Everybody that climbs on a serious level wants his or her life to revolve around climbing. When I’m on a climbing trip, all I think about is what’s around me and how I wouldn’t want it any other way. Eventually, however, the climbing trip ends and reality sets in once again. Then, it’s time to return to school, then go to work, then train, then go home and do homework, and before I know it, it’s already 11 o’clock PM. Finding balance is challenging. Thus, aspiring to focus solely on climbing and get paid for it is every climber’s dream, but it’s a lot harder to achieve and sustain than it seems.
Being able to balance life and still maintain a strict training regime for climbing can take a lot of work. It comes down to motivation. To balance life’s curveballs and still find time to workout or make it to the gym is on you, and there will always be some time to do so. Working out on the go is always an option if making it to the gym isn’t. Many of my workouts don’t take more than 15 minutes each, and the floor or a pull-up bar is all that’s usually needed. If I ever find myself caught up in school, I workout whenever I need a study break to make up for not making it to the gym.
Starting in the fall, I am going into junior year at the University of Portland, and I am already planning how to balance my training, work/coaching, and school. Making it to the gym and finding time for climbing trips is another challenge. That usually takes a bit of future planning and thinking ahead. I coordinate with my job at Planet Granite in Portland about hours, so they don’t interfere with classes and traveling on weekends. I will work both days on the weekends for the first two weeks of the month, then I have the next two weekends off, and this is when I escape life again.
That time is what I train for and what makes all the planning and juggling of life worth it. Going on a climbing trip keeps me sane in some of the craziest times. It’s time to forget about everything else that’s going on and climb in some of my favorite places on Earth.
I wasn’t used to juggling all of these when I first started attending college. It took a lot of trial and error, and I am still learning how to do so more effectively. Surprisingly, staying busy keeps me motivated to continue pushing myself in every discipline, physically and mentally. Whenever things get harder to manage, I become most motivated and try my hardest to succeed at what I’m doing, whether in school, coaching, or projecting a hard climb.