The Art of Self-Care

In Thrive, Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned and compelling case for the need to redefine success and creating a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder.  Her secret?  Meditation, Mindfulness, Unplugging, and Giving.

Self-care is like that.  Thriving in climbing is staying injury-free, but self-care is often an afterthought.  Admittedly, our own cultivation of a self-care practice has emerged out of treating rather than preventing injuries over the past few years, and we’ve been working to remedy this.

We’ve observed a strong correlation between self-care and injury prevention, and are super stoked to share some of our self-care best practices below and celebrate many more injury-free years to accompany our climbing!

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Seeking Higher Ground: Don’t Panic

Welcome to our inaugural edition of Seeking Higher Ground  – a column about climbing, women, and women climbing – written by Bouldering Babe Athlete Anastasia B.

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It’s 100 degrees outside, and I’m halfway up one of maybe ten bolted routes in the whole of Zion. I’m not sure what grade the route is, only that I’m hot, it’s hard, and that I’ve never been in this far over my head. From the ground this seemed like such a sure thing, but I am afraid. I am gut-wrenchingly, mind numbingly afraid. 

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Girl Crush: An Interview with Alyse Dietel

Every so often, we’ll interview extraordinary girls doing extraordinary things: this is Girl Crush. This week, we’re stoked to feature recent Rock and Ice cover girl Alyse Dietel.

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Alyse had been climbing for 15 years before she  fell off a cliff during her first month of college and was paralyzed from the waist down for 6 months.  Despite being confined to a wheelchair, she defied her doctors and re-learned to walk, and then to climb.

She sent her first 5.13b a year later after intensive training and rehabilitation. Now she has sent more 5.13s and has taken up trad climbing with her boyfriend, Tim.

‘Climbing is everything to us, and we plan on doing it as much as possible while inspiring others to push their boundaries to do what they love. ‘

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Girl Crush Guest Post: The Process of Projecting by Cat Suen

Every so often, we’ll feature extraordinary girls doing extraordinary things: this is Girl Crush.

Cat Suen makes us smile. We first met through mutual friends on a girls only climbcation, where we were blown away by her dedication, kindness, and warmth, and quickly developed a girl crush.  When she’s not projecting 5.12’s in her home crag in Squamish, she enjoys climber family potlucks, other people’s dogs, patio gardening, fly fishing, and surfing.

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“I am just a girl who loves to climb! I did not heel hook out of the womb, but I was born to climb.  Climbing is my oxygen and I can’t live without it.  I am afraid of heights, but I am not afraid of the places it takes me. Nothing compares to getting to the top of a climb and breathing in all the beauty that surrounds me. These mountain top moments make my heart smile. Climbing makes my heart smile.”

-Cat Suen

Something pretty magical happened recently: I sent one of my hardest routes to date.  After projecting  Rugmunchers (5.11d.) for about a month, one night it all came together.

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Transform Injury into Opportunity

Two nights ago, we sprained our left ankle after slipping and falling on uneven pavement while crossing the streets of New York City.

We immediately knew that our ankle was no bueno for climbing after feeling that all-too-familiar sharp shooting foot pain, and our acupuncturist doctor confirmed our fear the following day.  She prescribed R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), and no climbing/hiking/biking/yoga/any dynamic activity that could further exacerbate the tendon tears in our poor bruised, swollen ankle.

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One of the toughest things to do as an avid rock climber is to rest. Fortunately, we’ve had a lot of experience with climbing injuries, and learned over the years that in addition to occupational or physical therapy,  one of the best things you can do for your body is to rest.

‘Ok, great, but then how does one keep sane once one’s happy place has been compromised?’, you might ask.

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Gear Talk: Climbing Shoes for Every Occasion

When it comes to crushing, climbing shoes are a girls’ best friend.  It can make the difference between sending and slipping.  In our Women’s Bouldering Clinics, we’re often asked: what kind of climbing shoe should I get?

That depends – what kind of climber are you, and what type of routes are you planning to get on?

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We’ve compiled a list of our Top 5 climbing shoes for every occasion – whether it’s gym climbing, outdoor bouldering, trad climbing, or sport climbing, We’ve also included our favorite all-round shoe for those who are looking for a multi-purpose solution that fits their budget and needs!

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