The importance of fun

I (James) wrote this post a few months ago (End of August) but was unsure about posting it. The ups and downs are all a part of this journey so here it is unchanged:

“If there is one thing that we do well, it’s suffer. Long approaches to loose rock demand that we do. But is climbing meant to be a total sufferfest? I know that climbers are all masochists to some degree, otherwise we’d stay in our original bubble wrap in our original box until it was time to put us in the ground.

James hands the day after a particularly rough Linked Bouldering Session
James’ hands the day after a particularly rough Linked Bouldering Session

The past month or so had be getting down on climbing. Day in-day out following my training plan to a T – making progress – but honestly not having that much fun in the process. “Training isn’t supposed to be fun” – training is work – you’ve seen all those reebok commercials. After many months of “pounding the pavement” I think my perspective had changed without realizing it, I was telling myself that climbing isn’t fun because what I’m doing isn’t fun. And what I was doing looked like climbing. Sure it was extremely structured for progress, with each set, rep, and load increase timed. Each hangboard, campus board, linked bouldering circuit, strength or mobility session meticulously prepared with input from 5 different training manuals and sources all balanced to the best I can figure.

I began to forget the social side of climbing, the organized chaos, the problem solving of working out beta with someone on your level, the competitive / supportive nature of the send train.

Am I getting stronger? Sure. Am I climbing better? Yep. Am I the most prepared I’ve been for the good fricks yet? I am. But if you’re not enjoying the process why are you doing it? For the grade? For the “Glory” (There is no glory).

Last night I decided to throw the planned workout in the trash and just went bouldering with friends. And you know what – my love of climbing came back so quickly. Oh right! I like being around people, I like surprising myself when something sticks, I like working things out with boulderer’s way better than me, learning and laughing with them.

Of course Alpine climbing requires that you suffer well. But you have to either enjoy the journey or have a good story at the end of it otherwise you’re wasting your time.”

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