I got 2012 started with a bang with lots of really cool goals and climbing trips. A few finger injuries later, I would heal just enough to get psyched training again and then another injury. I never had enough time in-between injuries to get all the trips and climbs I wanted to journey through in 2012. Rather, I have spent the last 6 months climbing more moderates than I ever have before.
Why? Because I could technically still climb (just not very hard), a really sweet and resourceful climber and mentor told me to work on the below while I let my finger heal and get stronger:
- Get that fancy footwork (specifically climbing using toe frame of reference, soft and intentional placements, etc.).
- Overemphasize climbing moves and engage that core, even with moderates (in every easy climb, rather than walk up straight up, use every technical move you normally need in advance climbs).
- Get lots of mileage in, any climbing is better than no climbing (if you risk injuring yourself at a higher grade, climb lots and lots of easier grades while your finger heals).
- Start cross-training to just stay healthy and strong (for me, I chose training hikes, running, yoga & light weights/higher reps exercises)
Boulder easy problems (V0-V2) over and over again. Make bouldering 50% of my climbing workout, by default, it should help enhance my footwork and help maintain some of my strength while I take a step back from harder climbing.
- When you are healed up, start hang boarding. Meanwhile, for the time being, go to the hang board and hang on the top part with jugs. If you can, do a pull up or two.
I have done just that even though I sometimes feel frustrated I am not being challenged enough. I am sure everyone going through or having gone through some sort of injury can totally relate to this scenario.
Well, I am slowly but surely getting better and that finger is healing. And even though I have been working hard, I have noticed I am stronger, footwork is better, I can make all kinds of climbing moves with confidence. I have noticed my fingers are weaker and have a harder time keeping up especially if I try to get on a harder, longer top rope or lead route.
With still much work ahead of me, I felt like it was time to get out again. I started with a California road trip and bouldered at Joshua Tree in December. I got in my first high balls ever, did various lower boulders up to V4s. That is all my finger could handle, but all were on sights, which felt awesome.
Next, I decided to accompany some super awesome friends to the Asheboro, NC boulder fields, no guidebook, just a cool place to boulder under 2 hours drive. Contrary to California, the bouldering at Asheboro is stiff, rock is solid, problems are super committing and top outs sometimes can be a little quivery.
I have bouldered in Asheboro before, but had little climbing experience and no bouldering confidence. My goal on this trip was to go for anything V0 to V4, work on getting my head game back and see what my finger could handle.
Here is the positive low down on the trip:
- I accomplished everything I had planned to get done and most of all, I feel like I got a good start towards getting my game back on.
- I started quivery and not so confident, but was able to find my way through. Overall I felt very good about my performance.
- Nothing felt hard, so that means that my biggest obstacles was my head game and getting my finger back on track.
- Everyone crushed, and one of our partners who had very few outdoor climbing experiences sent almost every problem she tried.
- The day was full of super positive and encouraging energy.
- Our skin was raw at the end of the day, which is a sign we worked it hard at Asheboro boulders!
- I have a return trip to get clean Darth Vader. Also, I did not get a chance to get on Jonny Quest, Alien Head, and Lighting Bolt Crack, so want to get on these. And who knows, there might be more to get on!
Now that I have this trip said and done with, I have a few more bouldering trips in North Carolina (including Asheboro!), a session in Bishop in the spring and at Hueco in the winter.
In between I have lots of sport trips planned and a few trad-climbing adventures.
As I achieve goals and meet challenges, I will share pictures and even more important, lessons learned for all of us to draw from.
Happy 2013 and join me in getting your game on, start planning your adventures, know matter where or the grade, go get it!
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