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I am into my 20th year of calling myself a climber. Other than playing ice hockey, I have not participated at an obsessed level in anything this long. I stopped playing hockey when I was 24 years old and realized that it wasn’t as fun as it used to be. I enjoyed the physical contact and the intensity that competition brings out in folks. But at 24, I started feeling the wear and tear of the games and my body beginning to tell me that I wasn’t a kid anymore.
Now I am at the same crossroad’s with climbing, except that I understand how to continue climbing long into my future. I am not at competition with the team down the road, nor do I have to take on routes that will hurt me, I know what I love to climb on and the adventures that I can seek out and it is a great feeling. Knowing that my passion for the outdoors and for trying hard will never go allows me to always set goals and go for them.
I will say that staying in shape and reaching my personal climbing potential has not gotten easier over the years. Even though I am confident in my fitness evaluation and planning ability, having the time and energy to follow through is difficult. I thought that as my kids grew older and became more independent that making time for training would be easier, but it still ends up being before work at 5 am in the morning or after they go to bed from 8pm till whenever. Even with my Treadwall, I still have to train on it at odd hours! Additionally, every time that I take a break from training it feels like coming back to work after a long vacation! And we all know how that feels : )
I guess that my point is that if you want to reach your personal goals that it will always be tough. It will always mean sacrifice and you will always need a support system. Climbing or doing anything needs to be for the right reasons, as long as you have that perspective it will be a part of your life for a long time!
Just the other day I actually got my three year old to wear his climbing harness. The initial sell of it was not successful this past winter, but yesterday I was able to get him to wear it and have a good time. My future climbing plans involving making sure that my kids are exposed to it while the focus is being outside and enjoying nature. If they like climbing then great and if not they will at least have tried it out.
Check out the link of my son getting used to hanging in a harness!