For 15 years, competitions have been an integral part of my climbing experience. I competed in my first competition when I was 11 and I can’t even count how many comps I’ve done since then. At times I have become disillusioned with competing and have even walked away from the world of comp climbing all together for brief spells. But I always find myself being drawn back in, because, to put it simply, I love it. I love having something to train for and I gain a great deal of motivation from having a goal to work towards, such as performing well in a competition.
And now it’s that time of year again…comp season is on the horizon and I’ve spent the last 4 months throwing myself at my project in Rocky Mountain National Park and “recovering” from that experience by carbo-loading with Christmas cookies. And so the training begins.
There are many things that are hard about training, but I find that the hardest part is getting the ball rolling. I have been at it for a few weeks now, and I am beginning to get into the swing of the training routine. Luckily, I have a definite timeline that I am working with, which sets a little fire under my behind to get in shape. ABS Nationals are at the end of February, so that is when I really need to be ready. After that, I am planning on competing in a few World Cups in April, and hopefully the World Cup in Vail, CO in June.
Aside from training, I also have a part-time job at an animal clinic and a volunteer position at a horse rescue. These other responsibilities often provide a much-needed break from climbing, but also turn my schedule into quite the juggling act. It is hectic at times, but I love being able to throw myself into my climbing more than I have been able to at other times in my life.
I have created a rough training schedule for myself, which fits in around my work schedule. Starting last year around this time, I decided that in order to really improve my abilities as a competitor, it was imperative that I work my weaknesses. I focused on learning how to jump and climb in a more dynamic and powerful manner. I feel that I have improved greatly on these weaknesses, but I still have a LONG way to go, so I will continue to work towards improving in those areas. I split my time mainly between CATS (a small but amazing training facility in Boulder) and Movement Climbing and Fitness (a newer gym in Boulder), and I alternate between practicing onsighting boulders, practicing jumping, doing work in the weight room, and climbing volume. And of course, sometimes I just leave the training mentality at home and climb for the hell of it.
For the next few weeks, I plan to write a blog each week chronicling my training leading up to ABS Nationals. And if I have any ambition left over that isn’t being consumed by training or work, I may even try my hand at video-making…
So, if you want to share some motivation and hear about the ups and downs of my training program, and MAYBE gain some insight into what makes me throw myself at plastic boulders….keep an eye out for my next update!