Monthly Archives: December 2012

Next 5 weeks – Accountable Training

I will do these workouts ... or else I have to fess up

I will do these workouts … or else I have to fess up

As promised, these are my next 5 weeks of training. I know the color coordination and much of the info may not hold much meaning for you personally, but I’ve put it out there and have committed to doing each of them. Now, having done this, I know from experience that my resolve will immediately be tested. Life remains unpredictable. And I am still very much excited about spending as much quality time with my family as possible. What this means for me is that I will have to be disciplined enough to get out and train late nights no matter how draining of a day I’ve had OR (against all odds) get up early in the morning.

What you can expect from me: I will post a comment to this post immediately following my workout or at the latest the following morning. When I live up to my word I will share a quick snip as to how it went. IF I slack off and skip it, or deviate from the plan… then I will have to confess my laziness.

~ Climb 4 Real ~


Three Punch Combo

Off the Wagon

Now, let’s be honest.  I am NOT the only one that has fallen off the wagon with my good intentioned plans, training or otherwise.  For this winter, I have planned a quite structured training program.  But for the past 2 weeks, I have fallen behind and ad libbed (dictionary: v.intr. – to engage in improvisation) ad nauseam (dictionary: adv. – to a disgusting or ridiculous degree). In this instance, the anecdote is climbing related.  But guess what … this is Life!  Success Principles are Universal!!!  Whether its business, relationships, health, or any number of real world categories, there will always be instances where we fall short of even our own expectations of ourselves.  It is our perspective and response to such failures that reveals our Character.  Failure can be a tricky opponent.  I propose that you attack it with the Three Punch Combo.

Do this… often!

Punch #1 – Draw a Line in the Sand

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

I am a strong proponent of the TRY-FAIL-ADJUST principle.  There is a stigma in today’s American society that conditions us to fear and avoid all forms of failure at all costs.  If you do poorly on a test in school, you get a flaming red “F” on top of your test.  If you try something at work that doesn’t pan out you get “FIRED”.  If you make a relationship mistake you end up in a “FIGHT”.  Well, “F” that.  It clearly doesn’t work.  I know this is generalized greatly, but I’m not far off base.

Success is built on failure.  When everything works perfect and comes easily, we learn NOTHING!  We can learn a ton from our failures.  So when I got knocked off track with my climbing training, I did get mad at myself.  But I didn’t wallow in it.  I didn’t quit climbing.  And my goals didn’t just disappear like a Fart in a Fan Factory (more F’s).  So I drew a line in the sand.  I decided to re-launch and make adjustments.  I evaluated what contributed to my slacking (wet garage floor from melted snow) and came up with a solution (beach towel mounted to a push broom).


Punch #2 – Self Motivation

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

The key to self motivation is found in an unpredictable place.  It is found in the mind and words of a child.  Have you ever carried on a conversation with a 3-4 year old where no matter how you answer the first “WHY?” you are met with another “WHY?” instantaneously?  They ask out of curiosity, but we should use these 3 letters to move us forward, ever closer to our goals.

So you have a training plan… why?  Because you want to get stronger… why?  So you can climb 5.xx/Vx… why is that important?  Ask yourself “Why?” enough times and I believe you will eventually dig deep enough to find out what your Motivation is.  You will also find that you can prod yourself in that area on command for an immediate boost in gumption (dictionary: n. – courage; spunk; guts).

Following is my main line of questioning:  Why am I training? To get stronger and more efficient.  Why?/What does that accomplish? So I can climb 5.13.  Why 5.13?  This opens up many more options and quite frankly some of the highest quality routes.  And I want to be able to take FULL advantage of every outdoor climbing day or road trip I get, because they don’t come along as often as they used to.

I am getting back to the basics on “The Why“.  Putting up visuals of my goals to look at daily.  Is there any other sport with as inspiring visuals as Rock Climbing?  Not for me.  The places and the people that we get to interact with is like no other endeavor.  Dwelling on these things sure do get my blood pumping and can make a lonely hangboard/garage wall workout actually exciting.  It is exciting to know that I am yet another step closer to my dream routes and destinations.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Punch #3 – Accountability

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen R. Covey

Self Motivation is great. And it needs to be present, no doubt about it. For without landing the 2nd punch, there is no Three Punch Combo. But I have found tremendous breakthrough in the principle of Accountability. Specifically, being accountable to another person or a group. Its a lot easier for me to bag a training session when I am the only person that knows about it. But when I make a commitment that others know about, even if only in the back of my mind, I tend to not want to let them down. The key is in giving permission for them to call you out if/when you fall short. In a friendly way, of course. Finding others with similar goals is another HUGE plus. A high level of transparency is of utmost importance.

So here goes… in my next post I will share 5 weeks worth of my planned training regimen. Then I will personally comment on that post whether or not I completed my workout.

Please feel free to share your goals and I can help with your accountability.

~ Climb 4 Real ~

The Ultimate Training Tool – IMO

I was going to jump right in and share a bit of my climbing background … and I will … later. But today I would like to share my #1 favorite tool for the climber with a busy schedule. Of course this is my opinion, but I am absolutely fascinated with the HomeWall.

Home Wall #1

Home Wall #1

I am currently living in home #3 of my ‘adult’ life. Which means I am also on homewall #3. My first homewall was a freestanding A-frame in my basement den. With spatial limitations, this wall was small. But it accomplished what it was intended to do, and that is … to inspire and teach me for future renditions. Secondarily, I did gain good finger strength, but very little footwork and movement technique was allowed. Whilst training on this, we were in the process of planning and executing a move. Of course, the option and scope of a homewall in our next abode was one key factor in our decision making.

Homewall #2

Home #2 ended up being a townhome with an average sized garage. I got 3 good years out of this wall, constantly adding little tweaks. The main sections were 15* & 30* overhanging. My favorite angle has by far been the 30*. It’s steep enough to set powerful moves at the same time as fingery/technical moves. I built the vert section for my son. He was 2 years old at the time and quickly progressed to the 15* overhang.

Homewall #3

Homewall #3

2012 brought another move, of course, bigger and better. Home #3 came with a bigger garage with a higher ceiling. I knew I wanted a 45* section. Based on available space, and all while still allowing 2 vehicles to park inside, I did my most extensive planning yet. I busted out the trigonometry archives and calculated every major cut down to the 1/8th inch. I love it. I even ended up adding an extension to a 4’x4′ section to add vertical height. The left section is 45*, then a 28*, a 17* transition, and a 23* on the right.

I will concede ahead of time that a homewall will never replace or bypass the vast benefits of a commercial or co-op climbing gym.  My main complaint to this day is the boredom that so easily sets in while climbing alone.  But for those of us where carving out the time to get to the gym is a challenge, this may just be the next best thing.  Put the kids to bed and vio’la.  Other challenges include: heating it in the winter, having/storing enough padding, AND my current dilemma … keeping the garage dry when Minnesota weather dumps 14″ of snow on you.

This melts when you pull the car in the garage

This melts when you pull the car in the garage, FYI

I would love to read your comments.  Do you have your own Homewall?  What do you do to make it fun?  Would you like to hire me to design/plan your homewall project? 😉

~ Climb 4 Real ~

Just a guy who loves Climbing Rocks

People I care about AND I am responsible for.

People I care about AND I am responsible for.

That’s right, I’m just another guy that got hooked on climbing and hasn’t been able to shake it. Personal history aside, I am likely not much different than yourself (assuming you’re reading this on purpose). Statistics would tell us that the vast majority of us are not in a position to make a complete living off of our Rock Climbing prowess. We have real lives and all the responsibilities that go with your definition of Real Life.

But just because we have other things going on doesn’t mean we don’t want to progress in the many aspects of enjoyment this sport offers. You may be the pure Adventurer looking to increase the number of unique locations you have climbed. You may be the Enduro wanting to up the sheer number of pitches you climb in a year. You may be the Adrenaline Junkie pushing your limits in the mental and psychological game. Or you may be like me, the Technical Climber, constantly pursuing your next maximum difficulty level. It is my stance that no matter your discipline; Trad, Sport, Boulder, or Alpine; you and I can incrementally improve the quality (and in many cases the quantity) of the fulfillment we get from the ROCK.

So let’s do it… together. I envision this blog as more than just my climbing journal. I see it as more of a forum of ideas. Share your comments, both agreeable and constructive. Share your blog sites with me and I’ll link ‘em up. Share your successes and lessons learned.

~ Climb 4 Real ~

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