Week One of training is in the bag – the first day was a little rough with boredom but an iPod quickly remedied that. ARCing became less boring, and dare I say, even rather enjoyable by the third time. After the first session, I stripped some of the smaller holds on the wall and put on some crimper-jugs to make it a little less stressful and sprinkled on some larger feet. I had a lot of time to think while traversing back and forth on my home wall and thought about how to make the time even more productive. I played some games recommended in the Rock Climber’s Training Manual such as working on footwork with smaller foot holds, moving my feet several times before moving my hands, not pivoting my toe once I placed it on the hold, etc. Mostly though, I focused on breathing and staying relaxed, which comes down to a balance between boredom of being on my home wall for so long by myself, and having music that gets you pumped up blasting through your headphones. Also funny side note – I clearly don’t climb on jugs enough. That or my skin has gotten really soft lately. I got four flappers today, including one on each pinky. I think pinky flappers are a first for me.  

I am also fortunate enough to call Mike and Mark Anderson my friends, and I am extremely grateful they were willing to take some time to help tailor my training program specifically to me and my objectives. For the most part though, I’ll be doing three training cycles before June, which will largely look like the program you see on p187 in the book. Also, because my three goal routes are all on granite, my outdoor climbing will be basically exclusively be on granite. Thank goodness I like the Platte so much 🙂  But in reality, because of my time constraints, my main climbing area will be Boulder Canyon for the next few months.

It was also reassuring to hear Mark say that he didn’t climb for three months after his second child was born. I was feeling a little intimidated getting back into it and admitting I had gotten so “weak”. But a week in, I’ve rekindled the flame and will take advantage of my greatest strength – limitless energy and enthusiasm. It sounds cheesy but anyone that knows me knows I normally have two speeds – nothing and going a million miles an hour. This goal has genuinely made me excited to train and while it’s early in the whole thing, I actually enjoyed 90 minutes of mindless traversing alone in my garage more now than ever before. 

I will say my endless “psych” does have limits. Against Mark’s advice of basically skipping the aerobic activities, I thought I’d go new route exploring in Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday. If I’m going to climb, well then what better way than to it than on new routes? It wasn’t the climbing so much as the snow wallowing that beat me down. Still, I had more fun yesterday than I have any other time I’ve failed on a new route. Can’t wait to get back after it!

 Next week is another round of ARC training and I had an idea today during my workout where I think I’ll screw some hangers onto the wall and have some draws on there so I can practice clipping when pumped – always a good skill to keep fresh. Lastly, thanks for all the emails, texts, and Facebook messages from people that have offered to help me achieve my goals as well as have said they’ll enjoy following my journey.

– Jason Haas