Friday, 22 October 2010


Went climbing with a friend last night who introduced me to the concept of building momentum. He showed me that when reaching for a hold that is a long stretch or leap of faith, it often helps to build momentum by consolidating ones position, crouching down from a point of security and then starting the stretch or leap from that secure point and using the momentum to propel oneself that bit higher.

It was one of those moments of insight where it made perfect sense for the situation but I could see it having a far wider application. Education, business, faith, sport, even war!

Sticking with climbing for now, I tried applying the technique yesterday evening and I think it helped. Time will tell but I did achieve solid grips on an overhanging lead climb that I think I would have otherwise struggled with. What it didn't do anything for was my physical strength. I simply have not been exercising. I reached the lip of the overhang and could go no further. I hate falling and managed to climb down a little but turned the air blue as I finally let go and fell a couple of metres.

My goal number 8 is to climb the (lead climbing) overhang in Glasgow Climbing Center. I've twice gotten a third of the way up. I think my technique is improving but I need to work on my strength and stamina.
Back to press ups and weights this morning. To achieve goal number 8 I need to consolidate my physical strength and stamina and I believe that will allow me to apply momentum to getting to the top.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Mark - well done for making progress on the overhang wall! What grade is the route you're climbing on?

    From my experience, the most important thing you need to reach this goal is to keep climbing regularly - although I appreciate you're a pretty busy chap so that could be really difficult! I'm climbing every week at the moment and I can feel myself improving really slowly. Twice a week is best I think although I can't do that at the moment because of a dodgy finger. I literally only have to miss a couple of sessions though and I can feel myself getting worse again!

    Also, for climbing overhangs, you might know these tips already but they've helped me a lot:

    * Try and keep your arms straight when you're hanging from the wall, especially when you're clipping in. Hanging with a bent elbow uses a lot more strength and energy and it's really important to conserve both as much as possible.

    * Try and keep your feet up as high as you can. In this position your body acts as a pendulum which pushes your feet into the wall. If your feet are too low down they will want to keep falling off, dragging your body with them. Also, this helps a lot with the whole momentum thing - you can then push outwards with your feet which swings your whole body out and up like a pendulum.