Category Archives: Lessons: The Series

Don’t Jump Out a Window

We’re rounding out the 2/3 point of 2013.  This year is flying by… so fast!  I’m really enjoying putting my passion for Climbing into words and sharing them with you.  I’m at a bit of a crossroads with my climbing, my life, and the combination of the two.  The more I think about climbing, the more I despise the constraints that my day-job puts on my climbing goals.

I’ve recently read a couple great posts from fellow climbers about having to adjust their expectations when it comes to climbing and goals.  The first was from the gals at Crux Crush.  Although I will never know what its like to be pregnant.  I understand the feeling when priorities change.  I understand putting others before yourself.  The caveman instinct in me would have already bought a converted van and be dirtbagging it in many amazing climbing locations across the US and the World.  The challenge is… I’m not a caveman, and I love my family dearly.  The well being of my wife and children takes precedence over my personal climbing ambitions.  So when I review my fairly ambitious goals for 2013 and realize I am waaaay behind pace (possibly too far behind to catch up), my first response is to get discouraged.

I see videos, like the one above, of climbers setting and hitting their goals.  I’m super happy for him, but my blood boils that I am not.  But then I realize, my life is unique to me.  And yours to you.  Like CanadianKate, I realized that happiness is not found in the destination alone, but even more so in the journey getting there.

Don't Jump Out a Window Unless you're Parkour Legend David Belle

Don’t Jump Out a Window
Unless you’re Parkour Legend David Belle

I remain positive that I am advancing in both my technique and conditioning.  I am feeling stronger than ever.  I am climbing smoother than ever.  My problem solving and route-reading seems to be very strong.  I just haven’t gotten outdoors much.  That’s what we train for anyway.  So, I’ll take advantage of those outings when they come.  But I’m not going to Jump Out of a Window out of despair.  I’m going to count my blessings and “Climb On”.

How are you doing with your goals?  I encourage you to press on and have fun in your Journey!

~ Climb 4 Free ~


Lessons Learned: Routesetters Clinic

“Where the heck have you been?” you may be wondering (& maybe not wondering). Great question! Two key factors came into play, leading to a delay in blogging about climbing. The first pertains to blogging and the second to climbing.

Bombed Blog

Blogging Factor: I’ve been doing some contemplating and internally debating on the direction I can go with this blog. After the major bust of my previous post/poll, I have come to realize that quality of content far surpasses the frequency of posts. I’m strategizing in my mind about how I can + ADD + value to the climbing community all while facilitating an atmosphere of collaboration. Alone, I have very limited knowledge and experiences, but together, we have more than the sum total of all climbing books combined. So I come to you with a proposition; if I promise to avoid posting fluff, will you promise to add your insight where applicable? Deal!!!

Climbing Factor: A month ago, I was invited to participate in a 3-week routesetting clinic for prospective new routesetters at our local Climbing Gym Franchise. It was a tremendous experience. I learned a ton about movement, mindset, and my own climbing. There are lessons to be learned in every experience and in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

And so is born the first in series of posts, Lessons Learned.

Keep It Simple (at first)

Lesson from Week #1 – K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Setters
What I learned first is that not every route/boulder needs to be comp style or gimmicky. My personality tends toward the analytical side (as if you haven’t picked up on that already). When I look at my favorite routes, both indoor and out, the common theme is that they are thought-provoking and sequence specific. But getting good at setting straight forward routes that still flow is a necessary foundation. This has inspired me to get back out in the garage and set some straight forward problems. One thing I will be doing is setting problems exclusively using each grip style and hand position.

The King With An Axe

Lesson from Week #2 – Collaboration is King
Remember the anectdote about the horses pulling? The horses individually can each pull 2000 lbs. but working together they can pull twice the sum, so 8000 lbs. A wise mentor of mine often says, “You are limited to the knowledge in your own mind.” I learned so much from watching other people climb my routes in their own style. This goes for just plain climbing too. Having a true partnership mentality with a climbing partner is OH SO valuable, and yet often tough to come by. I am more of a controlled technical climber by nature. But I will be seeking to partner with climbers that climb more dynamically to expand my schema. I will pay better attention when belaying/spotting to variances in body position and movement.


Lesson from Week #3 – Intentional Focus = Intentional Growth
This should have been a “Well, DUH!” for me. But as obvious as it is, don’t we all have those [face-palm] moments from time to time? When bodybuilders focus on a muscle group, it grows. Why wouldn’t the same apply to climbing. I’m not even talking about getting stronger here. I’m talking about how much we focus on technique and movement. Just being intentional with creating movements that flow, I have already noticed a difference in my mental ability to locate slight changes I can make in my own technique to be more efficient.

Those are but three of the lessons I’ve learned. What have your experiences taught you?

~ Climb 4 Real ~

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