Saturday, October 19, 2013

Old School Mojo

My client and I finished our personal training session in the climbing gym with a strong, positive vibe. He had a good climbing workout and was motivated to steadily train and improve. We set our next appointment. I was satisfied that I had constructed our time together so that we ended exactly with the atmosphere that I wanted - positive motivation and desire for personal improvement. I had two hours before my next client. Time for me to train! Alright!

I planned a boulder session that included warming up, some movement & mobility work, a power endurance set of 10X15 moves, trunk stabilization, learning new problems & moves (towards the level of max strength), and wrapping up with an endurance 4X4.

One of the route setters of the facility had set two new boulder problems earlier that morning. He wanted to know if I was planning on trying the new boulders. "Sure, after I'm warmed up", was my reply. I do not like someone to disturb my focus when I am training. One of the most irritating things is the very common habit of some climbers to spew bata about how to climb a route or boulder. The verbal directions of, "put your left hand there, then switch feet ...", or what ever, is the absolute worst form of instruction and training advice.

A climbing coach or trainer has to first and foremost try to grasp what the client is feeling and experiencing. A good coach then needs to create the atmosphere in which the client teaches themselves the most productive mental and physical things that are appropriate to their level of individual development at that time. Wow - that was a mouthful, and if i succeed even a little in coming to this state, then I am doing something right with my client.

Back to my boulder session. I warmed up and was doing my stuff when the setter came over to see if I was trying his new boulders. I hadn't yet. "They're not old school boulders", was his comment. What the fuck does that mean? Am I too "old school" to do them? I admit, I have a chip on my shoulder at times, and I can be a surly  overly sensitive, scruffy bastard (just ask Jennifer or Steve at Glaros!) too, but already my ire was raised.

He had come up to me the last time I was doing supplemental trunk exercises to show me a "really good, hard core exercise" with a thera-band. It wasn't hard. It wasn't good. It was just his ego saying, "I know something more and better than you". Yeah right. Here's a good core exercise: dead lift twice your body weight.

I really didn't want to do the boulders with the setter looking on because I wanted to work them out and do them for myself. But, I relented out of a competitive, "I'll show him attitude" and the knowledge that I sometimes shy away from climbing in front of sport climbers who have climbed higher grades than me.

I tried the yellow problem and right after the first move the spewing of bata started. He had a comment for everything I was doing, "Yeah, that's right, put your foot there, no, use the hold in your left hand", and so on. Most times this is given as encouragement, but the intuitive sense was that all the verbal banter comes from a place of superiority. Pretentious as hell. I couldn't on-sight the boulder, nor did I really care, was completely out of focus to sense what was going on in my body, and was irritated with myself for placing myself in a situation that I knew would come to this. I spoke politely in general, meaningless, phrases with the boulder setter and excused myself by saying I had to finish my planned workout in time to get ready for my next client.

"Your muscle at the front of your hip - what's it called? - that raises your leg is weak. That's why you can't lift your left leg high to place it on the foot hold", he told me as I got a cup of tea behind the cash register. "Yeah, I have to work on hip movement and flexibility so I can step high, like a lot of men", was my polite, sort of general, again meaningless, response. The guy then went on to explain how I could "test" my movement and strength of my psoas (yes, that's what the muscle is called) by raising up and holding my leg in that position, further adding that, "lucky for me, unlike most men, I don't have problems with hip flexibility or (psoas) strength".

Motivation can be an elusive thing. The widely held belief is that we are motivated by something outside us. I think your motivation is solely your responsibility. You have to find the "wanting" inside yourself and tap into this energy to push you through obstacles and discomfort. I think success comes from looking inside yourself and harnessing the personal power that is within every individual.

The next day, my late morning bike ride to the climbing gym felt great. I was primed. I had done my supplemental strength workout at home earlier that morning. (Weighted pull up ladders, 300 various kettlebell swings & presses.) I had had time to get some personal, professional development work done and and listened to this podcast (Nr. 55) - - with Elliot Hulse. Boy the ride felt great as I was pushing a big gear - flying!

It got me thinking of JT's "Steamroller", a "hefty hunk of steaming junk". 1979, senior year of high school. I have come a long way since then, but also I am the same person inside, but just more of it. 34 years later it was just pure testosterone turning the cranks. "a churin' urn of burning funk"!

I had a two-hour session with a school group in the climbing gym. Afterwards, I would do a short, intense boulder session.  I finished up with the school group at 14:30. The teachers and students where all smiles. The first of their three, two-hour sessions went well and they were excited about coming back to continue in a week. They all felt good about themselves. They were more empowered than when they came into the gym at noon, earlier that day. Now it was my time.

Warmed up. Worked some harder boulder moves. Sent the new red problem. Sent the new yellow problem. Time to go home. 16:00

Never, never, never let anyone tell you that you can't do something. Never, never, never tell yourself you can't do something. You're a steamroller baby!

Well I'm a steamroller baby
I wanna roll all over you
Yes I'm a steamroller for your love, babe
I'd like nothing better than to roll all over you
I'm gonna inject your soul with some sweet rock & roll
And shoot you full of rhythm and blues

Well I'm a cement mixer baby
A churnin' urn of burnin' funk (Yes!)
I'm a cement mixer for you baby
A churnin' urn of burnin' funk
Got down right now baby
Well I'ma demolition derby baby
A hefty hunk of steamin' junk
Mr. McD got the blues for you and me

(Solo break)

Well I'm a napalm bomb for you baby
Stone guaranteed to blow your mind
I'm a napalm bomb for you babe got to tell you one more time
To sit down, stand up, go home, back to Raleigh
Stone guaranteed to blow your mind momma, yeah
And if I can't have your love for my own to take home 
And keep me warm there won't be nothing left behind (Oh!)
Broken heart, broken heart, oh
I just don't seem to can lose
This here low down
No where
Half life
Freeze dried
Deep southern funky fat fried
Chicken chokin', mother f*cking pain
Come on, oh, roll on over
and help me lose the steamroller blues

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