Some Quick Thoughts On Never Being A Very Good Climber

I’ve resigned myself to never being very good at rock climbing.  I’m too old, too fat, and have too little time to devote to the sport to ever climb at a high level.  But that’s ok, I still love it.

With my schedule, I’m lucky if I can get to the climbing gym once a week (and I almost never climb outside).  When I do get to the gym, I can climb the v2s with ease, and occasionally struggle up a V3 if its power route.  Technique and finger strength are still my weaknesses.  I’m relatively strong and can power my way through an overhang problem, but if it is a crimpy thing with no feet?  I’m fucked.  Finger strength and technique come from time on the wall, and that is something I just cannot commit to.  Too many interests; not enough time.

Still, I do what I can.  My general routine at the gym is to stretch out my sore shoulder,s warm up on some V0s and V1s, work on V2s and V3s until my grip strength starts going, then blow out what little strength I have left on the training wall doing dead hangs, ring pushups and the like.  Away from the climbing gym, I do what I can.  I’m trying to drop weight.  I work the pull up bar in my building’s gym three times a week, and I am desperately attempting to become more flexible.

Its an uphill battle, and one I am bound to lose.  Still, I enjoy the fight.  And I enjoy my time at the gym, hanging with old friends, talking about life, watching kids flash V10s while I struggle on the V3s.  I’m never going to be Chris Sharma, but that’s alright.  I’m fine being a not very good middle age climber.  As long as I’m better at it than I was last year, that’s good enough for me.

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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2 Responses to Some Quick Thoughts On Never Being A Very Good Climber

  1. Forrest says:

    Climbing is a lot of fun. And not in the ways people who haven’t done it tend to expect. Figuring out how to solve a problem, fighting to silence the ancient, reptilian part of your brain that sees a long drop to the ground and wants no part of it, etc, climbing is largely mental.

    If you can do v3 problems at the gym, you should be able to do 5.medium outdoors. I find that a lot more fun and compelling, making it easier to commit time to. Plus it’s not so much hanging off your fingers…

    • seanv2 says:

      Thanks for the comment. On the rare occasion when I have had the opportunity to climb outside, I’ve loved it. But living in Brooklyn, outside can be far away. My life right now doesn’t leave much time for trips to the Gunks, but I hope to make some time for it this fall… even if I won’t be very good when I get out there.

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