Sometimes, life can feel like we’re using all of our strength to climb a sheer, vertical wall. But, professional rock climber Hazel Findlay is teaching us how to consider and use the tiniest cracks to make our ascent! She has a lot of experience in these kinds of pursuits, and her journey to the top of one of her most challenging climbs can inspire us on our own.
You don’t need to be climbing rocks like Hazel to find some feel-good inspiration in this story! Let’s head to the Moab desert in Utah to see how she went about climbing a literal crack in a wall, and what she has to show us about overcoming what stands in our way.
Every one of us is facing our own challenge. How we approach it is what matters.
Keep on climbing!
Ever since she was a young child, Hazel Findlay has been climbing up all sorts of walls. She’s renowned in rock climbing for being one of the best, and for her, one of the most fascinating parts about the sport hasn’t so much been the physical strength it takes to complete a difficult line, but the mental strength.
You see, she’s always been fascinated with how her own mind works when she’s scared or under pressure, even training in performance psychology and becoming a climbing coach herself to help others through it. 1
What Hazel’s learned from successfully climbing some of the world’s most challenging routes is that the right mindset can help each of us overcome our own obstacles!
In this beautiful film from Black Diamond Equipment, we get to catch Hazel in action on the wall called Concepción in Utah’s Moab desert. What makes this climbing route so special, you see, is that it’s a crack; one with spots that are too wide to hold on to with just the fingers, yet not wide enough to fit the entire hand. You’ll see in a moment what sort of problem these variables can create! And of course, how Hazel powered through. Enjoy!
You can catch more great adventures with Black Diamond Equipment over on YouTube!
“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”Sir Edmund Hillary, mountaineer
How many times have you deemed yourself unable to do something because you didn’t find success right away? You tried to do the thing again and again, but somehow, it just didn’t work.
When this happened to Hazel on her climb, I love how she reacted. She saw the entire act as a training, and eventually decided that she would have a great time doing it. And of course, that’s when she started to find success!
So, what did she do to make that change?
She shifted how she was talking to herself! Ah, I know—it sounds so simple. But telling herself to focus on the act of climbing, instead of succeeding, helped her find joy in her climbing again, shake off the frustration, and eventually, find the power to get into “warrior mode” and complete Concepción!
How do you think this sort of mindset would help you follow your own dreams, and squash your own obstacles? Instead of letting fears of failure get in the way, what if we took Hazel’s approach and simply… tried? Perhaps, we may fall a few times. But maybe, the next time we climb back up, we’ll decide to have fun and end up surprising ourselves.
It’s often said that the hardest part is starting—but I think the hardest part may actually be that climb back up once you’ve fallen a few times and your fingers are a little bloody and your ego has left the building.
Don’t let go of your goal and what you love just because you’ve stumbled a few times. They don’t define the journey, but they sure make the end result worth it!
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As always, my friend, stay open to new possibilities!
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- Findlay, Hazel. “Hazel Findlay.” Hazel Findlay, 2014, www.hazel-findlay.com/mental-training. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021. ↩
- Black Diamond Equipment. “Black Diamond Presents: Concepción with Hazel Findlay.” YouTube, 22 Oct. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJvNu49kjbw&feature=emb_title. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021. ↩