How do you REALLY feel??

I find it interesting that everyday people ask me “How are you?” and I always reply with a very superficial “good,” which may or may not be the whole truth.  Perhaps I do this because I don’t usually have time to tell people how I really feel.  And at that matter, I typically don’t want to share with the world how I’m really feeling.  If I can sum it up correctly, I usually am good.  But at any given moment, there’s a shit-load of emotions and thoughts entering my mind that in a way, I could just being putting on a front to the public.  I mean, really, when someone who is walking past you asks “how are you doing,” we all know that they don’t REALLY care how you’re doing.  It’s just a form of politeness typically.  And if they don’t REALLY care, then why take a the time to give them the REAL answer.  I do this too…it’s polite to ask how someone is doing.  And everyone that I ask this to (outside of my close circle of friends) always reply in the same manner, “I’m good, thanks!”  There’s nothing really wrong with this.

As I’ve already eluded to, there’s more going on in my life than I typically share with others.  And today, I’m ready to share…it’s snowy outside and the atmosphere seems perfect 🙂

I created a training plan that I’ve been sticking to for a while with the hopes of performing well at specific competitions this year.  This past week or two have been particularly difficult for me though.  During my strength training, my coach, Dave Wahl, has had me doing weighted pullups and negatives with weight that is about 70-75% of my body weight.  This has made my lats (latissimus dorsi to be more specific since I graduated with a physiology degree) extremely sore and it often makes me feel weaker at any activity we perform after these pullups and/or negatives.  For instance, I was able to do 3-5.5-7.5 on the campus board relatively easily before we began doing pullups and negatives with such heavy weight.  But now I’m off…I am having trouble sticking this with the appropriate speed and finish and this really gets to me.  Sometimes I feel like I want to cry during my conditioning.  Other times, or even right after I want to cry, something positive happens, like I stick something proud, and I can not hide my smile that wants to emerge from my face.  If I could draw a graph of my emotions during my training lately, it would look something like this:

Only a couple hours after my training with Dave, I’ve been heading to CATS to climb on small holds within a gymnastics training facility.  I find CATS to be very beneficial to me because there are an infinite amount of problems there to satisfy my craving for new boulders that challenge my weaknesses.  Last night, I climbed with Angie Payne, a very inspirational female climber who drives me to dig deep and try harder even when I think I don’t have anymore to give.  It’s good to climb with climbers who are stronger than yourself because if you pay close enough attention, you will learn something.  I learned some things last night.


At CATS though, I often fall off moves that I feel should be easy for me.  I may have a couple words of choice and get pissed off for a moment.  But when I make links within a problem or even finish a ‘day project’ all of my frustration and soreness is washed away for a few moments.  Training, for me, has been a whirlwind of emotions the last week or two.  Twice per week, I leave CATS feeling even more wrecked than when I arrived and I always wonder if I will be able to climb the next day.

Take this morning for example: I sat in bed feeling stiff and sore.  I thought that maybe I wouldn’t climb today because I’m so physically worked and feel even somewhat emotionally and mentally drained.  But then I realized that I’ve created a training plan & I believe I should stick to it within reason.  I want to get stronger physically, emotionally and mentally and I believe it is times like today (where I’d rather stay inside, snuggle with a warm blanket and my puppy dog and drink chai) that if I rally, I will gain more in all three of the above aspects than if I just rally on days when I’m motivated and feeling  like a champ.  The fact of the matter is that I’m worked.  I train 5 days per week, I’m taking classes this semester (biomechanics & physics, of which both have labs), managing a youth climbing team made of 60 young athletes, trying to make this whole climbing thing work for me as far as traveling for competitions, etc, and I’m doing miscellaneous work for USA Climbing.  In addition, I’m trying to maintain somewhat of a social life.  I’m WORKED…in all aspects: physically, emotionally and mentally.  But I think this is how I tick in life-usually at the end of every day I’m content because I realize I choose what I do on a daily basis, and therefore I love what I’m doing.  I strive from it and while I feel like I’m breaking down, I’m actually getting stronger and stronger.


4 responses to “How do you REALLY feel??

  1. I can’t stand it when people ask me … how are you? how was your weekend? or any lame and thoughtless way to start a conversation. Either say something interesting or nothing at all. Or keep it simple with a “Hi”. This why KW and I get along 🙂

  2. Hi, I was wondering, do you have your training plan typed up or posted somewhere? It sounds really intense, and I’ve been looking for new ideas for my workouts (:

    • Hey Galina,
      I don’t have my training plan posted anywhere…I typically just write it on a calendar that I carry around with me. What kind of things do you do now? Perhaps I can help you with some ideas…

      • That would be awesome, thank you so much. Right now I do abs, weight vest climbing, finger training (weighted deadhangs), and pull-up workouts (unevens, pinch pull-ups, and frenchies)…not much endurance stuff though. This is pretty much what I do––but with rest days. Do you know anything else that will help with lock-off and grip strength?

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