Training is an important component in excelling at your passions, and with training comes recovery time. Currently, the group of friends I’m with are going at it too hard and are paying for it. Why? Because training requires recovery and there’s not a lot of that going on right now.
I admit, I too am a victim of this. Your mind says, Climb! But what about your body? Surprise, surprise, folks get injured when you don’t take time off. When your body tells you to rest, you better listen. After all, it’s your body you rely on, your body is the tool and if you don’t take care of it… No one else will – unless of course your Mom follows you out to the crag. Unlikely. So you get hurt, take more time off, and you’re frustrated. It is especially hard when everyone around you is psyched to climb. Psych is contagious. The mountains are calling, and there’s so many routes, so many new projects! When you see everyone having fun good luck not being pulled into the fun. The next thing you know, you’re no longer resting.
When you figure out the perfect balance between playing, training, and resting, you master your sport. It can be hard to train and rest while on the road. Training might become inconsistent and resting is… boring. When you have a job or a house it might be easier to rest because you have other distractions, other things on the mind that require your focus outside of climbing. But when your life revolves around your passions with the kind of focus that wakes you up at 6 am in the morning, then comes a rest day you wake up and take a deep breath. You end up feeling lost. When training is inconsistent it leads to injury. With that being said, I found ways to train for climbing on the road, for me switching up different climbing styles works well. Case in point, I love sport climbing, it’s definitely where my heart lies. But sometimes you hit a plateau and something has to change before you loose your psych.
I thrive off this constant change, which keeps the psych going. This is the energy, the motivation that keeps me going and when I loose it I become a different person. So what I do is take time away from ropes, pull out the bouldering pads and fall my way up small, hard rocks. The climbing redirection from sport to bouldering redirects my focus to power training. Just as it would gym climbing when you untie your rope and walk over to the bouldering area. On the road, you may not be able to lift weights, work a campus board or hang boards but I think you gain that sort of strength with all the climbing. For example, this winter, after I bouldered in Bishop CA and got back on ropes there was a short transition gaining back endurance, but in the long run when I did, all my hard work paid off. Instead of injured or bored I was unstoppable. And when I say unstoppable, I mean it was beautiful. Until then I was never good at ‘power’ always just dancing my way up the wall, I mean I still do that but now I feel a shift in my level of climbing. The difference my boulder training had on my contact strength, the way it shaped my ability to make moves when pumped allowed me to not only stick moves but continue to the next. I even experienced an increased mental strength! It was the coolest thing in the world. Well at least in my world.
Long story short, start training and you’ll master your passion.