Week six of my climbing adventure. It’s crazy I can already feel myself starting to improve, and I’ve made new friends I wouldn’t have had without the consistent gym time I’ve been putting in. I’ve learnt so much about the sport and about myself, and I’ve been feeling a lot stronger and happier now that I have a way to work out that I find enjoyable. I want to use this blog to reflect on my learning and figure out what I should keep doing and what I should adjust to make it more effective!
Corresponding blogs are linked in the text below! Happy Reading!
I started this challenge a little hesitant as I point out in my first blog I don’t really enjoy working out. However, by using the tools Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh explained on her blog post; “Learning – The Neuroscience and the Neuromyths” I found my rhythm! I was practicing more often and watching videos about bouldering which aided in my encoding, I consolidated my techniques throughout my six weeks of climbing (1). Now when I climb I use retrieval to put all my techniques together – sometimes it gets confusing and I end up as a pretzel on the wall – but most of the time it pays off and I can get past the crux and make my way to the top of the climb (1)! This rush of excitement of getting to the top of the climb is reinforcing to me, making me want to keep trying harder and harder. This positive reinforcement (getting to the top of a climb) and negative punishment (falling off a climb) is a technique often used in behaviourism teaching and it helps me to better myself at climbing (2).
Crux: The hardest point of the climb (can vary from climber to climber) (see here)
Week two was hard, having to implement new techniques into my climbing that I hadn’t tried before, everything felt backwards. However, when I read Thom’s blog it reminded me what I wasn’t doing this alone – I wasn’t the only one having to relearn something! Thom writes about the struggles of having to remember how to ride a bike and how it was shaky and wobbly at first which is exactly how I felt on the wall when I was trying new techniques, I felt like my climbing was no longer right side up! After I got past the awkwardness and the upside down climb, I started implementing the ADDIE model to my learning; I would start my climbs by analyzing the variables involved in climbing: my current knowledge of climbing and strength (3). To design my approach I took the time to look at the climb so I could plan out my hand and foot holds (3). Development and integration happened together when I was climbing: development came from me falling off the wall and learning from it (3). Whereas I was integrating everything I learnt from my old friends, new friends and strangers that were kind enough to help me learn (3)! These blogs are reflective and a process of evaluating my climbing (3).
One thing that didn’t seem to be working that great at this point was watching YouTube videos! It’s great if I can do it on my way to the gym or shortly after climbing but I found myself watching them late at night and then falling asleep before I could learn much. This is not a problem of the videos themselves but of the way I was using them. I need to evaluate my use of transmissive learning if I want it to truly be effective (3).
After figuring out how to be an effective rock climber I was able to focus on the way I was learning rock climbing, and develop a workout plan to compliment what I needed to improve. By trying to incorporate many different avenues of rock climbing and the fitness involved with it I started to deepen my learning about rock climbing rather than just doing the bare minimum – surface learning (4). When I took my workout routine into my own hands and started to improve my muscle tone and flexibility I was (and I still am) aligning my actions to coincide with what my goals are; this is called constructive alignment (5).
I am over the moon excited to say that I can officially do FIVE push-ups (in a row even)!! I cannot remember a time where I was able to do even one proper push up so this is a big achievement for me. Sticking with the working out at home has been a bit difficult and my workouts are closer to one or two days a week – not the three I was aiming for. Over time I believe I will be able to work up to three workouts a week!
I think the at home workouts I was able to make time to do helped with my success in week four! In week four I learnt that the way I choose to learn how to rock climb can greatly affect my abilities (6). I found that if I use numerous different ways of encoding the information I could learn more efficiently and effectively (1,6). Instead of just using video to learn I learned to also use: apprenticeship, experiential learning, advice from other climbers, social media, and articles to supplement what I have already learned (1,3). Having open access to the internet has a very positive affect on learning as long as the information and websites learners are accessing are accurate and vetted.
On another note I’m over the moon excited to learn more about rock climbing and try out new techniques! Next week on Monday I’m going to “ladies night” at my climbing gym! For this particular ladies night we are going to do outdoor bouldering! I’ve never climbed outdoors so I’m extremely excited! It will be a good experience to see what the actual rock feel like on my palms when compared to the plastic holds. It is probably going to be a lot harder – but if I learned anything from this it is that I need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable to strengthen my climbing skills!
Failure is an important part of learning; when I fall I just need to get on up and brush myself off! Bye for now!
(1) Clarissa Sorensen-Unruh Blog Post
(3) Teaching in a Digital Age
(4)Teaching Teaching &Understanding Understanding Video (Part 1)
(5) Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding Video (Part 3)
(6) Teaching in a Digital Age