Take Care

We’ve been in Bishop for a little over two weeks; it’s been awesome! Climbing new problems and old ones, however it has taken longer than I’d like to get brave. Some things I had done before have felt hard but other things feel easier. I’m not writing this to talk about the contrived nature of bouldering, or anything about how bullshit it is most of the time. I’m writing this to talk about self-care. I spend an exorbitant amount of time in the outdoors hiking, climbing, and skiing; all these activities take lots of time. I was thinking how fit I would be if I was spending one tenth the time on these activities as I did on stretching, running, and working out for injury prevention. I don’t know why that is, I could do eight baldy runs on a powder day but then after I go eat at Hectors and then sit on some one’s couch and watch Netflix. It’s almost as if I use up all my try hard and then I turn into a lazy lump of shit.

I have a tendency to “solider on” or “cowboy up” which basically means to grind something out without taking care of my body. This attribute is totally useful in some circumstances, long hikes and rescues. But it also allows not to stretch or warm up properly which is a huge problem. The last season that I was here I wouldn’t really warm up at all; I would run a couple of laps on an easy problem and then go get on my project. By the end my fingers were so strained that the first time I went to the gym I tore an A2 pulley and was out for months. Obviously, I didn’t warm up then either. After that injury, I started doing research on warming up and training for climbing. Like most people new to the sport I’d just climb and maybe do a few pull ups or a yoga class. What I learned is that I need to slow down, stretch, actually have my body feel warm before I pull onto the rock. Sometimes it takes longer than I think it should and that’s okay.

The single best and worst thing about the buttermilks is how sharp the rock is here. Just about every problem I’ve been on here when I’m either on top of it or on my crash pad I look at my fingertips. Now this season I’m taking care of them and myself: I’m running to increase my cardiovascular fitness, I’m doing core and shoulder workouts in order to protect my body from injury, and I’ve been stretching and massaging myself to stay loose. I also warm up for a long time I do jumping jacks, shoulder circles, push-ups, hangs, and then I usually pull on the rock. I need to take my time with my warm up in order to protect my body from injury. Because that’s the worst way to spend a season.

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