I notice a drastic change in my mood and overall happiness when I don’t get my regular “fix” of climbing. This past month I have only climbed outdoors twice and it seems to be taking a bit of a toll on me. A month ago I had just sent my project and I felt great, a feeling that would be hard to top. Then, next thing you know…a missed day here…a missed day there…it’s been a month and I haven’t hardly climbed at all.
You might say: Go to the gym if you don’t have time to go outside. Well, I went to the gym one or two times this month and am noticing that even though I cannot get outside, my motivation to climb in-doors is dropping. I have never been a big gym climber. Climbing for me isn’t just about the physical act of climbing. It’s about the entire experience – being outside, hiking to the crag, being with a trusted friend(s), scetching out on a run out and exposed crux, connecting with the rock and nature, and yes the physical act of climbing.
Nothing is natural about a gym. The routes are contrived, you are restricted to a set path and that path can force movements your body would normally avoid, which can cause injury. The 20+ 14 year olds that are running around screaming and acting a fool (Not to say I wasn’t a bit out of control at that age) don’t help either. Not to be negative, because there are plenty of benefits to gym climbing, especially if you’re trying to get past a plateau or are training for a project. But, it doesn’t seem to cure that itch, the “fix” that climbing outdoors provides.
This weekend, I am definitely getting outside.