The Unanswered Question
How do you balance your passions with your profession... which may also be a passion of yours? Seeing Niki's updates and life as a medical student mixed with rock climbing caught my attention. Realising that there was more to this situation than the sport itself, we decided to do take a dive in to Niki's background.
The Importance Of Getting Outdoors
Rock climbing for Niki is her form of active meditation. You are focussed on your next move, everything else disappears.
Chatting through different types, Niki explains how she partakes in bouldering and sport climbing. This takes you from small walls doing complex manoeuvres with nothing but a crash mat underneath you, to technical rope work up steep cliff edges.
"When you're on the wall, everything in your mind disappears and nothing else really matters except your next move."
Even if your sport isn't your form of meditation, de-stressing should still be a priority of all of ours.
For Niki, she is a medical student working through a pandemic. We chat about trying to get out and decompress in the outdoors, especially in a time where we have to respect social distancing at time of recording.
The outdoors can find you some peace and rid your anxiety. Even if - as Niki states - staying indoors is seeing our muscle replaced with banana bread, you can still make time to do what you can and stay local. Whether you're in a pandemic or not, this is always a fantastic option if you can't reach your ideal place.
Bouldering At Pirates Cove
"It's Like Walking On A Tight Rope"
Very quickly, we start the direct question of balance. Everyone faces this issue to different degrees, and I've avoided for the most part the topic; you can never truly balance everything. Graham Zimmerman (a previous mountain climbing guest on our show) shows great understanding of this. So, with a guest who has two extremely time consuming elements in her life, I popped the question.
"They both take a lot of time and commitment, and they are both huge parts of my identity. I'm not ready to give up either one of them."
There's something I saw when in university. It was a triangle that showed three choices: social life, sleep, and studying. You had to pick two.
That theme seems to run throughout. Niki faces these same issues; her studies come first, and the other third of her time are for luxuries.
You know, little things like eating, sleeping and rock climbing.
For people like Niki, it is fantastic that a hobby and sport involves others so much - at least that ticks a socialising box!
Adapt Or Die
It's something you hear from motivational speakers: adapt or die. Getting out in to nature and the outdoors is the most satisfying from of rock climbing. In Niki's case, she may not be able to get outdoors, but the gym is a quick solution that involves very little set up and travel time in comparison.
We can all learn something from this. Don't give up too easily on a passion, there is always a way to keep something flowing. The bad times are rarely permanent; a phase that will pass.
For another half an hour we carry on talking. Hear about different ideal places to climb, her travel history, medical missions, mental health, discipline cross overs, and music!
You can follow Niki's journeys and updates here
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