As a full time working adult, it can be extremely difficult to find the motivation to exercise the way we did “back in the day.”  As adults we like to blame the fact that we are extremely busy, and while most of us are, I believe the issue is deeper than that.

DEEP WATER SOLOING OVER LAKE KINKAID IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - PHOTO TAKEN BY DANNY STIRTON

DEEP WATER SOLOING OVER LAKE KINKAID IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS – PHOTO TAKEN BY DANNY STIRTON

If you played sports in high school or college, you understand how much time was dedicated to practice. The goal was never to lose weight or inches, but rather to be part of a team and to achieve personal records. As adults, however, many of our goals change.

“I worked out today” or “I’m going on a diet” tends to become the norm rather than working towards something bigger. While I have always considered myself a runner, I am a sprinter at heart. Long distance running is not for me, but as an athlete I found myself in a workout rut because I didn’t have intrinsic motivation that I did when I competed in my youth.

Then, I found climbing.

If you’re feeling pretty comfortable with top roping and are climbing 5.10s, in my opinion, it may be time for you to try leading. Lead climbing is the type of climbing that is typically done outdoors and is really useful to know how to do in a group of climbers. Even if a route may be above your grade when it comes to lead, it is still helpful if you can belay so that the group you are with doesn’t feel held back in what they want to climb. Lead climbing requires more strength, endurance, and mental fortitude. It is good to start on easy comfortable climbs and work your way up.

My advice for when you feel like you have absolutely no time to climb, try your best to get on the wall at least once a week. It is always frustrating to lose some of the momentum you have gained in climbing and training. It still happens to everyone but just do your best to move forward and get back on track. You owe it to yourself because whether you’re naturally athletic or not, there is a place for you in the climbing community. Start getting ready now for the outdoors; it does not happen overnight.

FA Community Voices

In an effort to connect more people within the Chicago climbing community, we are giving the community a sounding board with FA Community Voices, where climbers just like you share climbing experiences, beta, and musings.  Feel like contributing? Send a pitch to: blog@firstascentclimbing.com and thanks for reading! – Gabriel Skvor (FA Blog Writer/Editor)