An odd combination, but actually on reflection something that works!
When I lived ‘oop north’, back in the day, etc., I got into rock climbing. It was something that I still enjoy though I do it far less often these days. Partly because for years it was tricky to get to any indoor wall, especially having been spoilt with about four in easy driving distance from Durham with are even more now!
Unable to sleep the other night due to sinus issues – damned cold – I was pondering on kettlebells being the thing I’m now most into and the only other thing that has been at the same level (not skill, but interest 😉 ) has been climbing.
I reckon there are lots of things that are similar:
- lean muscular builds do well at both; when I was at my lightest climbing I was definitely skinny fat so it would be great to see what I could do now
- they can both screw your hands up; I certainly don’t use indoor walls much near a kettlebell competition as it then hinders my training
- both require more strength as you progress than first realised by those just starting out
- both look easy and effortless by those good at them, but both require damned hard work
- it is possible to train alone at both, though with mates is more fun!
- there are a lot of personal challenges in getting the technique right and achieving goals, though they can be achieved in subtly different ways by each person depending on their physiology
- specialist footwear helps enormously, though my climbing shoes look cooler than my current lifting shoes
- I get to make a mess with chalk when doing both
Another good similarity is that I’ve made some long-lasting friendships from both. Wally is a great friend as well as being the guy who taught me so much on the wall. It’s like we’ve never been apart when we (too rarely) meet these days. We’ve had some fantastic climbing experiences together. Get him to tell you about when I had to catch him on belay when he fell off and nearly impaled his crown jewels on a tree 😉 He was also brilliant helping me rebuild my climbing confidence after I’d dislocated my ankle in a climbing accident. Likewise, as I mentioned in my BBF Anniversary post, I’ve made some great friends there, and I’m glad my coach is my friend too. Not that it stops her pushing me I hasten to add 🙂
Given this, I think I’m going to try to make sure I get more climbing in during 2014. Other than right before a competition 🙂 I think it will be complementary with grip strength and flexibility. And, well, just because I really enjoy both.