Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Arrived at the Co op tonight after a really really long day at work and there was no one there :(

It's difficult to be motivated when I'm on my own, and it's so so very bitterly cold, but I set myself the task of trying my usual warm up laps of the wall using only the tiniest foot holds I could find. It's funny how time flies and work gets done when I'm focusing on one task.

About a half hour later, the guys were there and between my laps of the wall I watched their footwork and noticed that for the most part (particularly in the case of Kev!) there was absolutely no noise whatsoever during foot placements on the wall.

I find when I climb, particularly when I'm using small holds for my feet, my toe butts the wall, or I have to place it twice on the hold before I'm happy.

Having done a bit of observation tonight I think what I'm chasing is silent footwork and eventually silent footwork that I don't even have to think about.

Watching the guys train, even when they had to rush their feet to the wall, the placement was still so precise and there was no noise!

So while my wrist and fingers are recovering from the strain I suffered I'll be chasing silent, precise feet... which makes me think this injury could end up being a blessing in disguise for the overall good of my bouldering :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Managing my wrist/finger injury

Well I've identified the source of the pain from the wrist strain I suffered at the IBL and then agitated again whilst training in the Co op on Monday. I pulled too hard on a three finger crimp (caught open handed of course!!) and a shooting pain went from my ring finger all the way to my elbow and then my wrist was left in a sort of overall pain!


So I rested for 2 days, icing the arm and wrist twice daily and generally avoiding using my left hand...

Got bored pretty quick (as usual) and started looking at ways of taping my finger and wrist so as I could climb.

I found that if I pulled on my ring finger and allowed my little finger to drop away (as pictured above!), the pain was unbearable. I thought I'd have to take a month off at least... BUT! then I realised that I could pull as hard as I like on my ring finger as long as my little finger doesn't drop away -

Therefore - I thought if I buddy strap them (as pictured below!!) and strap my wrist I should be able to climb away.

Obviously - long term, those two particular fingers strapped together is no good for three or two finger pockets, but the most frustrating thing about climbing is that when one gets an injury, for every training day lost, finger strength is being lost too and we all know how difficult that is to build in the first place.

So I went to the Co op tonight with my plan of action that occurred to me only this afternoon at work. I strapped my two fingers together and to my delight, I could crank as hard as I liked! (Didn't try any problems, just laps and laps of the wall on jugs and generous crimps)

I know my fingers need to rest, but I really think I've found a way that I can train and manage my injury at the same time.

And I'll leave you with this...

With my finger/wrist strain in mind and for anyone who's in the midst of a finger strain feast your eyes on this 9a+ sport route... made for extremely uncomfortable watching today... but it's feckin' awesome!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

That one bit of advice...

There have been a few bits of advice I've been given in my climbing year that have changed the very way I climb and have made me better... Instantly...

One of them (the one that sticks out the most in my head cause it was the first time I got a bit of advice that instantly sorted one of the problem or weak areas of my climbing) was from Frank Reilly, my first climbing partner - we used to train so much, and as usual, I couldn't ever throw for holds... I'd try, but simply miss the hold and fall to the floor...

One day we were on a traverse that had a throw on it that I just couldn't do, and Frank told me that if I started out from the wall (as opposed to starting pulled into the wall) and then tried throwing for the hold I'd be far more successful...

Instant improvement.

There have been a bunch of other things that have moved my climbing along faster too - but while training with Naomi today, the two of us were discussing how we often turn to more experienced climbers for that one bit of advice that's going to push our grades or ability to the next level instantly...

Truth is, I think at this point both myself and Naomi have passed the point of 'learning' the basics of climbing and making those huge strides that one does when one begins to climb...

I've a lot to learn still, but I think the answers are only going to come in time, which is a hard pill to swallow cause I want someone to tell me something that's going to open another door instantly for me and have me bouldering 7a NOW!!

I've heard from a few boulderers that I should just climb to get better!

It makes perfect sense - I'm beginning to learn that it's the best piece of advice I've been given - put the hours in!!!!

Nothing worth having comes easy and while I welcome, appreciate and try to take on board all the advice I'm given at training sessions and out on the boulders we go to, I'm starting to realise that progress isn't going to just 'happen' instantly.

I need to just keep training, and more to the point (as suggested by Naomi today) I need to train my weaknesses specifically.

Weaknesses that still include throwing for holds... (though sometimes I can get them, and I know the technique, I just don't have the power or accuracy YET!) ... that's one weakness among many other holes in my technique!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Damn snow!!

This is the view from the patio window of my apartment...

There are those of us who LOVE snow, and there is something enchanting about an undisturbed
landscape turned white and I had a good laugh the other day when I walked past an exceptionally well made snowman (complete with hat, scarf and mittens!) in the grounds of the apartments where I live.

However... when the snow interferes with my climbing, I'm not so fond of it at all!!

In fact you could say I can't stand it!

I love my training board, pictured above!, but it ain't no substitute for climbing problems!

So I've spent the last hour or so devising a program that will tire me out as much as training at the co op would... This is still no substitute

For this week, my Beastmaker 2000 is the indoor hold of the week!! ;) Due to the fact that it may be the only indoor hold I see!!

But what about working the rest of my body - well, Angela Carlin linked a few of us to this cool little article about the British Bouldering Team's work-out

I'll be taking my lead from that!!

Obviously I don't have a set of rings in my gaf, so I've been moderating the exercises mentioned in the article and adding to them...

I haven't bouldered since the IBL and that's probably a good thing with my wrist the way it was - but it feels good to go now and I want to get on a wall or better still A BOULDER! And yes I accept I've been a wuss today... but I plan on remedying that tomorrow with a trip to the co op come what may!!!!

This video, that Eamon O Riain shared with me today showed me that the sitting room is no place for boulderers ... even on the coldest of days!! Enjoy!