Alright. I have spent the past few weeks reading a few extremely valuable books. The currently relevant for this post book is Maximum Climbing: Mental training for Peak Performance and Optimal Experience. By Eric J Horst.
This book is awesome. I can’t say enough good things about it. All climbers should read this book and it will likely revolutionize not only their climbing, but unless they are also Buddha, their life. I have taken it out of the school library three times, but have a used paperback arriving in a few days. Anyway, what is one of the things I have taken from this book?
Goals matter, goals help, goals inspire. Goals should be SMART, goals should be written down and shared, and goals should motivate not intimidate. What’s a SMART goal you ask? Well, for more details I would recommend you google, but in the essence, it is a goal which is
An example of a bad goal is : I want to eat better, I want to get in better shape. These are not inherently measurable, or specific, nor time relevant, while they might be achievable and relevant to our life goals and values. Here are my two new goals as better examples.
I will run my SOLA track on May 17 in 25 minutes or under. This is 3.8 km and 60hm.
Today I ran 3.6 km in 29 minutes including my warmup, so this is an extremely achievable goal. It is relevant because I am running SOLA (a giant team relay race, more to come), and the overall fitness benefits will cross over to climbing, hiking, and mountaineering. I don’t know how quickly my speed will progress, having never set running goals, and with my generally shitty current joint situation I wanted to set something achievable. The track is very close to my house, and I will run it for training, and if it becomes obvious this is an undersell, I will adapt it. Also, note, this is extremely specific, measurable, and time controlled.
I plan to track my progress towards this goal weekly in a new Goal notebook I got, courtesy of a good friend as a Christmas present which had been waiting for a perfect use. I am currently aiming to run three times a week, with my heart rate staying 120-150 or conversational, and incorporate strength training and balance as well.
I will lead climb 5c, indoors, by May 31, 2014. Falling while climbing 5c is acceptable as achieving the goal, as long as I don’t end up crying because of the fall.
Obviously puking or fainting would also qualify that as a fail. I am still working through psychological barriers to lead climbing, mainly fear of heights and weird imaginary falls with me landing face first every time, hence the addition of the qualification in the goal. It happens, I shake it off, whatever, no one is perfect. I am actually impressed by the number of things I can accomplish in the mountains while crying from fear/stress/heights. Go me. Anyway, this goal is specific, relevant, achievable (I hope) and time specific. We will see how it goes.
Currently I comfortably lead climb 4c. Comfortably meaning a miss-step results in a heart rate spike but no longer hyperventilation. I do not get pumped, I move slowly and confidently. I am still a bit hesitant for reaching moves, but this will fade. I top rope 5a and 5b comfortably. I rarely fall while climbing 5b anymore. I climb 5c, though less comfortably. I need to take more breaks, get more pumped, and falls happen. Technically speaking, I could be lead climbing 5c, really its more of a pyschological battle.
I plan to move towards this goal by increasing the frequency that I climb and boulder per week, in different locations getting comfortable on different routes. I will not top rope any 4. Any top roping of 5a/b will be done with a second rope I will climb as if lead climbing, then lead climbing 5as and extending this to 5c. I will top rope with a slightly looser rope. I will fall train with lead climbing.
So, there are my two current short term goals. I am waiting on setting longer ones until I speak with my physio again, but they will come. I have outlined my current status, and my plans for progressing towards them. Look forward to watching me reach them?
What about you guys, do you have goals? Do they help you? Don’t help you? Thoughts?