23 January 2008

Planning your training - rule 0

Freedom > success (not the other way round)

Planning your training starts with organising your time to allow time and space to improve at the skill of climbing. Don’t work now to get freedom later. It won’t happen. Find work that gives you the freedom now, and that at least gives you the chance to start now and not later (later is too late).

Understand that this is not a mythical easy option. It’s a real option and it’s the hardest option. Safe = mediocre. Finding the answer to this problem will be the hardest training ask you’ll ever do. It’s great that you have to deal with it first!

Getting through the issue of finding the right work that fits what you want to do (as opposed fitting what you want to do to your work schedule) will most likely involve some radical action and some quite scary decisions or risks. Could you tell your boss that you want to work from home because you could produce more results in half the time? (and that you going climbing more is a good thing for your productivity, not a bad thing)?

It’s easier just to stay safe and not do it.

Then you won’t have to try and wonder how you can find the job that allows you this freedom, how you can redefine your current one, or whether you want the rewards enough to muster the effort.

In no time, twenty years will have gone past. Don’t turn round and find yourself still asking the same question.


kt said...

Agreed! As you say, this is the hardest challenge we face --learning to sacrifice in order to pursue our goals.

I appreciate that you always acknowledge the realities of life such as work, spouses, money, limited time, bad weather, travel, etc. To simply say, as many articles and books do, that a serious climber must "climb 5 days a week and take monthly extended road trips" as if one could wave a magic wand to make it happen, is like saying "don't bother climbing if you can't do a one-arm pull-up." Very disheartening. It’s far more inspiring to hear of climbers like Malcolm Smith training to 5.14 power on a sheet of plywood in the attic because he didn’t have a car (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdPpjTsbuzI). This is also the magic of E11, the movie: You aren’t jet-setting to exotic places lavished by sponsorship dollars. You are squarely in the thick of things, and yet still able to make it happen. For those of us who live to climb, but who must also work to live, that’s the greatest example and motivation of all.

(...uh-oh, my boss is coming. gotta get back to work)

Tom said...

Yeah this is one of the hardest things to make a decision but it feels so good when you realise that the time you have to do these things and experience life is more important than the money you make. You will always live to your means anyway so more earnings just means more expenses.

Where it get even harder though is your social life and friends. When you are spending all your free time climbing it is very difficult to spend time with your non-climbing buddies and even family. I have left so much behind over the last year to up my game in climbing....

It is paying off though and my climbing friends are some of the best friends I have so I suppose it all works out.

JJ said...

Yes you're absolutely right! I've changed work some years ago and now I can run home from work in the evening (10 km or more). This enables me to go clmbing more often... (because I obviously want to spend some time with my family and I can't go out running/climbing each and every day of the week...)

On the other hand: I recently gave my wife a few days off with our oldest daughter as a 'gift' ;o). I figured I wouldn't do anything else but climbing, but the opposite was true! I really had to drag myself to the climbing gym... So I realized that too much time isn't good either because you start to think about when you should go, if you should do something else, etc. If I squeeze my training between my other activities, it seems that I get more things done, just because I give myself no other choice.

BTW: really nice blog! very informative!