Fear builds on itself.
When it comes to high ball bouldering, you have to trust yourself and before you try a climb look at it, know your ability and assume you can and will do it before you get on it. So I started small, got a little bigger, then a little bigger. My first high balls were probably really scary to watch as I lost all sense of technique at the top of climbs and my fear would send my feet skating and my hands clambering for the top (GASP). But the more I did the more I could relax when I got high off the ground. This sense of relaxation when the fear started to set in was a technique I started using in more than just climbing.
Replace fear with a positive feeling.
A few days before we set off back across the ocean on our 12 hour flight, I started meditating on the idea that flying was fun. I imagined myself tucked in an economy chair with clouds floating out the window. I didn't imagine a bumpy flight or Ava misbehaving. I meditated on the idea of a perfect, bump-less, relaxed flight. And boy do you get what you put out there. The flight home was about as nice and relaxing as a flight can get.
When we returned home I didn't have much time to think about my fears, with friends visiting, family to catch up with and summer in full swing. It wasn't until Outdoor Retailer Trade Show in SLC that I got to address my fears again. I hadn't taken a lead fall in, hmm, 3 1/2 years or so. I met up with some friends Jonathan Seigrist and Andy Mann and we decided we weren't going to let the intense heat keep us off the rock. But I didn't have a harness. Outdoor Retailer always comes through. I got a brand new Arcteryx R-280. Now I have to interject here. Have you seen these harnesses? Have you tried them? They are so barely there its like you aren't even wearing one. And the technology is serious. I do not worry about my harness. Part of my fear of heights is increased exponetially when I climb routes. It's not that I'm scared of the climbing, I'm scared that my gear is going to fail. I look at the rope as I clip it into the quickdraw and as it bends my fear says, "The rope is going to break!" Or as I'm staring at the anchors while I'm cleaning my fear says, "The anchors are going to blow." It's my unfamiliarity with my gear and the fact that I have to trust something other than myself and my spotters that motivates my fear. But that day out with Andy and Jonathan I asked them not to tell me grades and I lead everything I got on. My fear was in check. I took my first whippers in years and with these two as climbing partners I felt safe and motivated by something more... flirting.
Fear can be secondary to fun.
This experience catapulted me into a new phase of my climbing: Rout'in!! I now have a feeling to replace my fear when I climb high balls or routes. I flirt with the rock and I have fun with it.
Fear builds on itself. Replace fear with a positive feeling. And say to yourself, "Have fun." That's what its about anyway right.