Learning to reflect and improve

"Planning is an unnatural process - it's much more fun to do something.

The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and desperation"
- Sir John Harvey-Jones 1924 - 2008, Industrialist

I've been meaning to write this one for a while but life and work have gotten in the way so it's been a bit of a long road to getting to it! As mentioned on another interesting blog for those motivated by the sport of climbing, Doylo's Blog had a good personal reflection on his own past year, and the lessons he learned and the forthcoming strategy for 2010. As it happens, Dave seems to have remembered he has a blog ;) and decided to update it also with his own current plans and process he's going through right now - sounds pretty organised!

I mentioned it a bit here when I took a longer-term view of my own progression from when I started climbing all of 11/12? years ago - sheesh! - and even on reflecting about my experiences so far in Sheffield and the potential for increases.

So, looking back on 2009, I can only say it's been insightful also in so many ways. I've learnt what my natural baseline is now (after going for months of just intermittent climbing and just enjoying new locations) and what many of my strengths were for this reason - patience, enjoying the whole experience of trying hard routes, good technique. I've also learnt of the weaknesses - imbalance of pocket to crimp strength, lack of power for burly moves, a lack of belief for harder routes sometimes. All good experiences and brilliant to reflect on now so that I can improve in the future. I was at a seminar today in relation to my course and one of the quotes was "when you share your learning, it grows instead of getting less" (an old 5th century Tamil poem). Well, to the two top-level climbers who answered my calls for advice, I owe you one and to keep the karma going, I'll continue to share my learning on this blog and a bit on irishclimbingcoaching.ie so hopefully some of it will be of use to someone! LOL Having said that, I've always got a lot to learn myself, most notably in getting strong not just in your fingers so I'll be picking some people's advice

So, in taking another quote from the seminar - "the future belongs to those who prepare for it today" (some bloke called Malcolm X made that one :) - like Dave's post, I have a rough plan to follow for the forthcoming months to prepare for my summer plans (so would probably benefit most people in my hemisphere). And in the interest of sharing, my next couple of posts are going to be my own plans. As part of those posts though, I'm expecting comments and thoughts - this discussion is a two-way thing. Hopefully you'll get ideas of my own plans, and hopefully some can advise on what they think I should really be focusing on......we all get naturally sucked into routines and habits, especially after years of repetition so need a kick from someone looking inwards every once in a while :)

The topics (and I'll update as I finish more)
- overall training plan for 2010
- strength work-outs (fingers, shoulders, etc.)
- fitness
- things that haven't worked and failures

finally, I'm going to cross-post these to IrishClimbingCoaching.ie - mainly cause I'm still paying the annual fee on it, so may as well use it for something for now.

Side note: ideas for the irishclimbingcoaching site, what would you think I could write more on, or what information would you like to be shared?
And are the Amazon links at the bottom of my posts annoying/useful/distracting?

Good training books from Amazon:
9 Out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes: Navigation Through the Maze of Advice for the Self-coached Climber

Performance Rockclimbing

Self-Coached Climber: The Guide to Movement, Training, Performance

Jerry Moffatt: Revelations

Overall training plan for 2010 - route fitness

Slick new promo movie, a new album from Gil Scott-Heron and some trippy Alice in Wonderland