Any of my climbing and/or skiing partners over the past two years will attest that I’ve fairly injury-prone. I’ve suffered from one ailment or another for the past 12 months with a broken bone a couple years ago.
However, it should be said that my lifestyle has changed completely since moving to Utah 2.5 years ago. Whereas in New York I’d be lucky to get outside to hike or something once every two months, some weeks I’m outside 3-4 times, with workouts every day in between. I’ve become somewhat of an exercise junkie: Pull-ups, push-ups, fingerboard workouts, front lever progressions, and most recently weighted ice tool dead-hangs. Pretty much every day I’m not actually climbing, I’m doing some other type of workout. Not to mention 20 miles of running a week back when I was training for the Steeplechase and The Other Half Marathon in Moab.
While the broken collarbone was due to general jackassery, the latest injuries have been from overuse. Not wanting to plateau in my performance, I’m constantly mixing things up and pushing myself. I’ve had three finger injuries in the past year (putting me out of commission for maybe 3-4 months total), all from crimpy gym boulder problems. A couple of years ago I had tendonitis in my ankle and leg from running too far, too fast. In early October I injured my Iliotibial Band three weeks into an 18-mile-a-week training schedule off the couch (ugh…stupid).
Thus, my main goal currently is recovery (well, second to climbing as much ice as possible). I’ve learned how to cope and am back to climbing in the gym twice a week with a much-improved finger. Gym bouldering is probably out of the picture for a long time, at least crimpy problems, as finger injuries are awful for a climber. I’m probably going to be suffering through the IT band injury for as long as there’s ice to climb this winter, but that’s ok. It’s all about priorities. Running is out of the picture for as long as necessary.
Looking back, I wouldn’t change anything. It’s a learning process. I’ve never really trained before. High school sports didn’t count — nor did the sporadic weightlifting in college. It’s a new era, and the dreams haven’t gone anywhere…