Self-Experiment | LEARNING HOW TO CLIMB | PART 1 | WHY?

So you want to achieve a goal?
You’ve got a target in your mind, or like me, you have a few.
How are you going to manifest that goal?
How bad do you want it?
What would you do towards making it happen, right now, if money was no issue and you had NO fear of failure?
Well, I asked myself these questions, and my main answer was;
I want to learn how to rock climb.

Here’s how I’m making this happen….

Overall Goal: I want to learn how to Rock Climb

Motivation/s behind this:

  • I’m a professional slackliner – Slacklining originated out of the rock climbing scene as a means of improving balance and as a form of active recovery. But I never did the rock climbing bit! I am interested in applying knowledge that slacklining has given me (learning how to learn, improved coordination, high focus stamina etc) into learning how to climb.
  • Climb and Highline – I have this artistic, aesthetic vision in my head of being able to climb some beautiful rock formations, then rigging a highline between them. Currently, the skills to paint the climbing portion of the picture are missing. And I need those skills to paint my picture! (Nobody said your motivations had to be rational or lacking in creativity. Quite the opposite at times!)
    Other goals that link in with learning how to rock climb:
  • Winter Warmth My van is cold this winter, and I could really do with a park-up, a place to train, stretch and get strong, a place to climb, some money would be nice, and some new friends. You’d be surprised how much of a motivational power wanting to keep warm really is!
  • Strength and Flexibility Routine – I want to get and feel stronger in my body. I feel I have a good foundation of strength in me somewhere, but my lack of flexibility is preventing me from utilising said powers! I also want to cut at least 3 kg to hit my maximum muscle potential. I appreciate the aesthetic anatomy of a ripped body, and to be honest, I want to get as cut as I can, but only by training my body to perform functionally; in this case, by rock climbing and stretching.
  • A personal need that just HAS to be met:
    The need to CREATE and manifest RESULTS
    A recent revelation during a highlining trip made me realise that I have a very, very strong need to exercise my creative stash of energies. They manifest in many forms; physical expression, writing, visuals etc, but if they’re not put out there into the ether, I start to go nuts. I wanted a situation, an environment where I could create in all these ways. Interestingly, this links with having power (electricity) to run a laptop to write on, and warm place to do it.I also know that I am a very, very results driven person. It is an intrinsic aspect of masculine energy to want, and need, to push boundaries, because it is the very release of constraint that is man’s greatest form of ecstasy. Read that again.So there’s quite a few goals there, but all of them have sufficient motivation behind them, and I want all of them bad enough to bust my balls to make them happen. Read that sentence again and ask yourself, in complete honesty, “How bad do I want to achieve my goal/s?”Then apply this quote to your thought process to help answer the above question with complete honesty:

    “There’s a difference between interest
    and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it
    only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you
    accept no excuses – only results.”

    Kenneth H. Blanchard


    Once you’re goals have been discovered as something you want to really commit to, rather than something you like the idea of or are interested in, it’s time to hack your environment and will power to ensure success.

    Steve Pavlina, productivity wizard of the cyber world, has this great post about hacking your environment to reinforce your goals.
    He also talks about using your will power in the right way to ensure self-sustaining momentum.
    Read them both, then continue with this post, otherwise you’ll wonder what I’m cracking on about. Trust me, they are both VERY powerful concepts that usually happen naturally when you look back at how you succeeded a goal in your life, but you can also deliberately use them to your advantage before you even begin on your goal smashing.

    Hacking My Environment

    When I put all of those goals listed above, out on paper in front of me, I asked myself “How can I achieve all of these in the most efficient way?”
    After a shit load of brainstorming with my biro, on countless sheets of paper, I concluded that the best way for all of these goals to manifest, would be to get a job over the winter at a rock climbing centre.

    I would have a place to park. I would be warm. I would have a place to stretch and train. I would have a place to create. I would have a place to gain results. I would have electricity. I would be a part of something greater than myself. I would earn some pocket money. I would be in a situation where I could give naturally, freely and spontaneously. And, I would have THE perfect place to learn how to rock climb.

    Amazing! And so that’s what I knew I needed to do in order to prevent myself from going completely insane over the winter.
    That’s what I projected. That’s what I thought about. That’s what I really, really wanted. And so I went about getting it.
    “How?” you ask.
    Well, initially by sending out a shit load of emails and getting less than twenty percent response, all with a “No”.
    And not stopping there.
    This is where really wanting it comes in. You’re going to get denied. And you can’t obtain anything in the universe without sacrificing something. So I kept ploughing. Then, by an informal relationship with the lovelies over at the Marmot Store, London, inquiring about indoor slacklining options at a new climbing centre not far from me, I popped the question on the off-chance of getting a result, at the end of my email;
    “By the way, do you guys have any winter work coming up? I am looking for work from around winter season into spring…”
    I got a response with “Yes, there is a position coming up as it happens, here are the details for applying”… and like a bat out of hell I got on that process, filling in the forms and shamelessly selling myself as the man for the job.
    I got through the application process, for an interview. Broke the speed limit to get to the interview, then had a very stressful 22 hours of waiting time before I got the call to say “We’d like to offer you the job”.
    Cue uber-stoked feeling and perma-grinning for the next week.
    And that’s how I hacked my environment; got a job at a RAD new climbing centre, White Spider.

    The next bit, using your will power to create self-sustaining momentum, actually is taken care of by having a job at the centre and living outside of it in my van. I’m there every day, and have continuous opportunities to work on achieving those goals. I don’t actually need to use much will power, because I can’t wait to crack on and get results!

    So there you have it, an introduction to achieving goals, and how I went about it to start achieving mine.
    Be sure to check out the next post, Part 2, entitled “How?”, which gives a low down on how I’m going to learn to climb using the infamous Tim FerrissDi.S.S.S. model for rapid skill acquisition from his new book, “The 4-Hour Chef“.

    If you have any tips on goal smashing, or anything you’d like to share on what I’ve written above, please go ahead and leave some gems in the comments section below.

    Harry Cloudfoot is a professional slackliner and self-experimentalist, living out of his van on a diet of passion and air guitar.

    You might also like to read:


10 thoughts on “Self-Experiment | LEARNING HOW TO CLIMB | PART 1 | WHY?

  1. Pingback: Self-Experiment | LEARNING HOW TO CLIMB | PART 2 | HOW? WITH THE SECRET FORMULA | harrycloudfoot

    • Hi Gary,
      Thanks, glad you liked the post. Just got back from a bouldering trip outdoors this weekend, and managed a 6a+ and 6b+ using some of these hacks, which I was very happy about.

      More info on this trip will be coming out in future posts, so stay tuned.

      Thanks again,

  2. Pingback: Self-Experiment | LEARNING HOW TO CLIMB | PART 3 | WHY YOU NEED A TRIAL | harrycloudfoot

  3. Pingback: Self-Experiment | Learning to Climb | Part 4 | LET NATURE DO THE WORK | harrycloudfoot

  4. Pingback: Self-Experiment | Learning to Climb | Part 5 | NUTRITION: THE DIRTBAG’S GUIDE TO EATING CLEAN | harrycloudfoot

  5. Hey man this post really helped me as a climber! I never really believed i could improve. and i didn’t because i never believed. I read this about a month ago and my best climb at that time was a V7. since reading your post i have just been able to complete a V12! I wish you luck with your climbing!

    • Hi Bror,

      Wow! Man, that’s amazing! Really well done. Thanks so much for letting me know, I’d actually be really interested in hearing from you as to what you did differently, to go from a V7 to a V12? That’s a fantastic result, and I’m thrilled I could be a part of it, sort-of, with my blog post.

      I have an ultimatum post coming out, which explores the 20% of tricks and hacks I used to get 80% of my results, including the 7a climb, so be sure to check that out.

      My email is listed in the Contact section of this site, so if you have a spare minute, please do tell me the details of your climbing improvements!


      On Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 1:09 AM, harrycloudfoot

  6. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this website. It’s
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  7. Pingback: Self-Experiment | Learning to Climb | Part 6 | CONDITIONING: How to get strong for climbing, FAST | harrycloudfoot

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