Thursday, January 15, 2009

CN Tower

I thought after last nights session I was going to be very sore today, but surprisingly I am not. I think I will take one night off the gym to grow some new skin and do some core and cardio at the normal gym later.

Here are a couple pics from Toronto, we visited the CN Tower for lunch today. Just being up high above the mayhem I felt peaceful for the first time since coming here. The height felt like I was on a climb somewhere else other than here.


I went to Boulderz Monday and again today. I was expecting to feel quite good after 2 days off on the weekend. Not the case. I went really hard Monday, but did not climb well, although I did have a great workout. I definitely have lost a lot of power endurance and max power, far more than I expected and it is coming back slower than I thought it would. I also get much more sore than I normally would, even with rest.

I have been doing my push-up/dips/abs/L-sit circuits to try and finish off the nite and it hurt!! Normally its easy. Shocking how a month off sets you back. A week off takes me 3 sessions to get it back. It will be interesting to see how long it takes this time.

I have been having fun trying to do an iron cross on rings. Andrew is showing me correct technique. Without being told what to do I have a tendency to keep my grip closed and cheat with my biceps. With proper technique it is harder, but should allow me more gains and hopefully be easier, once I get more stable. I think the cross and lever are the two most useful gymnastic moves for climbing training and its a blast to work them.

I got quite good at levers last year and saw some large gains, climbing wise, on steep terrain, hopefully with practice I will be able to make use of iron cross training as well.

The other interesting thing I noticed is that I am climbing with much better static movement than normal, I think it is from the rope training I was doing while training for NACC. It really has been months since I have been focused on bouldering and my style has really changed for the first time. I don't have my usual power so I actually compensate with technique. This is awesome when moves are within your limit like rope comps but man it stinks for bouldering! I have to get back to throwing and feet off moves before the end of the month or I am going to get punished. Static technique is great if you can apply it smoothly but trying static moves when a quick pop could do the trick is often a waste of energy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tour de Bloc - Boulderz

After not climbing for a month then climbing, setting and fore-running for 5 days in a row I am devastated, crushed, but happy. The Tour de Bloc at Boulderz went off almost perfectly, it may have been the smoothest running comp I have been to. It was also the first comp I have been involved with that we had more than a day to fore-run, tweak and perfect and we still finished at 9pm the night before, yes that’s right, 9pm not 9am the morning of!

The team worked great together Jody, Luigi, Rebecca, Chris and Andrew and myself. The separation worked out perfectly with 5 of 6 finals problems getting sent, but only by a few people and the comp was won in both men’s and women’s by the last person on the last problem. It was a dream, setting wise. There were very few technical’s and 106 competitors, which was great for the gyms first comp. Today all the qualifier problems are being put back up, to attract people back to the gym.

The great part behind the scenes, was with 5 people who all new the rules, had a ton of experience and worked easily together with no ego, the comp went together in a super relaxed atmosphere; There was no time pressure and no worrying that your team would make a mistake. This lead to ample time to fore-run, which meant we could tweak everything carefully, even the qualifiers, so there was no difficulty gap, no spinners and no hold used in multiple routes. This made stripping for finals, bagging all the routes separately and marking every hold on the wall, possible. This makes it easy to reset all the routes today.

It was also possible to have no time gap between men’s and women’s finals, each women’s problem was torn down and men’s problem put up in the 5 minute gap. This was fast and like clockwork.

The one unusual issue we did have required a 2 minute time stop. There was blood on the holds of men’s finals 3. One of the competitors was bleeding really bad and caked 5 holds with blood. This is not only nasty, but a health issue, so we stopped the clock on washed the holds on the wall and re-chalked and brushed them. This was not something we were ready for, but I saw it happening as he was on the route, so we were able to do the 5 holds in 2 minutes, which I was happy with.

All in all, I was very happy with the comp, and the team. The climbers put on a great show. The above picture is of Dustin Curtis on Men's Final #3. The top 3 were:

Dustin , Jean-marc , Ayo

Erin, Bonnie, Amanda

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The last two nights I got to go climbing after exactly 30 days off. I was fortunate to get to go and had a blast climbing at Toronto's newest gym called Boulderz. It is an awesome bouldering gym, I can't say enough about the beautiful carpentry job and great atmosphere. The owner Andrew McBerney has done a great job and I wish him tons of success.

This weekend they will be hosting their first comp, a Tour de Bloc local only 3 weeks after opening! Normally I would compete but for the first time in my career I am going to opt out. I want to be able to help out with some setting/fore running and organizing to give these guys a hand.

Really, I am not in any shape to compete anyway but it should come back fast, and fore running will give me a great workout!

I am super physced to get back to climbing and to see how the comp goes down! Here is a pic of there steepest cave, there is soon to some weights and an office on the upper floor.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Dad got out of the hospital today and I am finally somewhat relaxed! I am so happy it is unbelieveable, exhausted and sick, but never so happy. It will be a hard month for recovery, but at least he is out of that god forsaken place, where illness, pain and suffering is everywhere. Now we can just start building him up again slowly and surely.

I still have an infection and can't shake it, it has been 15 days, the longest I can remember being sick, ever. I have not climbed since the NACC, almost a month ago now. This is the longest break, forced or otherwise, I have taken since starting to compete seriously 5 years ago. I have gone from the best shape of my life to feeling weak and sick. I feel mentally and physically broken and the stress is not over. I expect to have to stay here in Toronto for another month.

Hopefully, in the next few days I will be able to get to a gym and see what I have left. I am so excited to pull on plastic, it seems crazy, but the break has left me so motivated and feeling helpless unable to train at all. My comp season and the National Team might well be in jeopardy for the first time since I started climbing. I am not sure, even if I get back in shape quickly, if there is time for me to get to enough comps to make the team. I will do what I can I guess.

For now I am thankful and content.