Mental Health

Challenging myself

For a few years now, I have been confined to the house and only went out if I absolutely had to. Lately, though, I have started cycling and going to the gym and have found it has made a difference in how I feel.  Even though I ache the next day, I have noticed that I have a bit more energy than before, so I decided to take on a challenge and visited a climbing wall to do some bouldering and top roping.

Shirley Bouldering 2Oh my goodness, it was SO exhilarating to heave myself to the top of the wall and manage to complete the climb. I am very unfit and overweight so it was indeed a challenge, but I had fun trying out all the different walls.

While climbing, my attention was completely focussed on what I was doing and where I was putting my feet. I had to keep assessing what I could reach and what strength I had to move upwards.  I never noticed my racing mind or troubled thoughts, I never felt the heavy pull of depression.  I felt pleased with myself each time I mastered a new route.

The routes are colour-coded and you have to only use the one colour foot/hand holds.  I was on the black route in this photo.

Once I had mastered the smaller walls, I just had to go for the ultimate challenge and climb the big wall. I think it was 30 feet high. (just a small one apparently!).

This was my chance to really push myself out of my comfort zone and experience the feeling of success. I can’t begin to tell you how good it was for my mental wellbeing. I was on top of the world and the feeling of satisfaction and joy stayed with me all day!

Today, my arms ache and my legs are stiff, but it was totally worth it.  If you are thinking about doing an activity to push yourself, even just a little bit, I totally recommend it – I still feel energised and pleased with myself today!  Go for it 🙂

Me on a climbing wall about 20 feet up
I made it all the way to the top following the green route!



3 thoughts on “Challenging myself”

  1. Aewesome job, Shirley!!! That was a great accomplishment! Now you are ready for El Capitan. Is this something that you think you’ll be doing again and again?


    1. Thanks, Eric! The feeling of exhilaration lasted more than 24 hours, so I can see how it could become addictive as some climbers were telling me. I will definitely do it again if I get the chance. My arms have been hurting bad for the last couple of days, though so there is a downside!! As for El Capitan – I will get a helicopter to the top lol

      Liked by 1 person

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