In the words of the beloved and controversial rap artist, Tyler the Creator, “I’m a f***** walkin’ paradox,” because I am. I spend most of my time attempting to be coiffed and professional in a corporate environment and when I’m off work on Friday I’m ready turn my hat backwards, head outside, and be the dirtbag I wish I was during the week.
I think a lot of outdoor enthusiasts are like this. We crave adventure and exhilaration and are maybe a even a little rebellious. Unfortunately, the jobs that sustain us (and our expensive extracurriculars) can’t always provide the outlet we so desperately need.
So, enter climbing. It is a sport that satisfies my love of the outdoors, provides positive social interaction, and it is an outlet for measurably pushing myself to my absolute limit.
Admittedly, I take myself too seriously sometimes, but at the same time I make notes in my training journal like the one you see below:
So I might be serious, but never too serious.
I have been climbing for 3.5 years. I started in college to stave off the summertime sadness of being an avid skier. Now, I can’t really decide which sport I like better. I really love climbing.
For me, climbing is an outlet for goofiness, getting outside with your friends, and having an excuse to train like a goddamn sled dog if I really want to.
And to be clear, I really want to.`
I have a lot of goals for this upcoming fall season, made even more interesting because I just moved from the cozy town of Cincinnati to hoppin’ town of Hoboken, New Jersey! This means that my home crag is no longer the Red River Gorge( bummer). I will now be frequenting Rumney, New Hampshire as well as The Gunks whenever I possibly can.
I am on my way to breaking into the 5.12 grade and I have a general idea of how I want my season and my sends to go. See procedure below:
- Commit to a training program (more to come on this).
- Climb outside on the weekends as much as possible.
- Be strong by Mid-October for a trip to Mallorca
- Come back, still feeling great, train a little more and go bag my project at the Red (probably in the unfortunately short span of a 3-day weekend)
As someone with a 9-5 and a lengthy drive to the nearest sport crag I am a classic weekend warrior. I get to enjoy the fruits of training when everyone else also just got off work, as well as the lovely lines of crowds on classic routes at the local crag on a Saturday morning. Fortunately, climbing is a sport where focused training a few sessions a week will yield great results. I have seen substantial evidence that you can continuously improve your climbing (for a long time) even if you have a time-consuming job and you don’t start climbing until your twenties.
I started climbing about 3.5 years ago and began training a little over a year ago. Since then, I have increased my hardest redpoint from 5.10a to 5.11b, and increased my hardest onsight from 5.9 to 5.11a.
I am so grateful to be a climber in this day and age. The access to training methods and materials has exploded over the past decade and I plan to continue using the knowledge available to keep getting better and better–and for a long time, too.
My hope for this blog is to show that getting better at climbing is possible, even with a busy schedule. Additionally, I want to be as helpful as possible, giving actionable tips and tricks from my personal experience with training for climbing. Also, I will certainly throw in any amusing stories from the crag that I have, because I’m sure they’ll come up.
I plan to post on a bi-weekly basis. Talk soon.