Feeling bummed? Uninspired? It happens to the best of us. Here are the steps I work through when I’m feeling burnt out.
1. Read a Guidebook
This is the first thing I usually try because it’s really easy to do. Looking through my old guidebooks reminds me of all the radness in the world that’s worth training for. My personal favourite is Lies and Propaganda from Ten Sleep Canyon, which is basically half climbing guide half zine. The guns, cats, strippers, sick photos, and unusual (understatement) diagrams give me a laugh. Flip through the guidebook to your favourite area and maybe you’ll find a photo or a route description that’ll help you off the couch!
2. Watch some Videos
Another really easy and quick thing to do. Watching the pros float through their projects, or scream and fall off them, is super inspiring. I’m pretty sure that’s why they make the movies in the first place. Are you trying to get inspired to freeze your butt off in the alpine? Try Meru. Are your goals closer to sea level? Maybe Progression or The Scene would be a better choice. Do you just need a good laugh? Boogie Til You Poop. There are a ton of quality climbing films out there, so sit down with some popcorn and get psyched.
3. Go Outside
Are you becoming a gym rat? Fresh air and a little Vitamin D might be all you need to feel inspired again. Touch some real rock, and have a fun day with your pals outdoors. You don’t even have to project something hard, just climb some easy-for-you classics. Maybe even bring a pie to the crag. I promise you won’t regret it.
4. Switch Styles
Been bouldering your butt off, bro? Maybe it’s time to get on a rope. Tired of taking whippers on your proj? Bust out the trad rack, or convince a trad-dad to take you on a multipitch adventure. Do something new, switch things up, climb some classics – no expectations, just get out there and have fun!
5. Climb with a New Partner
Did all the above options fail? Maybe you need to seek out some new partners. No wait, don’t get upset! I’m not saying you should abandon your current partner, but sometimes some fresh blood and a different perspective can help you get motivated again. As with most sports, it’s advantageous to climb with people who are stronger than you. If you’re the strongest person in your particular group of friends and you’re feeling a bit sluggish, maybe you need to sit down at the gym next to that crusher lady and get to know her. It’s also no secret that some people are better motivators than others, so try climbing with someone who encourages you to get on something above your paygrade. Do a little hang-dogging, it’s all good!
Alright, are you motivated? Now put your shoes on, chalk up, and send that b!#ch!