ROCK OVER CLIMBING BLOG

Nat Dulson: climbing and mental health


I’m going to start this story by taking a trip back in time, to the year 2018. In 2018 my mental health was, in short, a mess. I had no idea how to effectively manage my mental health. Then, out of the blue, something arrived at my doorstep that would change everything for me. Climbing. 

In the years before 2018 I had been fairly active, but no sport had really stuck or ignited any passion in me. Climbing was instantly a different experience. It felt engaging, addictive, exciting. It roused in me a passion I hadn’t experienced for anything before. You might be wondering how this relates to my mental health. The passion that climbing brought me was a kick start I needed to really start taking myself seriously again. I’d found something I wanted to work on. I began to think about how I can improve, this stretched further than just getting stronger. Climbing needs focus and resilience. The will to keep trying, to keep pushing forward. Gradually, I saw myself in a different light. I felt positive about myself. 

As time moved forward, and we get to the current day, climbing has become an important part of my life. If I feel anxious, I go to climb. If my depression starts to creep back, I have something to go back to and work on. With climbing I have also found friends for life and a community that welcomes anyone.  All these things combined have led to a happy healthier me. 

Often, it’s the small things, the small changes, that lead to the biggest differences.

Nat Dulson