Mental Health and Training for Advanced Climbers
(Ready to project outdoor 5.13 and up! You should be comfortable with any gym problem or route.
Projecting V7 & up… which overs a ton of territory. AKA Projecting Hard $#!+)
So… What’s the point? Why do you climb? Is it your job? Are you hopeful of picking up a sponsorship? Is it to impress someone, gain approval, seek attention? Is it because you feel a need to explore the limits of what your body and mind can achieve? Is it because you can NEVER have too many ribbons and trophies? Is it because it’s fun? Is it because you embrace the “dirtbag” lifestyle in a $50K van set up while you have stable income or support from your parents? (Insert jealous sigh here). There isn’t a wrong answer. Just check in with yourself and be honest about what pushes you, motivates you, better yet, INSPIRES you!
Let’s talk about competition and avoiding burnout.
Competition can give you reason to celebrate. It can also give you reason to grieve. Give yourself 24-48 hours to embrace your victories and reflect on the things that didn’t work this time. Then give yourself a play day to get right back to it. Have no expectations.
Look out for an inability to be content. Dopamine is addictive. It can leave you always seeking “What’s next?”, and thinking “Do better! Keep pushing!” pushing yourself to “Win again! Don’t fail!”
Maintain a healthy balance.
Surround yourself with those that love you. Do not isolate yourself outside of that 24-48 hour window. Seek counseling or work with a sport psychologist to verify you are leading a balanced life; you may not have the proper perspective. You may have feelings that you don’t want to share with those that are closest to you. Talking to a therapist may help you to see that you are not alone in your fears, anxieties, or frustrations.
As I write this, we have so many new options for getting help. Most therapists and coaches now offer virtual appointments. And, if you’re looking to keep yourself accountable and on the right track as you push yourself, contact us at ATHENA where we specialize in injury prevention, massage therapy, strength training, climbing assessments, core training, and sports nutrition.