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Climbers Like Me: Emily

Tell us about yourself - who are you and what do you love doing?

Hello! My name is Emily. I started climbing in my teenage years, and quickly it became a huge passion. Climbing has gone on to shape my career, travel plans, and even where I choose to live now in beautiful North Wales. For the last couple of years I have been learning to manage a fear of falling which often stopped in my tracks, sometimes before I even got on the wall. Slowly I've refound my love for climbing again and now am back out in Spain loving every second on the rock!

Give us three words that you identify with most?

Resilient, patient, and joyous!

What brings you the most joy outdoors?

I find the most joy outdoors when I'm flowing up a climb, totally focused on the next move in front of me. Over time I've learned tactics to manage my fear when it rises up allowing me to stay focused on climbing without the distraction of self-doubt or worries about falling taking over my mind. Learning more about myself and my mindset over time has been so fulfilling. Now I longer think of falling off as failure, I view it as another chance to try my hardest and realise my dreams again. Now I can flow up a climb focused on just the next move, conscious of my worries but knowing I don't have to listen to them and let them take over.

I got to experience this full circle when I made a film called 'Free to Fall' about managing fear in climbing this past summer. Standing at the chains of a bold route I never thought I'd climb I could see all the effort I had put in and knew the highs and lows were all worth it.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

The biggest challenge I have overcome is learning to be kinder to myself. Progress isn't always linear and sometimes it can be hard to accept what feels like backwards progress. Being kinder to yourself and realising that as long as you're still trying you are always making progress is important.

If you could share a core value or abiding principle with others, what would it be?

Always start the climb with a smile. A friend said this to me recently and it really resonated. We all climb because it makes us happy, but it's so easy when dealing with fear to go into a climb filled with doubts, worries, and a lack of confidence. If you can always start the climb happy with good intentions, but no expectations, you're going to have the best time on the rock.

Tell us one small change we can make as individuals to help our community?

Talking more openly about fear. Don't be afraid to be afraid. If anyone wants to message me about fear to talk, have some support, or ask a question feel free. Let's all open up more.


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