The Rock Warrior's Way: Mental Training for Climbers (Anglais) Broché – 30 août 2006
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The Rock Warrior's Way is both a mental-training program and a philosophy of rock climbing that draws from the rich warrior tradition and literature. Lire la première page
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Regarding the falling issue mentioned a few reviews back, I have to defend Arno and make it very clear that he does not advocate taking falls willy nilly. What he does advocate is taking responsibility for one's willingness or unwillingness to fall and making that choice based on the best possible information at hand, unfettered by an irrational fear of falling that prooccupies attention and leads to the dreaded 'overgrip'. His fall drills are designed to lesson that kind of fear by making falling a known experience rather than a boogie man that robs one's attention and strength.
Where a climber likes to be on the safety - risk continuum is unavoidably a personal decision. Better to come to that decision with as much skill and information as one can gather. Nevertheless, regardless of how much you know and how strong you are, if you are challenging yourself at the edge of your abilities, you will still have to make your move and shove off into the unknown. That's the beauty of climbing.
One particularly powerful concept is what Ilgner calls "wishing behavior": wishing that a hold were bigger or that the pro was better or closer to you. Once you become attuned to this you will be amazed at how common, and how unproductive, this kind of thinking is. All around you at the crag (and perhaps in your own mind), you'll suddenly hear voices wailing about how hard and impossible it all is, and how they wish the climb or the climber were different.
Well, the holds are the holds, the pro is the pro, and you are you. That's the challenge you came for, and this book can help you learn to savor it and thrive in it.
After breaking through small barriers, I realized there was another world of mental training, but I had no idea where to turn. There were authors putting out psychological books for other sports, but climbing has always been more complicated. Arno Ilgner has filled this gap with his new book, The Rock Warrior's Way.
Don't let the cover fool you. When I first picked it up, my impression was that this book was dedicated to old school trad methods. This could not have been further from the truth. This book is for all climbers. Some of his themes are self observation and the importance of separating our identity from our experiences and responding to them with patience and intelliegence.
Ilgner finds a way to make order of chaos. He's found a way to express our mental habits that everyone can understand and he's created simple and effective ways to address our problems. Whatever your level of climbing, you will walk away from this book with valuable lessons.
--Sonnie Trotter, Gripped magazine
Based on techniques Ilgner developed as a climber and a coach, The Rock Warrior's Way strives to help climbers understand how to consistently achieve a mental state of power. The pragmatist and idealist alike will find useful tools to immediately improve their climbing performance and, more importantly, their enjoyment.
The most useful ideas in the book center on controlling debilitating fear. While the methods will help a cellar-dwelling Brit send his next gritstone horror-show, the rest of us mortals will glean plenty of good info about facing the nagging anxiety handed out by seemingly mundane routes. We have all been there: above the gear or bolt, imagining the worst, launch sequence engaged. Ilgner advises us to "find comfort in the chaos." Luckily, he couples such cryptic statements with real techniques to quell the inner voice that tries to convince the mind that death is imminent. For me, even a slight improvement in the battle with fear is manna.
The practical reader will have to sit through a bit of philosophy, but will be rewarded with flowing prose, real-world examples, and hands-on techniques. Much of what Ilgner suggests reminds us what we already know: climbing well takes a clear head; we perform better when we are in the moment; and "trying hard" can be either effective or futile, depending on how you try. These reminders helped me reevaluate my goals for better performance. I combed through my habits for "power leaks" and improved my focus. The best results? After 15 years at the crags, my love for climbing is reenergized thanks to my new "warrior" attitude. --Chris Kalous, Climbing magazine
Ilgner addresses seven processes of what he calls "the warrior's way" that can lead to better climbing: becoming conscious, life if subtle, accepting responsibility, giving, choices, listening and the journey. Ilgner's main thesis is that the ego seeks glory without effort, and that the ego distracts you from learning from the experiences you undergo. By learning to turn off the ego, and climb for the challenge alone instead of the rewards of being able to say you did a hard route, you become more attuned with your climbing. Once you learn to accept the situation as it is, instead of wishing for it to be easy, you can learn how to deal with it. After all, if all climbs were easy, you might as well just climb a ladder.
Ilgner does seem to have more of a sport climber mentality in at least one area--his acceptance of falling. He even encourages you to practice falling so you can learn to deal with the fear of it. For me, at least, this casualness about falling can have serious consequences. On ice, for instance, falling is a really bad idea; so too in the mountains. Any fall can have serious consequences, and I feel that courting an attitude that you can always anticipate the consequences of a fall belies the nature of physics and chaos theory, so I found it grating.
Other than that one caveat, there is a lot of information in here that could benefit any climber. Ilgner also includes a series of training exercises at the end of the book that can be used to help implement the precepts of the book. "The Rock Warrior's Way" can help every climber improve.
--Candace Horgan, American Alpine News