It has been quite sometime since my last post, which was about the ABS National Championships. I had thoughts of writing about my training and the mental battles I was trying to deal with, but life happened and therefore I’m just now writing now.
I took a different approach to training for this event than I have in the past and I am very happy about how it worked out. In the past I’ve worked primarily on pure endurance and some raw power. I would climb at 6am and pull out 1000 moves in a couple hours or boulder and work on a few really hard moves. I was intense in that I had a very strict schedule of when I would do cardio, when I would climb, what I would eat, I avoided alcohol, and I went to bed really really early. Somehow though that didn’t bring me consistent results, because mentally I wasn’t prepared. I was either not confident enough or too confident (like in 2012), and all of us know that being on either extreme leads to problems.
This year I asked Jimmie Redo to help me – I consider Jimmie to be my family. He was one of the first people that I met in Boulder and we’ve been close friends since the beginning. I trust his advice, his critiques, and even his criticisms of me. We have a great relationship and I believe that is the first step into what makes a great coach/athlete team. Jimmie and I climbed about 4 days per week together to prepare for the competition. Instead of working on the number of moves I was accomplishing per day, he decided that working on power endurance would be better. So with the advice of Jon Cardwell, we began making 25-50 move circuits in the bouldering area that were rated between .13a and .13d. We would climb these circuits 10 times in row with only about 2 minutes rest between each set. Needless to say, this exercise alone destroyed us, but it really only took 2 weeks of doing this for us to feel the results. For this competition, I owe my physical strength to Jimmie who was committed to helping me through the whole process. With him, the moves in qualifiers and finals felt great, I felt confident in my strengths, and I felt powerful. I knew I had done everything to physically prepare for this competition.
I also asked Justen Sjong to help prepare me mentally because I recognized that this was an avenue that I was lacking in. Justen has an amazing ability to read and connect with people of all sorts – he is special way of communicating and calling anyone out on their shit. I only did 3.5 lessons with him before the competition but I feel like I learned a lot and I plan to continue working with him in the future. I think he has ways to help fill that mental void that I’ve been missing – and that I can’t afford to go without any longer. With his help, I was able to find my calm with climbing again – that ability to relax while on the wall. In addition, I found my ability to turn on the ‘grrr’ sooner. I felt relaxed and composed during the competition and I owe that mostly to Justen. He helped me find the space where I could give everything I had and still maintain my composure.
Instead of being so strict with my eating, etc. for this competition, I decided to relax and enjoy life more. I ate what I wanted…which consisted of homemade cookies and delicious home made dinners, I had a glass of wine here and there (even the night before qualifiers), I did cardio only when I wanted to (which wasn’t as often as the past), I didn’t wake up early to train at 6am, and I even stayed up later than I would have in the past. And all of this felt oh-so-good. 🙂
The comp was great and I felt like I climbed better than I ever have in a competition. I feel proud of my accomplishment and I do look forward to continuing to improve. There are a lot of people who supported me and helped me along the way. Bobby Moelter is someone who helped me with conditioning- he helped me stay injury free and fit. Dan Michael for keeping my muscles ready for training through massage. Lisa Erikson with LifeSport Chiropractic for also keeping me ready for training. Todd Pazol for his infinite support with climbing and life. And of course, my family and friends!
And thanks to my sponsors who give me support allow me to do what I do: Adidas Outdoor, La Sportiva, Sterling Rope, Petzl and Organic Climbing.
Check out the highlight reel from Louder Than 11 here: http://vimeo.com/63680679#at=0
Next up, Joes Valley for a little R&R on some awesome sandstone. Once we return to Boulder, it’s back to training again. There are 2 large lead competitions in May that I will be attending…I am very excited to get back to it, but I am more than excited to hang outside with my Puma Dog and Jon while trying hard on sandstone 🙂
Until next time…