relearn everything a bit first but hopefully I'll only need a couple of weeks to make enough of an improvement. The diet and being more active are still going well and I made a start on the press-ups etc today too. So, all in all, I think I've earned a beer or two... or three!
> I'm just not keen on crowds & would like to just get on with my own thing once I'm there; without getting in anyone's way
Yeah, I get that; me too.
But with most bouldering locations in the Peak, you're not going to be queuing for problems. Stanage Plantation can get very busy at weekends, but with Burbage South Valley (for example, as it's one of my favourite places for some low-stress outdoor bouldering) you can usually find a boulder all to yourself. People will tend to cluster on a few obvious ones (like the Brick and Pock Block) and leave the rest relatively empty.
The little Curbar quarry, closest to the pay car park, is chilled, fun, quiet, easy to access... and you can move along the edge after you’re done, looking for other quiet spots.
Thankyou, I'll have a look
Is there such a thing as a "go to" area if you're looking specifically to work on your footwork?
Not that I can think of particularly..... it’s all footwork innit. I can think of lots of problems where footwork is especially important, but that’s more about the specific problems than the area.
I often find I have to think more about footwork on traverses, for what it’s worth...
Thanks, I guessed it wouldn't be a simple one to answer - you sometimes hear of these things though; in this case I can imagine the old & bold watching a newbie and saying "you wanna get yourself to cratcliff" (* I just picked the first place that came to mind) when really they could just suggest working on your footwork
The good news is that I climbed yesterday and I'm going again later 🙂 the bad news is that my technique has all evaporated & I'm more or less back to square 1
6a was the best of the day and that was with really thinking each move through - though it did feel like I'd regained a bit of composure on that one so maybe it's not so bad
> The good news is that I climbed yesterday and I'm going again later
> the bad news is that my technique has all evaporated & I'm more or less back to square 1
That happens to me every time I'm off for a few months -- I come back and panic because it feels like I've completely forgotten how to climb. However, in my experience, it always comes back much faster than I expect.
It takes a few sessions of climbing like shit, and then there's a lurch as my motor skills go "Hey, that climbing thing! I remember that!" and it all comes rushing back.
Yes, true. Obviously, *exceptions apply, see T's & C's
Alex Puccio has climbed Heritage, a Carlo Traversi Font 8B+ in Val Bavona, Switzerland. This was Puccio's fifth climb graded 8B+ after previously climbing Jade, The Wheel of Chaos, New Baseline and The Penrose Step.