My goal is not to achieve a gold medal at the games of 2020 when sport climbing perhaps is an Olympic sport. My goal is to climb better than I ever did. Concretely, this means 8a + rotpunkt and 7b + onsight. My dream continues, however. I had ever climbed was "God save the Queen 8a" in Fryer in Belgium in the autumn of 1993. In the years before and after I opened several sport climbing routes in Buoux, sect. DSF: Chrysalide 7b + (after the outbreak of a grip 8a), La Turbie, Periphérique Ouest, Monaco "Petit joueur s'abstenir” 7c and the Gorges du Verdon, sect. Fete: 'De Gevangenpoort' 150m, 7b + with Maarten Verburg, 1994.
Full Time Climbing Again in Your 40's - Michel Kleinjan
On October 28 - 2010 I turned 40 years old. Exactly on that day I climbed again after 8 years of non climbing in real rocks: AmBähnchenBestwig Hochsauerland, Germany. It was my birthday so I could say what I wanted to do. There were 3 more days of climbing in warm weather before we returned home. From 1986 to 2002, climbing was my sport. The hardest sport climbing route I had ever climbed was "God save the Queen 8a" in Fryer in Belgium in the autumn of 1993. In the years before and after I opened several sport climbing routes in Buoux, sect. DSF: Chrysalide 7b + (after the outbreak of a grip 8a), La Turbie, Periphérique Ouest, Monaco "Petit joueur s'abstenir” 7c and the Gorges du Verdon, sect. Fete: 'De Gevangenpoort' 150m, 7b + with Maarten Verburg, 1994.
In the winter that followed my 40th birthday I realized that the passion for climbing, after 8 years of working in the professional training & coaching industry, was still present. Climbing had, since I was 18 years old, a major role and gave direction to my life. In 2007 I came in contact again with topsports. Olympic canoe slalom candidate Robert Bouten seeked for my coaching in his possible participation in the Olympics of Beijing to realize. We did that, he was ninth in the finals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. We still have a good relationship as a coach / friend and sparring partner. This year he tries to win a gold medal in London. My goal is not to achieve a gold medal at the games of 2020 when sport climbing perhaps is an Olympic sport. My goal is to climb better than I ever did. Concretely, this means 8a + rotpunkt and 7b + onsight. My dream continues, however. So what is difficult? For example, Rotpunkt or onsight climbing? The world championships are onsight climbing, that's not for nothing, would you say? Also, there are many more 'skills' to be developed for onsight climbing. And even then there is a variant that is increasingly being sought by pioneers: trad-style climb of ultra difficult sport climbing routes, green pointing in Frankenjura. A good example is Arnaud Petit in Black Bean .... in Ceuse. Now let's say onsight style is the most difficult form of sport climbing, whether single or multi pitch. It is an interesting matter. The truth will be somewhere in the middle. On January 6, 2011 I phoned my good friend Martin Fickweiler to tell him that I was again fully committed to climbing and I was looking for a climb to measure my possibility's. Our conversation lasted less than 8 minutes and we had an appointment in Etteringen, Germany to climb at the end of February. I had started. In March we agreed on training at the Gym 'MonteCervino' once a week and we climbed together outside on the climbing wall. In late March we made a trip to climb in the Peak District in England. I climbed about 8 routes, made many pictures, did the shopping and cooked in the evening. More importantly, I again climbed my first route (trad.-style) on the sharp end of the rope. On the boat back home we made arrangements to climb in May. Trad-style climbing on the sandstone of Elbsandstein, Germany. Between the two climbing trips I had no time to train, you're not from one day to another full time climbing again. But Elbsandstein early May was a fact. A bunch of good climbers attracted by the wonderful rocks of beautiful Elbsandstein and I went along. Eventually I ended up in a route I really had the bucket. The feeling was there again, the tension, strategy, physical load and now just Martin was there with his camera beside me hanging...
Back in the Netherlands I know for sure, I go full time climbing again. Better climbing than I ever did. And then there was a lot to do. First move to the most ideal training location in the Netherlands, the MonteCervino in Rotterdam. Cutting in the monthly expenses, so I sold my house. I live in a mobile home in between the climbing trips. Staying active in the coaching and training of sport climbing, and get better through training, lots of training. If you haven't climbed fore eight years, to build the training is very interesting. Besides knowledge of physiology (I am educated at the Academy of Physical Education and have trained myself always sufficient) and the right mindset (I am happy to be also a trained NLP coach) is the factor of patience for me the most important and most difficult. But this winter I had patience. After the 'move' in the summer of 2011 to Rotterdam, I really started rockclimbing gently 2 times in France. During the first climbing trip was our house still for sale and the focus was still completely on the reconstruction of my life. The second trip that summer was like a real holiday. It was final, house sold, moved to the mobile home and ready for a new start. The rest of the summer I needed to built a bathroom and more about everything you need in a home and so it happened. Mid-September was the cabin habitable and made my first real climbing / training trip. Solo to Fontaine Bleau, France 1 week of climbing bouldering routes. Training Schedule: 09.00 am one hour walk to the boulder trails at Trois pignons. 10.00 am start first climbing trail, yellow, or orange of at least 50 climbing problems. 13.00 pm one hour rest with lunch 14.00 pm start second climbing trail, orange or red at least 50 climbing problems. 17.00 hours to walk back to the campsite and 18.00 to 19.00 pm, swim. Food and sleep early. After 7 days there was nothing left of me. My body turned all signals to red. I was naturally enthusiastic on my new climbing life that had began. Back in the Netherlands, I laughed to myself and I wrote a serious training schedule for myself. I decided to take a break for one month and from November to train systematically. On November 4, I started my endurance training. I also decided to apply only climbing training in my training schedules. No additional training such as running or cycling. Later I will be using core stability training and strength training. But not as early as 2012. My winter training looked easy: 3 times a week climbing 6b in overhangs in the climbing gym. The MonteCervino gym is very high, 27 meters! Every week I climbed about 900 meters 6b overhang to February. Virtually no training I skipped. The Christmas week I rested. All in all, this winter I climbed 13.5 km to get back in shape. I write it easier than I climbed it of course. It was amazingly easy to get back into such a tight rhythm. Healthy food, good rest, plan other activities around the training. The morning before training no other strenuous activities. Good sleep, no alcohol and ensure that training is always going through. It took some getting used to all the training work during the winter but I have not had any physical discomfort. And the end of February I had my first training period ended. Took two weeks to recover my body really well of that quite large training intensity. This winter I laid the foundation for the training this spring. From 14 March I started climbing again. Maintenance Training I will say. I still climb three times a week. Climbing difficult routes and have fun with it. April 5th I leave for France for a sport climbing trip. I'll see where my physical limits are and then determine which format I continue to train to become better than I ever was. To be continued... update will follow after this summer, but I can say I'm verry fit and I'm looking forward to climb hard. And thanks to the Five Ten Netherlands team to sponsor me and take me in to the Dutch athletes team!
See pictures in the pics. section of this site.