Monday, August 31, 2009

Gym Progress

Gym Climb Progress Report
August 2009

When I first started to climb a little over a year ago, I didn't really understand what I was getting myself into. I knew I really liked the feeling of getting to the top of a climb, even if I was still on the baby wall, but I never really understood the package you get when you enter the climbing world. No one warned me about the bruised knees and the bumped elbows,or the emotion that comes along with the experience of pushing yourself to the limit. I guess it turns out that I don't really mind that stuff, as long as I feel that I'm moving forward in the process.

Great Western Power Company

I've been growing into a decent climber, but it always takes me a little longer to get things flowing when I'm learning "the ropes" of a new hobby.... OK, pun intended. I fondly remember the day I finally made the last move on that baby wall 5.7 route in the corner at GWPC. That thing kicked my ass for weeks! But I finally figured out what I was doing wrong, and nailed it. Now I struggle with '5.10a' and 'b' instead, however I still fall off of 5.7s every now and then on a bad day. I still have much to learn, but so far I have gained a great deal of knowledge about technique. Now I just have to figure out how to apply that knowledge while I'm climbing indoors, and out.

Nice long arms

Legs. Legs are important. If you don't use them, you are not climbing. Without legs you are just doing a bunch of pull ups on a rock wall, and I'm not very good at doing pull ups -nor do I care for them. As a beginner I didn't have a very good concept about how climbing works. I was mainly using my primal instincts and thought hand holds were the most important feature. This turned out to be a very false perception. Not only must legs be used to push up on, one also has to keep an eye on where your feet are. Looking up will only get you so far up a wall.

Remember to look at your feet

Arms. Using your arms effectively is also important. I learned that without straight arms I become pumped, fall more, and have a horrible time trying to climb some of the easiest routes. A lot of my progress in the last 6 months or so has been mainly due to straight arms. If I'm flailing around, it's probably because my arms aren't straight, specifically my left arm. It has a tendency to do whatever the hell it wants. Dealing with that was actually stunting my progress for a while, but now I have learned to catch the arm behavior, and correct it.

Eric brought a Flip camera to the gym the other night, and we filmed each other climbing. It was a huge help, and great confidence booster, to watch myself climb. I was able to see where my climbing was stellar, and where I needed improvement. I suggest taking pictures or video of yourself if you need feedback, or just want to watch yourself in all of your amazingness. It work wonders!

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