Karst rocks at Railay Beach
Thailand Thoughts Travelogue

Defying gravity.

A little story about my climbing career in Railay Beach. And another contribution from the series "Everything has been said or written before, but not by everyone".

It is sometimes a mistake to climb; it is always a mistake never even to make the attempt. If you do not climb, you will not fall. This is true. But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fall?β€Š

Neil Gaiman

I just read that quote this morning in one of my favorite blogs at the moment, called The Art of Blogging. And not just the quote, but the entire article is fantastic and it immediately reminded me of a blogpost that I wanted to write for ages (…well, for 6 months, to be precise, lol).

But we need to change the location for that:

Railay Beach. Krabi. Southern Thailand.

After a terrible rainy week on the island of Ko Pha-ngan, i came back to Krabi in december. And after i could hardly do anything reasonable or active the days before, I was literally drawn out. Into the sun. To adventure. I wanted to be active, move and let off steam somehow.

And in such situation, what could be more obvious than climbing in Krabi?

I’ve never really climbed (in a professional way) in my life, but when you see the karst cliffs of Krabi, you can’t help but give it a try. So I initially registered for a half-day course at one of the many “climbing-schools” around…

After learning some basics like knots and rope techniques we went to climb a rock pretty quickly. Not an extremly difficult one, but still! I was quite nervous at the beginning, but I think I did pretty well for the first time. That was certainly also due to Chao, our “teacher”, who explained everything very well in his typical relaxed thai manner, which i liked a lot (…incidentally, he also makes the best coffee in Railay #justsaying).

When i came back to Railay around 3 months later i was very motivated to do another climbing course. This time a whole day, I thought to myself. Unfortunately it wasn’t with Chao, but with another guy whose name I don’t remember. Somehow I didn’t get along with his manner that well, but I don’t want to blame him.

Somehow it just didn’t work out for me that day. I felt overwhelmed. I often couldn’t find a hold on the rock and then hung quite helplessly in the wall. I was desperate, powerless and without confidence. And even more so when I saw how the people around me had no problems at all and climbed like it was the easiest thing in the world.

It literally pulled me down. Physically and mentally. Gravity seemed to be stronger than my will to climb to the top.

So later, when i went back to Chao’s coffee-shop, i told him about my day and that i was a bit down. He cheered me ​​up by saying that this would be normal for beginners. That one just have to continue step by step and work on one’s problem areas. Above all, you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. Because no matter how bad you are, you’re still better than the one who never tried.

Of course, none of this is new, and has been said, written and experienced by countless people before, but at that moment and in that situation it really helped me a lot and built me ​​up again.

Ultimately, life is always about that, be it climbing or blogging or whatsoever. To dare something and accept a fail. My mom uses to say: only if you don’t do anything, you don’t make mistakes! Never be afraid of making mistakes, if you don’t dare, you don’t win. And that’s why the saying mentioned at the beginning touched me so much this morning.

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