I have run the the full range of reasons for training. I have found my motivation in appearance, in improving lifts, in simply proving to people that I was willing to train every day of the week. More recently in the past five years or so the biggest motivating factor has become play. I train the way I do and as hard as I can so that when I play hard; I can. This often translates into picking up skills faster because I am stronger, or being able to focus in with great precision and break down skills so that I can train the limiting factors. Add in a competition, a performance, a line you want to ride (or send) and all of a sudden suffering through training becomes a lot easier. We all need something to train for.
It makes training easier when you have an event or activity to train for, and I am finding more and more that my clients who do the best, are the ones who have something to train for that is bigger than just training. The tao of irrational is to train to ones limits so that when you are out in the real world you know what you are capable of.
Two weeks ago, I went out with two friends of mine and rolled the dice on a line called the 3/4 couloir. It was a crazy rush, and well beyond my ability to ride down in any fashion that made it look pretty. It was survival riding at its best, an ice axe in hand making sure that I got through the nasty sections without getting into too much trouble. Once worlds was over and I returned home, needing a mental break from all things climbing… riding became the play. This line was the summation of the next three months for me. A focused decision to train, eat, breath, and live riding. The result, a 35-65 degree couloir. All kinds of fun.
Of course now back country is almost done for the season and I am finding myself back on rock, and getting beaten badly. However I am loving that. My motivation to climb again is back, and with the challenge has come a new deep seated interest in training for it again. So the game switches again, and all of a sudden the training I am doing is focused in a much different way. However I think that is a good thing, I have a new zeal for the training. Much as I had a great deal of focus as I prepped for the aerial retreat a month ago in Hawaii. In a few months there with likely be a line that has me fascinated and the climbing training will become even more focused, honed in on a specific goal. The yo-yo approach is likely a little but too scattered, but it works. I stay passionate, my training is varied and my various parts get a break as they need it (often the part being my brain…).
So a long overdue post, not nearly as deep as intended. However it is what I am about, training for life, for something specific. I suggest that perhaps we all need something to focus in on. Plus once we have it, who knows where that goal will take us.