If I’ve learned anything from my 8+ year affair with climbing, it is that I am not always perma-psyched on climbing, especially now that I have the freedom to climb practically every weekend if I really want to (when a climbing weekend was a rare treat, back in high school, it was much easier to be perma-psyched). I’ve also struggled (mostly unsuccessfully) to balance climbing and another sport (which was Ultimate Frisbee for several years).
I am kind of a slow learner when it comes to these things. Every time I go through another rollercoaster cycle with climbing, I feel like I’m in new territory (I’m not). I struggle with how to get my psych back. It’s often a long, difficult process that I seem to have little control over.
This cycle, I tried something new. For a variety of reasons, the epic adventures of Team Gimp on our Spring Break trip to Oregon this past spring really got my climbing season started off on the wrong foot, especially after such an incredible Fall season. As usual, I felt lost. I went climbing because I felt like I was obligated to go climbing. I was nervous instead of excited before starting up routes. That’s not to say that there weren’t some good days and excellent pitches mixed in there, but I just wasn’t feeling the psych.
So I decided to take a weekend in June and accomplish a goal I’d set for myself this year: do a triathlon. I trained (a little). On race day, I felt the nerves I usually get before a difficult onsight or redpoint attempt. But as soon as the starting horn went off, I was focused and in the zone. I could feel the fitness I’d gained from training. I pushed myself like I hadn’t been able to do through climbing. I sprinted to the finish. I had found my psych. I did 3 more triathlons (one each in July, August, and September(that’s me in 10th overall!)).
I had an opportunity to get a discounted and guaranteed spot in the Nike Women’s Marathon, so I signed up for the Half Marathon. And instead of my usual excuse-making, I’ve trained. For the first time in many, many years, I actually have begun to enjoy running. My legs and core feel strong and I feel incredibly empowered. I even signed up for a challenging trail half marathon in December, because I love the momentum I have right now.
I’m still climbing, but it’s not the main focus of my non-work energy right now. And I’m ok with that. I think we all deserve to be excited about what we’re doing during our play time. How do you follow your psych?