Staying Strong

Holy Cow are we having the nice weather and most all the climbs are in , some are questionable and unclimbable, but the majority are already seeing plenty of action. We are less than 2 weeks away from Ice fest and man that is a big deal for most of us Northwood climbers. All the pros will be in Munising Feb 10-14 at the Michigan Ice Fest, they will be rubbing elbows, throwing tools, and sharing tips. Some sponsors and pros are also offering classes. 4 days straight of climbing, hiking, and good old fashion BSing …lol… There will be adventures, tales of adventures, and plans for adventures made that weekend... So make sure you come say HI, Superior Ice Climbing Adventuress would love to help you complete those plans.

Occasionally, OK once, someone asked what I did to stay strong. As I become older I definitely see that I lost strength when sedentary( Sitting around) , so like Will Gadd suggests “Move.” Do something, anything daily at least a minimum every other day. Year round  I practice stretching and sitting daily. Off season I keep a demanding physical job and during season I swim, run, and dumbbell weight train watching Netflix in the evening, and backyard train on days that I cannot get out on the Ice .Also how I climb in the beginning of the season is different than my routine at the end of the season.

I guess it doesn’t matter what cardio crap you do but it has to be something you like or you won’t stick with it. I usually can do every other day, I love going to the Y and doing the hot tub, sauna, lap swim, hot tub, sauna combo, man that’s livin. My back does not like summer running but running in 2 ft. of snow is slow and cushy and you feel like such an idiot its way fun.

I guess the other junk I do still falls under that idiot fun title, in my backyard I have a trapeze bar between two cedars besides being a great place to stretch an inch or two it also is a great place to practice figure 4s while harnessed. I ALWAYS leave that station smiling. Will Gadd sent me a pic of a backyard practice wall he had, that led me to a date with a 30 ft. extension ladder. One section is strapped leaning on my deck so I start with back on ground under ladder and climb 12 feet of ceiling to the deck, traverse 4 foot of deck ledge to 16 feet of inverted vertical. I have never completed a second lap, so pumpy.  Also on occasion I have been known to throw a garden hose up 30 ft. in my oak tree and make an ice tower, now that is just plain art. I guess my point is be creative have fun.

Since Ice climbing for myself is seasonal and I get rusty off season, I climb accordingly. The first couple days out I like to go to 15-20 meter climbs set up a top rope and do some laps including some down climbing. Then throw a couple screws in for fun before leading a pitch or two under a gentle Top rope belay. Before long I am back in safe, strong form, leading with confidence. Also I try to end the day with laps on top rope belay until exhaustion.

Saving the best for last Stretching and Sitting, if I knew what I what doing you could probably call it Yoga and Meditation ,but I don’t so call it what it is. Every animal you see sleepingthe first thing it does when it wakes is stretch and I am an Animal so...  I have a stretching routine that works for my deficitsand limitationsand it gets my juices circulating .I like it so I do it, catching the theme here? One of my favorite parts about climbing is being in the moment.  Sitting , practicing shutting off your thoughts, also a part of becoming the moment…Good Stuff .