What Keeps You Motivated?

Delaney Miller at Darkhorse

Delaney Miller at Darkhorse

We might think that needing something to motivate us to climb is silly. After all, we climb because we love it and we always want to do it, right? Not quite. No matter how much people love to do something, being motivated is still key. There are those days of bad weather, days when work is taking over or family life is making it difficult to balance what we want to do and need to do, and then there are those days we wake up and just don’t want to do anything. I can tell some motivation is needed in going to climb because there are those days that I don’t want to do it, but when I start doing it, I become so happy I did. We lack motivation at certain times for a number of reasons. The more serious you become about climbing, you might start facing things like not being motivated to train, or not being motivated to try hard. Sure climbing is fun, but becoming a better climber might not be as enjoyable at the time.

We need motivators, even for things we love sometimes. It doesn’t have to be a chore or a monumental thing, but rather a little something to get us psyched and really ready to go. An easy way is having climbing partners who are really psyched to climb or train. They will help keep you motivate, by encouraging you not to back out either literally or subconciously. We can easily decide to take a rest day when we were going to the gym to boulder or train alone. When we would need to cancel on a friend, we typically consider it more. When the friend starts talking us into coming, we often do. Friends can be very motivating.

Another thing that motivates us is seeing climbing. Try watching some climbing videos and not having the urge to go climbing. Everytime I watch one, I find myself getting excited to get out there and climb. My head is thinking of how much fun it is and how much I enjoy it. Watching videos on climbs you’d like to do can be particularly motivating. If you watch a local video of a climb in your projecting ability and you can make it out to try it, you’ll most likely really want to. Watching climbs you dream of doing one day can also help motivate you to try harder. You might not be able to go to that climb and get on it today, but you’ll want to start practicing and getting stronger.

One thing that motivates me easily, is just the desire to be outside. Sometimes, when I’m not feeling particularly anxious to climb, I will still be feeling excited to go outside. I will go to climbing areas knowing even if I don’t climb, I can enjoy the scenery, the hiking, and the peaceful feeling of being outside. Usually I end up climbing, because once I get there and start seeing the climbs they start calling to me. Sometimes just getting to the area is the obstacle you need to motivate yourself past.


For some of us, keeping goals is the best way. I like to make goals because they keep me encouraged. I will feel bad about breaking a promise to myself, and will try harder to make it happen. Make small but reachable climbing goals. If your goal is too hard or unreachable, it will not motivate you because it will feel discouraging. You could tell yourself, you just won’t reach it anyway. Being able to reach small goals boosts us. We feel an accomplishment has been made and this makes us feel good.

Everyone is motivated by different things whether it be power, passion, money, nature, health, love, etc. Find out how to use your motivations to be the best climber you can be. You’ll be happy you did it.

Josh on red 8


2 thoughts on “What Keeps You Motivated?

  1. since I have to drive two hours to find good cliff climbing, I’m chomping at the bit whenever an opportunity presents itself.
    And for me, the best motivation is the stories I tell to the other city dwellers when I get back!

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