I took up climbing in my 40s. It’s great for building flexibility and strength, improving balance and problem-solving skills and pushing the boundaries of your fear! There is also a huge feeling of satisfaction in reaching the top of a crag in a beautiful setting (here in Greece, last week).
In many ways, climbing is similar to coaching. There is a partnership between the climber and their belay partner that is built on complete trust. When your partner is climbing, you are solely focused on them, anticipating and reacting to their moves. You encourage them to reach for holds that may feel outside of their comfort zone or offer suggestions for a way up that you can see from your perspective on the ground, all the while keeping your partner safe. When you are climbing, you are focused on your goal of finding the next move, sometimes one that is quite scary, with the aim of reaching the top. However, you always feel secure in the attention of your partner at the other end of the rope.
I often find that sense of flow both when climbing and when belaying, as all other thoughts and concerns disappear in the focus on the here and now. It’s the same feeling that I get during a coaching session, focusing on the client and seeing the power of generative listening opening up new paths for them and partnering together as they make progress towards their goals.