It’s Winter and it is fucking cold here in Salt Lake City, so we’ve been inside training because we’re such serious rock climbers. But I’ve been thinking about the word “training” what am I training for, some nonsensical conglomeration of moves on some boulder or cliff somewhere in the western united states. It’s absolutely pointless! I like to boulder and sport climb which, bouldering especially, started as practice for real climbing. So, what I am saying is that I’m “training” for practice climbing. It does mean something to me though, and climbing is a sport, it’s going to be in the Olympics for Christ’s sake. I’m not going to be speed climbing, that’s only for eastern Europeans, but I still want to be better. Hence the “training.” But training implies that I have some level of mastery over climbing doesn’t it? I am not a master of anything except hanging out in the backcountry and talking shit. Also, why does it seem that we have the only sport that we refer to our practice as training. Sometimes I am lifting weights or doing core work but a lot of the time I am just climbing, and that is the time that I need to be thinking of as practice. A time to work on skills especially footwork; it is important for me to take the time to understand the nuance, body English, and micro beta that I need in order to be successful when I am trying to perform at this sport that I’m obsessed with. The thing that is so interesting about climbing is that it’s not only a sport it is also a mindfulness practice and, for some of us, a spiritual practice. The activity that keeps me fit is also kind of like my religion; so why do I train for this sport when clearly it should be known as a practice. Also, I think that changing the way I refer to my gym time will make me be a little more patient with myself, because we’re just talking about practice.

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