You Don’t Have to Quit your Job to Get Better at Climbing
In the words of the beloved and controversial rap artist, Tyler the Creator, “I’m a f***** walkin’ paradox,” because I am. I spend most of my time attempting to be coiffed and professional in a corporate environment and when I’m off work on Friday I’m ready turn my hat backwards, head outside, and be the dirtbag I wish I was during the week.
I think a lot of outdoor enthusiasts are like this. We crave adventure and exhilaration and are maybe a even a little rebellious. Unfortunately, the jobs that sustain us (and our expensive extracurriculars) do not always provide the outlet we so desperately need.
So, enter climbing. It is a sport that satisfies my love of the outdoors, provides positive social interaction, and it is an outlet for measurably pushing myself to my absolute limit.
Admittedly, I take myself too seriously sometimes, but at the same time I make notes in my training journal like the one you see below:
So I might be serious, but never too serious.
A Classic Weekend Warrior
I have been climbing for about four years. I started in college to stave off the summertime sadness of being an avid skier. Now, I can’t really decide which sport I like better. I really love climbing.
For me, climbing is an outlet for goofiness, getting outside with your friends, and having an excuse to train like a goddamn sled dog if I really want to.
And to be clear, I really want to.`
I work at a major company based in New York City. My commute to work is 40-75 minutes each way depending on traffic. I train in the evenings when they gyms are crowded and I go climbing outside on the weekends. The nearest quality sport crag is about 5 hours away. I certainly have time to train and go outside, but my time supply is limited.
Training on a Time Budget
Fortunately for all of us, climbing is a sport where focused training a few sessions a week will yield great results. I have seen substantial evidence that you can continuously improve your climbing (for a long time) even if you have a time-consuming job and you don’t start climbing until your twenties.
I started climbing about 4 years ago and began training systematically about two years in. Since then, I have increased my hardest redpoint from 5.10a to 5.11d, and increased my hardest onsight from 5.9 to 5.11a.
Each year of training I have added an average of 3.5 letter grades to my hardest redpoint. I plan to keep training, keep getting stronger, and I’ll be keeping my job and having a social life while I do it.
What this Blog Will Teach You
This blog will provide information on a variety of climbing-related topics. And it will demonstrate that getting better at climbing is possible, even with a busy schedule.
I will give you the knowledge you need to set high-quality goals, construct your own training programs, select training programs based on your needs, and explore many topics in between.
Additionally, I plan to post about trips I take to different climbing areas, in case you are looking for inspiration for your next outdoor climbing adventure.
This blog will provide you with the resources you need to go from a training neophyte to someone that has an effective plan for their time in the gym and outside. I want you to become someone with goals for your climbing and I want you to have a lot of fun executing them.
Post typically come out on Sundays. Talk soon.
Do you struggle with the balance between work and climbing? What’s the most difficult aspect for you? Let me know below!
If you’d like to gain some insight into your strengths and weaknesses as a climber, check out my climbing theme song quiz! While it’s definitely a good time, it shines a light onto the aspects of your training and climbing that might be holding you back and keeping you in a plateau. And once you get your result, I’ll also send you some tips and tricks to help your training and climbing more effective and efficient!