Whether it’s running out of time, life getting in the way, or recovering from injuries, sometimes you have to take a break from climbing. This seems to be something I do pretty often, every year. Getting back on the wall can then feel like a daunting milestone – but it doesn’t have to be.
Last summer, I took 2 months off climbing. I put off going back to my local wall, worried about not being able to climb anything, until it had been 3 months of not climbing. In my head, turning up at the wall was a formidable challenge. But there is space for you; reach out to your climber friends, find a women’s night at your local wall and get stuck in.
The hardest part is not expecting too much of yourself. Even with my doubts at heading back to the wall, I expected too much. I struggled on routes I used to warm up on, and left feeling exhausted and disappointed in myself. Be patient with yourself; set small goals so you can notice your improvement and you’ll slowly see your strength recover.
Starting up again is an excellent opportunity to fine-tune your technique and efficiency, too. Stick to the easier climbs, practice footwork and movements until you’re feeling smooth on the wall. One thing that I found helped a lot at the start was slow motion climbing; pick an easy route, and climb it in slow motion. The slow, static movements will not only make you consider your footwork and climbing efficiency, but will help improve your strength and endurance. Also it’s a lot of fun, no matter how many strange looks people give you! And that’s the most important thing right? This is your hobby, your choice, your fun – so revel in every second of it!
PS don’t forget to stretch!
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