New article on prAna Life: Stepping Stones: Creating a Path to a (More) Effective Diet, Fitness, Training and/or Lifestyle Plan
Ah, yes, hello! I hope you’re having a fantastic winter of training, bouldering, climbing, traveling, resting, exploring other sports and activities, staying warm, having fun, getting stuff done now so you can play later, or something else cool that makes your life more fulfilled and wonderful…
All of the above summarizes what I’ve been up to so far this season/year – and what’s to come, too. It’s been a fantastic and exciting winter so far overall for me. Looking ahead to my upcoming trip to the Alaska Rock Gym at the end of this month (to help set for their midwinter competition and teach some clinics), followed by an early April trip to the Red Rock Rendezvous in Las Vegas, I can say that I am totally expecting to have an awesome time at both of these venues, too. What can be more fun than sharing the love of climbing with others, right?
But since I don’t have time to get another training blog together today – hopefully I will over the weekend? – I figured I’d do an old-Alli-blog-style “me update” just for the heck of it here…as I’m sure I’ll do occasionally throughout this year.
Basically, after so much time in past years/seasons frantically training (and too often overdoing it due to my drive and enthusiasm) to try to make up for what I feel like I missed out on for so long (i.e. smart training using both climbing and outside-of-climbing elements to work my weaknesses), I seem to have finally settled into a workout plan and schedule that works for me without causing overtraining or severe energy drains this winter – and this is partially the subject of my next “Ways to Improve” blog and accompanying article, so I won’t go into great detail here about all the different parts of this just yet.
It’s awesome, though, almost to the point of me seeing visible improvements from session to session – but I also think a big part of this for me has to do with a mental letting-go process that has finally happened at a deeper level than ever before. Letting go of needing to climb a grade or a route or to send anything at all to feel good about any particular day of climbing or bouldering – but instead just feeling good about simply doing moves or trying to do them, and for training well and resting well, too.
It’s such a rewarding and freeing place for me to be, to step away from achievement as the measure of success on any given day (or ever, really), but instead, to value the actual present moment of being able to climb or lift a weight or hold a balancing pose – or to not be able to accomplish any of these things, but to understand why I can’t in the moment and also to know when to stop trying for my body’s or being’s own good in the bigger picture (i.e. to recognize when I’m tired and need rest, no matter what my plans/schedule might say, or if a move challenges a weakness that isn’t strong enough yet, but to see and understand the potential that challenge represents instead of feeling beaten by it, and so forth).
Climbing indoors all the time (because the weather’s been grim and we’ve only gotten a day outside this year so far) has actually helped with this; not knowing grades and going in with the “try whatever” mindset, climbing mainly with two guys who are way stronger than me, and staying positive no matter what (mostly; I have my moments, like everyone) has helped immensely. I just try what they’re trying, no matter how crazy or hard it looks – and in taking this approach, I’m discovering within my body this winter a well of power that was never there before.
So even when my mind doubts me on one level and tells me “no way,” another part of me thinks, “TRY!” and I try, and more often than not, I will do the move or come close to it (though I do sometimes burst into laughter, too, when presented with the utterly ludicrous!). It’s cool. And fun. And totally detached from grades and all that silly b.s. that can overshadow just the joy of climbing simply to perform engaging and demanding moves that seem unlikely for you (me) personally, no matter how easy or hard they may be for anyone else.
So that’s it for me so far this winter in terms of climbing and training – just working/playing hard at it while laughing lots, too, along with having my hands into all sorts of ongoing projects that are just in the beginning stages so not ready for sharing just yet. It’s keeping me busy, though – and I’m really psyched to see how and which aspects of these projects will play out as I move forward through this year (and beyond).
Hopefully you’re finding an inspiring and rewarding path through these winter months, too, whether you’re biding your time indoors getting stronger for spring sends (or flails! Whatever!) like me, already climbing outside at home or abroad, or doing something entirely different to keep your body-mind-spirit alive and fit and engaged.