Work Work Work

All work and no play makes jed a dull boy!!

It was a incredibly busy summer for me, I had multiple jobs going on at once, large crews working under me, lots of mental stress dealing with people, and I felt that my climbing this year took a big hit.  I was able to keep my strength up for most of the early climbing season even though I was climbing only one a week. It wasn’t until late summer that I saw a drastic crash. Mentally I was beat, trashed, I didn’t want to try hard only to fail. I liked being the energizer bunny at the crag, pushing hard 2 days in a row and training during the week. That wasn’t happening, I wasn’t sending, progressing, or even maintaining. It was time to reel it in and take step back.

I decreased my work schedule by declining some jobs, looked ahead to my trip to the Red River Gorge, and set a goal to get back in shape.

Lets lay it on the table here; I hate working out! SOOOO..I set some short term goals:

  1. clean up some of the easier 13’s I hadn’t put time into
  2. clean up 2 cliff lines at my local crag
  3. repeat some of the 13’s I’ve already sent
  4. send a high volume of 12’s either repeat or new
  5. first and foremost get stronger
  6. maybe work out…

I’m gonna be truthful here, I didn’t work out. What I did do was get back to a more balanced life style. I dropped my work down to 40/50 hours a week and forced myself to climb at least 3 times a week. I would do 2 high output days and one easier day. As you get older or “grow up” in my case, the challenge is to learn how to be balanced. Being balanced is really hard for me. I want to be the best at everything I do. When you have that as a focus you throw your life out of balance. There is a difference between trying to be the best and doing your best. When I’m trying to be the best I measure myself against others, this hurts my forward progression both at work and on the rock. When I am striving to do my best I measure my performance against my personal progression.

There will always be means to measure ourselves; the intricacy or quality of your work, the grade you climb, or how fast you ran that mile. In my work life, I am continually looking for ways to give my clients a better product. I weigh my abilities by products I’ve seen, but instead of trying to be better than  someone else I need to try to better my skills. I continually get trapped in seeing others perform and feel defeated cause I want to be better then them. If you can focus on your own progression you will be better able to maintain balance. I find it very helpful to set small obtainable goals like the ones above, these were all well within my ability and were focused on my progression.

So the balance, as with everything it comes with a sacrifice. When I’m working hard at both work life and play life they both suffer a little. You don’t progress as fast as you would like in either, so keep you goals obtainable. Be willing to accept setbacks. One of the things I do is weigh what I can give up; things like going to the bar, extra leisure activity, and sleeping in. With balance and well set goals it does come together. By keeping your goals internally driven you won’t have the stress of trying to be the best. By not fixating on others for goal development you are not as crushed when you get a set back.

So where did I end up with my goals?

I did well! I was able to tick off multiple 13’s and 12’s. I came really close to cleaning up the cliff lines  (I have three very dirty 12’s to do), and I increased the volume of climbs I’ve done. As for stronger, I’m always working on that!

Balance is always going to be a struggle for me but if I keep my goals reasonable and self driven, I’ll be a much happier worker and climber.