Friday, August 3, 2007

Training... Always

Hello to whoever might come across reading this!

First of all, it's going to be a rarity to see a post here about my latest trip to Switzerland or myself hopping around in Flock Hills, New Zealand. That's because for the most part, I stick around New England, going to school here, working doing some research, and going to the closest to me crags. It would definitely be a special treat to travel to some exotic climbing location, but until then, I will probably focus on what's new in my hometown.

And so, I want to dedicate my first post to a big part of my life, and that's training. "Training for what?" Sometimes I love and sometimes I hate that question. I sometimes train cuz I'm bored, I train cuz there is a competition coming up, I train to get better, I train to send that open project at Rumney that I've been falling on for over a year... But most importantly, I train because I like training.

Me, trying Broken Jaws, probably my 20th day on it...

Photo by Kurt Oian

Surely, you've heard of guys who don't come out of the gym for days, lifting until their eyeballs pop and man boobs grow bigger than Anne Nicole Smith's, rest her soul. The reality though is simple: they're just there to impress the ladies, as my dear friend David Wetmore would shyly point out without thinking twice (actually, even after thinking that much). But here, the UNH/Dover team does training for the heck of it, as kind-of a habit.

Laps after laps after push-ups after pull-ups after laps. We come into the climbing gym, still thinking we're only 15, we begin to climb without warming up. Boulder problems turn from easy to hard in a matter of minutes, and while tendons tell us to slow down, adrenaline has already increased tenfold and "sweat angels" are left on gym pads. It's a habit. It's fun, it makes you feel like a hamster running around its hamster wheel. (if you're into that sort of thing) Weird, but we somehow manage to get some satisfaction from screaming at each other as we pull on that same problem for the 50th time, still thinking it's doable.

Interestingly enough, the situation doesn't change we get outside. We climb till our fingers bleed (yes, you, Neil Mushaweh); if we're not going to the top, we get pissed and try again till our tendons get scarred and our bodies begin to fall apart; if we send, we go for more... and it continues till each of us remembers that we have something else to do besides climbing, like sleep, and we make plans for the next time we're going to climb. To say the least, I'm obsessed with climbing and training and I've been doing it for 10 years now, and never regret pushing my body, indoors or outside. "Training for what?" though still remains the question. Recently, I created a google spreadsheet for the UNH/Dover/Sister/Girlfriend crew just to keep track of what we do every day. I want to see what makes us better and I want to get better. We could do without it, but the training log made it even more fun for me creating a friendly competition amongst friends, and especially yourself. I mean, how would you feel if you're training and today you only did half of what you did the previous day? There's no stopping: you gotta push it a bit more!

Now that I said all that about training, here's some more truth. I'm in college. I'm busy working, taking classes, and trying to finish all of my homework. I also, sometimes, maybe, want to relax. And it's been really hard to get outside and climb as much as I want (like I used to when I didn't work or take summer classes, etc.) What's the best thing next to climbing outdoors? Well, it's climbing indoors and training for outdoors. And that's where I'm at now, getting ready for the tradeshow competition, waiting to get a break from work and classes, and go climb on some real rock, and finally try and finish up my project at Rumney.


  1. vasya, i am coming to New england in december if the weather is not wet. the coldness does not concern me. maybe you could show us around a bit. it would be fun to climb together. nice job on your "new" route. sounds very hard. jamie

  2. Hello, Vasya! Its been a long time since you post this.. Its really cool to notice climbing is pretty the same everywhere and at any time!!
    Man, I just saw a video of this girl Galina, and she mentioned this article of yours, but the chart isnt there any more.. Would you have it some where? I would really apreciate if you can post it again, if its possible.
    Also, Ive been reading other atricles of your blog and I found you are a chemical engeneer! Im studying the same career right now!