Fear of Falling II
The first step in trying to overcome my fear of falling was a pretty simple one - to get back doing some roped climbing in a gym. Given that I haven’t got round to joining a climbing club yet and I don’t have anybody I know who’d belay me, the only other option is to find somewhere that has auto-belays and head there, and fortunately there are a couple of options. I ended up checking out The Reach, which had a pretty nice selection of auto-belays including two on a slight overhang, and wasn’t tooooo much of a trek, being just under an hour door-to-door. The staff were friendly, the routes were OK, the commute is doable although it did highlight how good it would be to have a bike here, and most importantly, even after a few months off from doing anything with an auto-belay, there was no fear whatsoever and I moved pretty confidently on the wall.
It’s a really positive first sign, and I already feel better about the chances of being able to reach the climbing goals I’ve now set for myself. If I can translate being completely comfortable top-roping in a gym, to being completely comfortable on lead in a gym, then I’ll feel well-prepared to try to get completely comfortable taking falls on trad gear, and then the real work of learning to lead trad can begin in earnest.