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
Looking back to the day of Dev Squad Selection, I felt confident that I had done well.
So, is it possible to raise kids, work full time and (continue to) climb well? There are many examples that it is possible, but the real question is how?
Having children means a day-long action, regular job last for 8 hours and training also takes part of the day. Except mentioned you have to eat, sleep and do a pile of other small things that also require some time. Bearing in mind that day lasts only 24 hours, it becomes clear why incorporating climbing into this jumble often called "real life“ is all but an easy task.
After you become a parent it is quite normal that climbing is not anymore the most important thing in your life. The arrival of these little creatures is a miracle which awaken the most powerful feelings and often significantly changes your view of life. When you reset to new settings overnight, raising kids and providing good for them becomes the priority number one. Consequently, it increases the importance of having a job and a place to call home while everything else, including climbing, becomes the thing of the secondary importance.
If you are a passionate climber, it is not easy to accept new circumstances. At this point many of my friends, young parents, just stopped climbing and started enjoying some of the less complex activities. When I say complex, I am thinking about those who take less time to perform and are much simple in terms of logistics.
There is also another part of the crew that continued to climb but often have problem to accept the fact that their climbing level has dropped and it becomes much harder to reach and maintain a good form. They keep climbing but are suffering from inner restlessness which is hard to withstand for longer time.
Anyway, this is the point where you need to show maturity and admit to yourself what climbing really means in your life?
Why do I climb? Is it just about climbing top lines