9 December 2014

When the regime gets harder

My (latest) board. The result of a decade and a half of relentless work and saving. But worth it.

Andreas emailed to ask about keeping up progress in climbing when your routine gets harder for various reasons. He refers in passing to cases such as injury. Since I have whole book on this subject now in production, I’ll leave this to one side for now. But on his mind is a baby soon to arrive (brilliant news!). 

Having a child is obviously a huge challenge in maintaining the other aspects of your life. Some things have to change, as they should, and as you will want them to. In many cases, your old way of life will be abandoned altogether and replaced with a new one. A better one, if you deal with the challenge properly.

With regard to how to keep your climbing standard high in your new, time pressed routine, here are the three number one priorities:
  1. Build a board.
  2. Build a board.
  3. Build a board.
Did you get that? If you don’t feel you have space to build a board in your house, move. If you don’t feel you have the power to move because of work or other issues, solve those issues. Take the power. There are of course some workarounds such as hiring a garage in your street etc, but they are poor solutions because it’s the fact that the board is immediately accessible and you are immediately accessible while using it that underlies it’s utility.

In the early days of parenthood, the odd 45 minutes here and there may be all the free time you have. You can easily fit a high quality training schedule into this timescale, but certainly not if you have to go anywhere else to access the climbing wall, even if it’s only 5 minutes drive. So just get it built. 

Andreas referred to a comment in 9 out of 10 where I was talking about maintaining a base level of fitness with one session per week. It’s true that you can do a lot in one session a week, as I have done during various busy periods. But my point here was that doing something, even if it’s a little training, is much better than giving in and doing nothing, as many people do. I was not trying to recommend one session a week as a medium or long term solution for training. It is nothing more than a workaround for people who choose (choose is the key word) to fill their entire waking hours with activities other than climbing. For most people, this is a temporary issue related to work trips, although some climbers carry on with a schedule like this indefinitely. That is their choice.

For most with a busy schedule, an aggressive problem solving approach, resourcefulness and an understanding of your priorities are all you need to create a routine that allows time for work, rest, family time and plenty of training on your board in the spare room. If you introduce all the solutions and there still isn’t time, well you’ll just have to work less, wont you! (I’m kind of talking to myself here). 9 of of 10 climbers obviously doesn’t deal with every conceivable circumstance and individual routine. But in it I repeatedly make the point that you have plenty of options, and often more than you think, if you are willing to see them and accept the change and challenge that they bring. If you struggle to think outside the box and your thinking is full of ‘I can’t’ type of thoughts, get a coach to tell you straight. 

If any of this was easy, it wouldn’t be so rewarding when we crack it.


Unknown said...

First, it's great to see the recent activity here on the OCC blog. Always good stuff!

This and the previous 2 posts contain a lot of great, practical advice. While I don't have a child in the house or on the way, I do have a busy work schedule and an hour commute one-way into the office. I am, however, able to work several days per week from home, and I've built a small climbing wall in a utility room in my basement. I've followed Dave with interest ever since E11 came out --one thing that inspired me so much in that movie was the no-excuses subtext: the movie shows training on a single campus rung above a door frame. Since then, Dave has shared on his blog the progression of his home walls --from what looks to be an upstairs bedroom in the last house (this was the wall that inspired me to build mine), to the current detached garage. With the range of possibilities going from a rung above a door to a converted garage, we all can find room in our life and our home for some type of training setup. For further proof, see this recent image of Said Belhaj's wall above his bed: http://www.rockandice.com/photo-galleries/seven-photos-that-did-not-run-but-should-have?image=1 Or Malcom Smith in his attic in the all-time-classic "Splinter" http://vimeo.com/6644468

And then, once you've built your wall, and it's late at night and you've finally found the time to get in a session --no matter how tired you may feel, no matter how well or poorly you may be doing, you can think of Jerry Moffatt's words from Revelations, where he's climbing laps alone in a bouldering cave on a cold and bitter day, a day when everyone else has bailed, "I'm the only one training right now. I'm the only one getting stronger." --well, except perhaps for Dave MacLeod.

-Ken T.

Simon Lee said...

Yep. There is always a way...


Simon Lee

Andreas said...

Thanks for including me in your blog.

Board is already built. The baby is allowed to come.

6 months of board training and no sleep in the night...hard times are rising. :-/


wwpops said...

Hi Dave. While I'm sure there are blogs/books dedicated to this topic, would you posting some/any tips you can give on how to go about building a proper board, and any lessons you may have learnt after building your own? Or perhaps point to some good resources already out there?


Dave MacLeod said...

Yes that is on my 'books to write list'. I am nearly over my injuries book, so it may happen sometime.