First World Problems

Training for Climbing - Admitting you're clueless

I tend to think highly of myself when it comes to my DIY and self sufficiency skills. My first house was a horrendous, uninhabitable fixer upper. I knit, sew, and bake. I even have a huge garden and chickens. As such, I have a bad habit of forging ahead in failure well past the point where a normal person would have just asked for help. In fact, I'm REALLY bad at asking for help.

The chalk is for show, I haven't done jack shit.

The chalk is for show, I haven't done jack shit.

That's the story behind my failed experiment in 'training' for climbing. To 'train' for Spain in 2014, I climbed a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I was able to improve my onsight level by two grades in four months, simply because I'd never climbed four days a week consistently before. It wasn't until well after the world championships that I felt myself start to plateau from 'just' climbing. Because rapid gains are fun, I signed up for a 3 month training-for-climbing class at my gym and saw improvements again. Having coached, directed training was incredible. After the class happened I pledged to read all of the books and coach myself. How hard could it be? All of the information you could possibly need is out there! I read the Horst book, the Anderson's book, memorized MacLeod's training blog...and went no where. 

I bought a hangboard and didn't use it, under the excuse of having to figure out one-handed hangboarding. I figured it out, and I still don't use it*. I do TRX, and run and lift...but aimlessly. Don't get me started on how good I am about avoiding core. I have a notebook I keep track of my workouts in, but never look back. Really, when I read this rant by Kris Hampton about 'training' I immediately though 'Oh f*ck, he's talking about ME!'

My default setting is to just climb. Why not? Climbing is FUN

Now it's time to bite the bullet and admit I have no clue what I'm doing. My biggest fear is to get to Paris where I'll defend my title and lose it -not because I was the weaker climber, but because I wasn't prepared. If someone can beat me because they're better, then they deserve it. My imagined worst case scenario is that I'll beat myself, stand up there with a non-gold colored medal and reflect on how I didn't train right, smart, or hard enough. 

I got lucky in Spain, the field was small and I truly believe that I won because I had more experience, not because I was stronger- in fact, looking at pictures, I was a good ten pounds chubbier then than I am now. I won't get lucky again. 

It CAN be done, I just need to DO it!

It CAN be done, I just need to DO it!

I think I'm figuring out what my issue is - accountability. When I took the class at the gym, not only had I invested dollars in it but there were people there waiting for me and expecting me to show up. I need someone to tell me what to do, not ask me what I want to do (because the answer will always be 'screw the weight room, let's just climb!')

So, who wants the job of yelling at me?


*As I was writing this, I felt super guilty and finally completed my first night of a real, start to finish hangboard session. I survived, so there are more scheduled now...but it's certainly not my favorite thing!