Isaac talks about the Crux and about Beta, climbing terms which have shaped the way he responds to obstacles in everyday life.
Guest Post by hubby Isaac
Its 11 days into mental health month, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts from the past 2 weeks.
Over the past two years Abi and I have gotten into rock climbing. Rock climbing has been an excellent activity for the both of us, keeping us fit, pushing our boundaries, and helping us trust each other more. Rock climbing is exactly what it sounds like; climbing with the goal to get to the top of a rock face or boulder. Every climb has a part that is referred to as the crux. The crux of a climb is defined as the most difficult or challenging section, or the place where the greatest danger exists. This is the part of a climb that you may get stuck on, it is the section that requires the most concentration, strength and determination. Sometimes the crux will be a test of physical strength, endurance and power, sometimes it will be a test of your creativity as you try and figure out what combination of movements will allow you to get past the crux.
As Abi and I were climbing together last week, I began to think about how each day has its own crux (or cruxes). That one part of the day that seems too hard, too risky. Sometimes it’ll stop you in your tracks and seem like an impossible obstacle. But if climbing has taught me anything, it’s that the hardest parts are the most important. They are important because it’s in those moments that you can choose to believe in yourself and your abilities. Sometimes the crux will be at the beginning of the day, getting out of bed, choosing what to wear, eating breakfast or just waking up. Sometimes it’ll be in the middle, a difficult meeting, an assignment due, or an important conversation. It doesn’t matter when it happens, its just important to understand that most days all of us will experience a crux one way or another, and that crux might be different for everyone.
Now I know that I don’t always make it past the crux every day. Some days I get stuck, I look at the task in front of me and I’ll give up before I even start. And some days I see that it’s the same for Abi. Some days even a small task might seem impossible and cause the whole day to derail. But there are many more days that when we reach the crux, we grit our teeth and get past it, and feel so amazing once we are on the other side of it. It’s been so amazing over the past two years to see Abi learning to not get stuck at the crux. (both while climbing and in everyday life). It’s been incredible to see her learn to believe in herself again, to trust in herself and her abilities. However, that doesn’t make the cruxes any easier, sometimes we will get to one that that just stumps us, and when that happens, we need to look for others to step in and give us a hand.
Now hopefully you’ve got your head around what a crux is, so here’s another climbing term; Beta. Beta is essentially information that helps you complete a climb. This is normally offered to those struggling on a climb, by those who have completed the climb, or by those with a better view of the situation. Now back to others giving us a hand when we are stuck at a crux. People can offer beta in everyday life, just like in climbing. When you are stuck and struggling to get past your crux, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your friends and family may have been in a similar position to you and might be able to offer valuable insights and advice on how to get past your crux. They might not ever have been in a similar position to you but could offer a different perspective or view on your problem, helping you to overcome it.
Next time you reach the crux of your day, remember to believe in yourself and your abilities. Trust that you can get past the obstacle and conquer the crux. If it’s extra difficult, reach out and ask for beta in everyday life, a different perspective, to get past the crux.