Rock climbing is a challenging sport. Both physically and mentally. In fact, many people will tell you that the hardest part about climbing is the mental crux. In other words, your thoughts and fears when climbing up a tall rock formation are one of the biggest hurdles you will face when climbing. Yes, it takes skill, technique, and incredible strength to complete some routes. Yes, it takes experience and time to get better at climbing. But if you don't learn how to breathe properly, and don't learn how to control your thoughts and balance out your fears, then you will never get better at climbing- or really, any challenging aspect of life.
Paul Roberts, a climber, Evolv athlete, and all around awesome human, knows that the only way to excel, is by learning how to think in ways that are positive, beneficial and actionable. So he developed an amazing workshop program called Mindful Routes. Now, he is touring the country, teaching young athletes who want to improve their "mental game". I was fortunate enough to capture Paul and his students in action at Rock City Climbing gym in Anaheim, CA. Watching Paul teach these kids about mindfulness while they climb was inspiring. Some of these kids are quite young, yet incredibly determined to learn the skills it takes to face their fears and conquer those holds. From note-taking, to closing their eyes and envisioning themselves as they climb a route, the kids were soaking it all in eagerly. As the daughter of a positive psychologist, I was especially enthralled with his lessons. I know how important it is to practice mindfulness. Whether you are trying to get better at climbing or public speaking, the thoughts we create in our own head are more important than anything else around us.