The Epic Burnout, Mindset and Goal Setting
The Epic Burnout can happen at anytime. It can be described as the more specific unwillingness to rock climb or just deciding everything sucks and nothing matters. I've honestly found myself pretty damn burnt out today as I'm writing this. The holiday climbing industry rush means trying to mitigate risk for hundreds of new climbers. Maybe that did me in... Or maybe it was forsaking my meal prep by elbow dropping my gut with loads of carbs and delicious, heart stopping pastries. HNNNNG. Whatever it was, the most important part of the burnout is first recognizing that one is burnt out! Now it's time to fix it.
Mindset will directly effect how you climb and more importantly live your life. Let's separate the word in two.
Mind: Ask yourself this question and really take time to think about it - Do you have control of your mind or does your mind have control of you? The first step of taking control of your mental space is to understand how to regulate your breathing. The next step is to change how you perceive your climbing world. Try to approach climbing with a curious mind. Ask yourself questions as you read a climb. Describe holds objectively and specifically instead of assigning emotions to them. For example: describing a crimp as a 3 finger, half pad, sloping crimp paints a lot clearer picture than describing the hold as simply bad. Curiously perceiving your surroundings will stimulate your unconscious mind and create solutions. If you let your insecurity dictate your focus you will only create more problems and boundaries.
Set: Now that you're looking at your climbing with a curious and objective mind, figure out your unique skillset and what you value in climbing. What would you like to accomplish? Do you value constant progression or do you just simply enjoy staying fit and climbing outside as much as possible? Understand your capabilities, weaknesses and strengths, then work to improve them.
Goal Setting starts by picking a goal that will keep you motivated and excited to train. Always optimize body composition, increase flexibility, participate in antagonist training and increase your overall aerobic capability before training for climbing strength, power and endurance. If you're motivated by outdoor climbs, pick a long term project and train specifically for said project. Is it powerful, requiring a lot of core tension? Then hop on the moon-board or a 45 degree wall for some power sessions. Or maybe your climb has a mono pocket that you'll have to carefully isolate in training by slowly pulling weight off until you can effectively pull on a mono. Let's say, for example, outside climbing doesn't motivate you as much. That's okay. I started my climbing career in a gym and continue to do most of my climbing inside. If you're this side of the coin, talk to your local gym and find a project that will be up for a full cycle. A setting cycle will be different in every gym, so this approach will take a little more research. You can also build goals around specific aspects of climbing such as finger strength. Making the goal of "I want to have stronger fingers" or "I want the finger strength of a v12 climber" isn't necessarily specific enough. Instead, change it to"I want to be able to add 20 pounds to myself on a full pad crimp for 3 seconds". This goal is now a lot more actionable.
Well I feel better now. Hopefully this helps.