In the last lesson we used the metaphor of a river to understand motivation. We saw that we needed to align ourselves with the universal force of intent to apply our energy effectively in our lives. Now, let’s look at climbing. A river flows with gravity whereas climbing goes against gravity. Yet, we still need to find a way to use gravity to climb well. Just like the river metaphor, we need to understand the three components of manifesting intrinsic motivation in climbing: force, energy, and the channel through which the energy flows. The force in climbing consists of gravity and our intent to climb. The energy is our physical and mental energy. The channel is us and the route. 

First, the force. Gravity helps us know how to move and how to apply our energy. We don’t fight gravity. It’s because of the consistent pull of gravity that we know how to move. Our intent determines how we apply our energy. If our intent is to achieve end results in the future, then we’ll climb differently than if our intent is to apply processes in the moment. Intent gives us a direction for our attention. A process intent focuses our attention in the moment.

Second, energy. We have a certain amount of physical and mental energy. We need to cycle between applying our energy and recovering our energy. We use gravity’s pull to know where to rest to recover energy and how to move to apply energy. If we stay too long in applying our energy, then we’ll fall. If we stay too long in recovering our energy, then we’ll stall.

Third, the channel. We need to blend us and the route. We need to blend while resting to recover energy and blend while climbing to apply energy. Relaxing allows gravity to pull us down onto our feet while resting. We utilize our legs to support us instead of our arms. Doing this allows us to recover as much energy as possible. Then, when we climb, we climb along the path of least resistance. The path of least resistance is the easiest, most efficient path between resting points. We also climb continuously. Climbing continuously gives us momentum and creates flow.

Flowing in a boat, down a river, creates movement automatically as gravity pulls us. In climbing, going against gravity, we need to create movement intentionally. Continuous climbing creates intentional movement that focuses our attention in the moment. The force of our intent and the force of gravity work together. We blend gravity, climbing along the path of least resistance, with an intent to climbing continuously. Doing this lets us flow up a climb.

Practice Tip: Blending with gravity

Recovering energy: When you rest at climbing stances, relax down onto your feet. This will be a continual process. So, constantly relax your grip and lower your heels. While resting, look up and identify the path of least resistance between where you are now and your next stopping point.

Applying energy: When you move between stopping points, climb continuously. Climb a little faster than usual. Doing this will create momentum and help you flow.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Eli

    É interessante demais pensar na questão da gravidade como a professora que nos ajuda a andar e escalar

    1. Arno

      Hola Eli, Si, gratitude is helpful. It shifts our attention toward what we have instead of what we don’t have. That connects us with life. Arno

  2. Geanette

    Always great insight from you, Arno. Thank you. In regards to looking up for the path of least resistance while resting, I’ve also learned that looking down at the arm you’re shaking out (if in such a rest) is also very helpful. This makes it possible to focus on the resting arm (or leg) and visualize oxygenated blood moving through your veins. It also helps in that it takes focus away from the gripping arm, leading to a softer grip.

    1. Arno

      Hi Geanette, That sounds like a great way to engage body and mind to do the resting more purposefully. Thanks for sharing. Arno

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