One of the interesting things about being able to return to bouldering areas year on year, is the ability to see change. Change in the climbing environment. Change in the boulders. Change in the community, and of course change in yourself. For me, seeing the changes in myself, and the climbing areas often provide the most reflective moments of any trip. Ultimately this is what keeps me coming back to climbing for more.
From a performance standpoint, returning to boulders you have tried through the years and not done is always a chance to learn. It can be a satisfying moment, seeing a move which was once simply too hard, brought into possibility in a matter of moments. This realisation is without doubt one of my favourite aspects of climbing. It’s also a feeling which is only given with hard work, and an attention to the detail of the move itself. Sometimes it’s a simple thing; “I need to be stronger on pinches”. Other times it’s more subtle; “my body needs to be strong in this quite specific position which only uses this tiny muscle”. But there is always something to learn. When you return to the boulder for the 5th year, and it’s still not possible, you begin to ask more questions; “is this a technical thing?”, “do I need to spend more time on this style of hold or move?”. Finding ways to improve for these problems is what keeps me going, and brings me back to these areas. The broader problem solving aspect of how to improve can be very addictive. You constantly want to know if you’ve improved, addressed weaknesses and created new strengths. Vecchio Leone in Brione was the problem that gave me this experience on this trip to Switzerland. My ability on pinches relative to my last attempts years prior is night and day, and I suppose I have the School Room's famous problem ‘Milk It’ to thank for this. Cheers Malc.
Seeing changes in your mentality is perhaps even more satisfying than changes in physicality. Being content with spending several days on a pr
Moon Climbing athlete Martin Keller had a stellar chat with Steven Dimmitt over on the Nugget podcast. If you don't have time for the wisdom-filled 2 hours 46 minutes, we picked our favourite nugget of wisdom from Martin on how to train when you're struggling with motivation. Here's what Martin said:
1. Make it as easy as possible to train
A long drive in traffic isn’t going to get you psyched to train after a long day’s work. Can you go to a closer gym? Or end your day closer to where you plan to train?
2. Don’t go home before a training session
Home is a place to relax and your brain needs to be alert and active in order to have a productive training session. You’Il feel less like training at home so if you can avoid it, go straight to training after work.
3. Listen to music or play a video game
Even if you can’t avoid home, listening to the right psyche-inducing music or playing a video game can get the adrenalin pumping and bring you into the right mindset to train.
4. Get some food into the system
Preferably something with sugar, to trigger that all important dopamine release.
5. Work stress isn’t always a bad thing
Work stress can support you with the energy you need to train. Taking (a bit) of work stress to your session can help with motivation to train.
If you want to hear more from Martin about spending 150+ days projecting his FA of ‘Ninja Skills Sit’ V15/16, how to change our brain chemistry, how Martin trains on his outdoor projects, and how changing his mindset unlocked his hardest climbs, listen to the full podcast below.