Facing Fears

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My mental health has fluctuated dramatically since I was at school, sometimes to such an extent that I’ve had to take long periods off work. Anxiety and fear always held a strong place in my life and ruled much of my behaviour. It wasn’t until I rediscovered my love for the outdoors whilst living up north that things began to shift.

During my first hike in the Lake District four years ago I discovered I suffered with really bad vertigo. My vision blurred and my hands shook as my physiology took over my mental capacity, unable to move my body, freeze mode engage. Shortly after my housemate introduced me to climbing, he said it would help. I’m still convinced he just needed a belayer. Never the less I stuck at it, battling through each send just happy to make it to the top of 4a, but the challenge of overcoming a life long fear of heights was too appealing.

Climbing more regularly with such inspiring and motivated people has not only strengthened my resilience on the wall but this has fed directly into my ability to handle stressful situations at work and in my personal life.

Blog by Parthian Climbing Cafe Manager Caz Dowdall