The skin on my fingers is peeling back and finally beginning to callus. This is a good time for me. I have been doing a slow training progression on plastic to get my skin to the point where I can actually do a complete session on my Treadwall. This evening I was finally able to complete a full 4×4 without quitting early due to skin issues. My skin lasted, but I failed physically. That is ok, I can fix that with an increased effort and focus during my weekly training sessions.
Why all the focus? Well, I have just 2 months to complete a route that I bolted three summers ago. Last fall I was one hanging it and ready to send, but I over-scheduled sponsorship duties at American Alpine Club Craggin Classics and missed my opportunity. I was so busy that I couldn’t even take a day off of work. So this spring I was super close to sending and then I got my staph infection in my arm which took 8 weeks to heal. By then the temperatures were too hot, I hadn’t climbed in 2 months and I had to head out of state to visit family.
Now it is fall again and I have sponsorship obligations starting at the end of September and going all the way through October! AHHHHH! Then, the wall will be too cold by November and if I miss my window for being fit, the route will have to wait until spring… again.
Fortunately, I have a real job teaching high school and the route is just 35 minutes from my house and I have no real reason/need for wanting to send the route other than it is really fun to climb on and that I want to be the first person to free it. It’s called the Infinity Round and has been a major influence for my current training methods on rock and indoors.
This Saturday I was able to get back on the walls of Unaweep to feel where my fitness was at by climbing a few pitches. Right now I am not at the bottom of where I need to be, but I am not far away. I will need to take advantage of the easy things that I can control like my diet, my sleep and my health (I am currently battling a second staph infection fortunately without surgery). The physical training has to be pinpointed in order for the little time that I have to be successful and productive. What I enjoy about the process is that it is messy. My kids are going to get sick and I won’t be able to train. Work will tire me out and I won’t be able to train. Surprises will come up and I won’t be able to train. The weather will be too wild and I won’t be able to even attempt the route. But the light at the end of the tunnel is that it really doesn’t matter on the grand scheme of things and if I sweat it too much then I have lost sight of all the things that really matter in my life like my family and friends. So the moral of the story is to give it my best and enjoy the process. If I find myself trying the route again in the spring, well that is ok too.