WHY I.....With Hannah
This blog is a truly moving piece, we have Hannah Morris who tells us why she boulders and what the sport means to her.
Why I climb:
The relationship you have with yourself is one of the most important you’ll ever have. For me, and for many I'm sure, self-acceptance has been one of the biggest projects of my life.
I’ve struggled with anxiety since adolescence. In my first year of university, my mental health deteriorated. Feelings of hopelessness, low self-worth and a crippling fear of almost everything led me to an episode of depression and substance abuse that nearly took my life.
Perhaps this seems an unlikely time to take up an intensive full-body activity but in the spring term of my second year. I registered at a bouldering gym and began to climb.
When I started climbing, the sport quickly became an integral part of my weekly routine. I was weak and clumsy, but pushing myself to progress in a sport that demanded mental and physical strength reframed the notion of struggle and my ability to face it. Working to improve my strength and technique gave me a meaningful project, something I could focus on and improve. As I continued to climb, my view of myself continued to shift and I began to recognise courage and self-belief taking root.
Looking back at 18 year old me. Too scared to make a coffee order on my own and terrified to talk to my peers in the climbing gym. I realise how far I’ve come and how much climbing has helped me to find courage and confidence in myself. At the climbing gym, I’m able to find happiness. I now exchange beta with strangers with ease and meet regularly with the friends I didn’t even think I’d be able to make. Climbing has given me confidence in my strength and independence in away 18-year-old me wouldn't have believed.
I climb because it is my constant reminder to appreciate my ability to endure. Despite my fears and my weaknesses, I am able. It encourages me to value my body and acknowledge pain and fear as opportunities for growth. For as long as I can pull myself up boulders for no reason other than to sit on top of them for a few seconds. I will have a refuge from my mind when I most need it and the hope that even the most challenging obstacles can be overcome.
You can follow and keep up to date with Hannah and her boulder at her Youtube