Friday, March 28, 2014

Building Your Own Sharp Stick

Without a doubt, my favorite "article" in all of Allez is Belt's "Detailed instructions for building your own sharp stick." The point being, as the great Todd Skinner said, "Never take climbing too seriously - have fun. Because no matter how much you train, and how long you climb, someday some kid you've never heard of is gonna show up and climb harder than you can imagine."
   Jean-Paul Finné's visit had a big impact on my climbing. He stayed with us at The Castle for a month after doing the third ascent of Just Do It, 14c. He got me to put very small dowels on my wall - 3/8" thick x 1/2" diameter smooth wooden footholds on a 45 degree wall - great for core training. There's also a lesson tucked away in the interview that took me a long time to learn. Jean-Paul describes doing "terribly" on White Wedding (14a) after doing JDI, which is two letter grades harder - in his description it's clear that it was a mental issue. The lesson is this: hard projects take a lot of emotional energy. Usually, after completing a hard project, it's best to take some time off. This is often difficult to do, since your psyche level will be high, but overall, it's a rule I try to follow.
   I'm not too happy with my training article from this issue; mainly because the idea that fingerboards aren't great for hypertrophy training is madness. The quote I used from Jerry Moffatt still rings true today, "Endurance routes get easier. Hard moves are always hard moves."
   Next week I'll begin to post some stuff on training.