They say train your weaknesses. But what if your weakness is training?
It’s been something i’ve always struggled with and the idea of “training your core” fills me with gloom and dread. I just can’t be bothered! The whole reason i got into climbing was to get out in the hills and the idea of staring at a wall dangling statically from my fingertips could not be further from that.
The problem comes when you want more. There came a point where just climbing wasn’t enough, i wanted to be operating right at the end of my ability level and there is only one way to make that happen: you have to train.
For me lately, there has been another driver, and one that comes up twice in year at New Years and during the Solstice: my Yearly Top Ten Average grade, calculated on 27crags. It may sound daft but for me, that single grade is a huge motivator. The problem i have at the moment is that it sits right below 7b. And i’m not in 7b shape: so i have to train.
#Regeneration: the title so apt in so many ways. The name of the 7b #climb at #galltyrogof in the #ogwenvalley. The time of year: #newyear for me starting last weekend when the clocks went forward. Personal development after a period of disappointing outdoor #climbing and the first good send in as long as I can remember. The start of something good I hope. So #psyched, so #excited, so ready to start hitting my potential again. Turn on sound for silly #celebration noises… #worldclasswales #northwales #northwalesbouldering #bouldering #rockclimbing #climbing_is_my_passion #climbing_pictures_of_instagram
But as i’ve mentioned, setting a training regime is really not my forte and while i could easily learn how to do it, sticking to it is entirely another matter. Will power is not something i possess in even small quantities and i am often found lacking any mental discipline for things like this.
So i asked myself: when i have managed to successfully train in the past? I’ve climbed 7c+ and i didn’t do that by simply going to the crag over and over, i have managed it before. What kept me focused for that?
The most obvious occasion that saw me even remotely training was preparing for Carnage. For any long-term readers (all three of you…) you’ll doubtless be aware of the effort i put in to tick this particular climb in Fontainebleau several years ago but for the uninitiated, and cutting a very long story short, it involved deadhangs on replica holds, a replica climb on a systems board and six months of preparation ready for my Spring attempt. And it worked.
This is the line I wanted to avoid this trip. My #obsession for four years and I guess it was inevitable that I'd get back on for the #assis. It took three #sessions that week but I didn't leave it behind and now as #stunning as this incredibly historic bloc is, I never have to go back, I have nothing left to do. This is #Carnage assis 7c. #fontbouldering #fontainebleau #bouldering #climbing #climbing_photos_of_instagram #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #climbing_is_my_passion #climbinglife #doyouclimb #meclimbing
Having such a definitive end goal gave me that undeniable focus. I had holds to copy, i had moves to practice, i had something tangible to work towards. And because of that, i’d find myself in the wall on a sunny day, training. But in the end it was worth it.
So there it was; the makings of a vague plan. Find a climb to work towards, and then work towards it. Simple really. But what climb…?
Again, my very top grade is 7c+ and i’ve wanted for a very long time to reach that next, momentous grade of 8a. There’s something very satisfying about the next number grade and it does have that tiny bit more cache. So why not?
#goal8a took another step forward last week and an odd one at that. Armed with a ruler and a compass, I headed back one lunchtime and measured the distances and angles between the holds ready to build a replica for #training. I may be taking this too far. I may not be taking it far enough… #bouldering #rockclimbing #climbing #climbing_photos_of_instagram #bouldering_pictures_of_instagram
I took a pen and a piece of paper and wrote in big letters at the top Goal: 8a. Then, i wrote down all the steps i could think of to get me from where i am now to achieving that goal. Turns out there weren’t that many either.
The first couple of steps are now complete, with huge thanks going to Tim Peck for helping me narrow down a long list of 11 to a shortlist of 2. Steps have been taken to move along on step 3 as well, although that ill discipline is rearing it’s head again. Still, this feels like progress. Now to see if i’m right.
Introducing #goal8a – my long term an to take things to the next level. The climb: #swayon at Gallt Yr Ogof. Four moves of intense #bouldering and on this first session, I managed to link the last two moves. I'm guessing that means the first two are going to be absolute nails… #worldclasswales #northwalesbouldering #northwales #escalada #escalade #grimpeur #rockclimbing #bouldering#bouldering_pictures_of_instagram #climbing #climbing_photos_of_instagram Music by @my.chemicalromance interlude from their album Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge