December blues - a re-focus

The Foundry Leading Wall, steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep :)

Nothing to really report on here but thought it was worth putting an update. The weather has been pretty pants the last few weeks, it being December and all!, so it's left me to largely occupy myself with work and indoor training. It's been good to get back into regular activity and start putting in the ground-work for next year's goals. That's something I always love about November/December, it's perfect for a bit of down-time, think about what my goal is for next year, and then start increasing climbing/training tempo with an intense week before the Christmas break at home (which of course will involve some finger-boarding on my old Metolius Simulator as I visit the folks :).

I've been thinking a lot about my climbing the past few weeks. From reviewing it, and watching lots of others at the wall, my ability to read moves is above par, and in general my stamina is pretty good (so long as it's not too steep/powerful) but my general strength is off. I'm actually unsurprised to feel like I've regressed substantially over the years, especially in crimp strength!
I'm not exactly sure when it happened but I definitely took my focus off bouldering/strength in the last few years - it's paid off pretty well with regards to improving technique/mileage but I definitely feel like I'm hitting a buffer now with respect to all-round improvements.
It's especially noticeable here in Sheffield, there's just so many strong climbers and it's evident from the routes/problems being done. I've been trying the harder indoor problems (stoopid rain!) and getting shut down on many of them which is a pretty obvious hint of where I can make gains :) Sweet!
Of course, this means getting down to it and upping the tempo in the following months. I've been bouldering as much as I can the last while now, and starting to get re-acquainted with a fingerboard and woodie. The photo below shows the largest hold on the training boarding in my house. Yes, it's evil and I've managed one problem on it. Hmmmm.

I'm now giving myself some simple incentives to make some problems up the wall and it's given me an old reminder though of when I started climbing. Back in 1998 (jeebus, climbing 11 years now), when I was just a complete newbie to the sport, I was pretty psyched and every day, while walking underneath a 1-1/2 pad doorframe in my folk's house, I set myself a goal to be able to do 10 pull-ups on it. Of course, at first, I couldn't really hang it all, let along do a pull-up! But within my first year, I could bust out 10-ish. Looking back now, I was probably the strongest climber around who could only climb 6a+ and E1! LOL :)

Funny how you forget the important simple lessons, sometimes you just got to dedicate dedicate dedicate and focus on a goal. So, for now, the same concept is being taken to this wall and some other goals (two-finger one-armer - close again, haven't done one of those in about three years, one-arm crimp deadhangs, etc.). I'm obviously stronger now so we'll see how it goes and how it translates..... What's your focus for next year?!?!? All comments welcome as always.....

Dave MacLeod's new book

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