For the longest time, I thought my best chance of getting really good at climbing was to specialize, and train exclusively for the discipline of bouldering, opposed to training for lead (rope climbing) or speed as well. For over four years, I did exactly that, and I became one of the best boulderers in the country. But now the Olympics say that I have to train for bouldering and lead to be eligible, so I’ve pivoted.
I remember looking at my first month’s training schedule and seeing such intimidating repetition ranges for my workouts and drills. I’m not going to lie - there was a reason I stopped training for lead, and at this moment, I think I rediscovered it. But this was more than I’d ever done before, even when I trained for lead back in 2016. Then, I was just a few years into my climbing career, only fifteen years old. I wasn’t even close to pushing the envelope with endurance training. But skipping four years didn’t mean that I would just pick back up where I left off. I’m stronger now, so the training has to reflect that.
Part way through this program, I noticed I was holding back. I knew I had gotten better, but I trained like I was a beginner. I would pace myself. I’d drop the weight a little lower than it needed to be. I would set the bar low for myself to get through the workout. It still felt hard, and I thought I was doing the best I could for my physical state, but I convinced myself that I wasn’t built for endurance. Essentially, I was stuck in 2016.