Friday, January 27, 2012

Monkey thinks with his brain

So that's where all the climbers went.
Winter is a funny season. You've got the annual winter-clean for your bank account Christmas, snow, daylight saving, scarfs, Darwinian punishment for clubbers who don't believe in cloak rooms, and excessive consumption of food & drinks with people you see once a year. Happy days.

I have no data to validate this, but I'm confident staff at RedPoint would confirm that client level tends to dip with the temperature during the festive period.

I, like the average moral, suffered decreased surface contact with the climbing wall this winter. My excuse has nothing to do with any of the above items however. My climbing partner eloped with our climbing rope (and a human companion as well I'm sure) - so my tri-weekly sessions plummeted to one or two visits a week. Just enough to keep me occupied in the darken days, not enough to keep my strength level up.

So January saw me over compensating, when I casually blended in with the lovely group of people that formed Extreme Sports Central on Wednesday nights to see if they'd notice. That, combined with my regular Tuesday and weekend slots, and my Thursday nights with one of the instructors at RedPoint - I am now at the gym 4 times a week, with 3 consecutive days in the middle.

But Friday will remain my sacred YouTube night.

Of course all this put me in a slight dilemma: as a casual climber with a poor diet and a full time job, it's taking a bit of a toll on me. I'm struggling to get my hunger medicines due to my current work pattern; my arms are starting to ache again; and my sleeping pattern is completely fucked.

The upside to this though, is that it's really forcing me to up my mental game in climbing.

Now we all know that climbing is about efficiency. Fed up with people moaning about their lack of arm strength when you invited them to come climbing? Make them watch this video, and then break their arms.

He's got a professor beard, he knows what he's talking about.
Of course knowing it off the wall and knowing it on the wall are two different things - and luckily the whole "Shit I'm climbing tomorrow night as well, better save my energy." thought pattern is pushing me into the latter.

I have in turn climbed more slowly and methodically the last few sessions, testing the weight on my feet before making every move to make sure my hands and arms aren't taking too much of the burden.

I was still trying a few 6c's and 6c+'s, but rather than pushing really desperately to make a wrong move work for me, I'd just jump off and have a think. In fact, I gave up on the two new routes that were set over the past week, because well, the move I struggled with looks desperate, and I didn't even know if I could make it. No point in wasting energy.

So instead of pushing myself beyond my limit and burn out, I'm just chilling out and resuming other routes afterwards. All in all the sessions felt a lot more enjoyable, and I lasted longer than I expected.

So I hope this is of some help to you. Find a way to put yourself in the right mindset, and enjoy the climb without burning out!

Monkey goes Eat now.

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