Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ask for what you need, but give what you have

There is a 93 year old Scottish man in the hospital bed next to us for the past 4 days or so. He has only had visitors for a few minutes the entire time he has been here, although he could use help full time. At first he seemed so sweet but as time went on he became cantankerous, most of the time really. However, I figure I would be also, if I was 93 living completely on my own and was forced into an operation.

Ellen and I took him under our wing a bit the first day and tried to do the little things for him, but he was rude and very difficult to deal with, at first in a "he is just old" kind of way, then a "unnecessarily mean because he felt like it" kind of way. Even the nurses lost all patience with him and will only do the bare minimum.

You feel horrible getting frustrated with an old man, but even the kindest lose patience from being abused in the long run. The poor old guy though, you can't help but feel bad for him.

Last night I promised myself I would try again to help him where I could. Today we helped him get his meals prepared and cleaned up and low and behold I think after a few days of not having the kindness of strangers he really did appreciate it and was very polite and thankful. The old fellas family stopped by and brought him some treats today for Christmas which was nice, I just can't believe that they took off almost as soon as they arrived! I just don't understand people, it is as if they don't have any empathy, I don't know how they sleep at night.

Anyway....... as soon as the old man had something to give, he kept trying to give his treats to me, Ellen and others, I was so surprised, as soon as he had something to give, he did. He is not afraid to demand either, but today I saw another side of him.

So the old guy taught me my Christmas lesson for this year: Ask for what you need, but Give what you have.

Thanks old fella, I hope you get to go home soon.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Well, it should have been expected, the lack of sleep and stress lead to sickness. Not a surprise I guess. I hate being sick because it means that you can't perform at 100%, I don't really mind feeling sick, but I hate having to rest to get better.

I am not good at sitting around and I am not good at resting, I hate being idle. Often it is the best thing for you but I can never convince myself of that?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sleep Deprivation

So, in the last couple days about 44hrs I have only slept 2hrs from hr 32-34 or so and am amazed I am not tired. I forced myself to sleep those 2 hrs as it was. This is horrible for the body and I will sleep tonight well, but it amazes me that when the mind focuses deeply on other things, that it seems to be completely able to ignore natural signals and requirements of the body, at least for the short term.

Sure, I have stayed up longer before, but I definitely recall being tired. This time I was only tired for less than 1 hr of the whole ordeal.

What I learned or at least have proven to myself, is that again perspective, focus and mind control allow you to overcome some awesome natural sleep requirements?

So, I now think if I do it right I actually might be able to climb nearly all the main routes at my local cliff in one push, sure it might take a while, but if I don't sleep and focus hard, think of the amount I can get in one session, maybe combine this with 24hr northern light and I might be able to do some huge link ups in a push. The possibilities are endless. Think about the fitness training sessions I can get in.

So the question is how to enter into that focused zone at will, when necessity and importance are not actually there. How do you derive that flow voluntarily and regularly?

Maybe I should get some sleep I just reread this and sound like a fool?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cross Training

I have always thought being a well rounded climber was important, consequently I have always climbed in every discipline I have access to. Granted I have been spending more time in the gym training for comps in the last few years than in the past, but I still love all different aspects in climbing.

I think it is really important for new climbers to the sport to be well rounded, especially those finding the sport later in life. There is no quicker way to plateau, lose motivation and ultimately get hurt, then to focus to heavily on any one facet of the sport.

That brings me to training. I believe the quickest way for a intermediate climber to improve is to climb a lot of different terrain, for differing duration, angles etc. This variance alone will lead to improvement. But anyone who improves, or wants to improve beyond their personal intermediate level, eventually realizes and usually in hindsight, that specific training is required.

I have found that at more advanced levels of training, the more I specialize my training needs to be to achieve the greatest gains. However, this transition period is normally a period of high injury risk. Injury eventually visits us all, but injury minimization is key to longevity in this sport, at the high end.

So where is the balance?

In the past few years I have found that cycling loading, duration and difficulty has brought me the largest gains, yet I have almost solely focused on bouldering. So, maybe it is possible to isolate a targeted specialty and simply vary approach. I am sure if I had varied my approach even more, I would not still be dealing with the injury which I have had for the last 8 months. Due to experience though, I have been able to manage the issue, while still climbing at a high level, but it is always in your head once when you are not at full capacity.

So, maybe my semi-forced hiatus lately will be a good thing overall. I have not climbed in the last week and a bit, since the NACC. However, last night I did start cross training. In all honesty I started not because I really think it is what I should do, but given the situation I have no other choice.

So, last night I suffered doing all I could, dips, pull downs, curls, triceps, abs ..... today I am sore!! I guess I am not used to anything but climbing, I guess. Do you think it will improve my climbing? I am betting it won't help at all, but maybe I won't lose anything either, mostly I think it preserves my sanity and makes me feel like I am doing all I can.

To everyone out there with limited access to their desires, whatever that might be, stay focused and motivated in the absence; just maybe it will be the best thing for you.

This is a place I love and want to go back to, this is my motivation, Zillertal, Austria!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Montreal ....Again

I am back in Montreal again I only left a few days ago and after a quick homecoming am back on my way to Toronto. It seems this is the only place I ever have time to write in this blog.

It will be hard to get my training in over the next few weeks so I have to keep myself motivated! I am going to try to get into a routine of door jam pull ups situps, pushups and maybe....dare I say it yoga. Time will tell if I can do it in the absense of climbing. I am going to try hard though! I want to do well at the tour de bloc comps after christmas but I gotta get into bouldering shape! I feel like I am in good route shape so the fitness is there but the power is lacking.

A nice pic of my uncle and aunts view of the Champlain bridge leading into montreal from their condo.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NACC finals

The day is done and I am back in NB. Finals were exciting, In hindsight doing the Speed comp worked out well as I ended up winning the gold medal, which qualifies me for all world cups and give me a place in Tapei for World Championships!

The Speed qualifiers however really wore on me and I did not perform well in Lead finals I dropped from 3rd to 7th but am still overall happy with the lead performance given my lack of rope comp experience.

NACC 2008

Final 1st
Qual 4th

Final 7th
Semi 3rd
Qual 1st

The event was great, well run and a great opportunity to learn from the IFSC guys who were here organizing and helping out. Everyone did a great job! More later...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another 14hr day, so long with 2 events the second day was difficult due to the 2 hr warm up compete cool down and doing it twice after the second day on.

Canadians did well, I am impressed despite the lack of lead and speed experience how well we are doing, most of us are extremely experienced boulder comp climbers, but have never done lead comps or speed due to the lack of them.

Mens lead was far more difficult then yesterday, numerous climbers fell off the first move before even getting to clip which is frustrating after waiting in iso for hours, it was a difficult mantel move to start. Sean M is the only one to top, an American, Zeb E was second I was third, tied with a couple others and the other 2 Canadians, Brock T and Benoit D, did make finals 7th and 8th? We have 4 men out of 8 in finals!

The women did well also, I did not get to see final results, but I believe we have 2-3 women Melissa L and Erin F and Melanie? are in lead finals. Unfortunately, one of the lead women missed ISO and was disqualified!

Speed was interesting we waited 7 hrs to get to try it, a difficult experience for me. I have never ever tried to race up a indoor wall, all training has always been about slow and controlled. So to aiming for 6 second and basically campusing up the wall seemed nuts. Most people who made lead finals did not do speed, but I really wanted to try. It was fun and zero pressure everyone laughs and has fun, not the stress of lead and boulder comps. I didn't stick around to see the final results, but I know 3 of 4 finals spots went to Canadians but only 5 Open guys manned up to compete hahaha. I think Dan qualified first, I may be second or third, Benoit 3 or 4th and an American qualified as well. Sean was disqualified for missing hitting the buzzer in his first route which was to bad.

We have some women in speed finals as well, I know Holly and Melissa made it but I am not sure who else.

We will see what tomorrow brings.

Here is a picture of the speed wall.

Friday, December 5, 2008

NACC Qualifiers

Day 1 is still rolling there were over 250 climbers I think. The place was a mad house warm up was nearly impossible to do effectively the atmosphere was nuts. It was a hell of a long day I left the house at 5:45am and got in around 9:30 and the open womens had not started!

We are super lucky to have an amazing organizing crew too many great people to mention but it was great to have IFSC delegates to help run the show for us all the learn from. More later I have to get some rest for tomorrow.

In mens open We have 4 of 7 Canadians making it through to semis, we all flashed both routes. Bright and early start tomorrow 7am Iso.

Here is a pick of the 2 open NB climbers, myself and Holly Reid.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I am in Montreal again, for the North American Climbing Championships at Horizon Roc. Tonight I have registration and the technical meeting on behalf of the team. Tomorrows is qualifiers on 2 routes for lead, Saturday lead semis and speed qualifiers, Sunday finals for lead and speed. It should be interesting to see how they pull it off from an organizers standpoint.

Canada has 13 open climbers competing and a bunch of youth and juniors, not bad. I wish we had a full team. Its hard as most of us have no access to rope comps and or rope gyms to train. I expect it will be a great, but eye opening experience for many of the Canadians. We will see!