I'm in Joe's Valley, Utah, for the second time this month. Shannon is making breakfast in the van (sausage, eggs and broccoli). I've got a hot cup of coffee and the air is crisp and clear. If I weren't in such poor physical shape, today would probably turn out to be a fantastic climbing day.
I have approximately 3 weeks in Joe's, and I want to feel strong for at least some of that. So, for the next 5-7 days I'll be 'training' in the desert, climbing on everything, pulling on at the start for every attempt and trying hard. It's all going to be preparation for a strong finish, even if it sucks right now. I used to be all about cross training, I'd start and finish most gym sessions with conditioning. But I've been on the road for the last 10 months, and climbing regularly for 7 of those. My schedule is dictated by the people i'm with, the weather or the difficulty of the boulders I'm trying. There are few full service gyms in the middle of the desert or the forest. I'm left trying to make the most of all of motivation, the conditions and the attempts. Basically, training has fallen to the wayside. It's too bad, really. I love the way my body feels after hard sessions lifting heavy weights, but it's just not feasible these days.
Though illness has run rampant through 'Wu-Tang Van (ain't nothing to f*ck with)', we've both climbed most every day we've been here, sending new moderates regularly. Yesterday (4/15) was the first day we'd climbed after a rest day. Though I'm still sick, and heinous conditions were predicted, we both managed ascents of b-side projects. Shannon put down Stand Up (V8) and Spam (V7), while I sent Two Finger Variation (V9) and maybe? repeated Chips (V7). Perhaps due to the poor forecast, or the wonders of travel, it was one of the first days I've been in Area 51 where I knew every last person there. While it’s nice to be back in an area I once knew so well, it’s more than bit disheartening to fail on boulders I sent years ago.
It’s going to be a fight to get back into shape, and a further struggle to send the boulders that are quickly becoming my overwhelming goals. I can’t wait to feel strong on my projects of old. It may not be as efficient to train while on a climbing trip, but it sure is good for the ‘soul’ to do core workouts during beautiful sunsets.