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Getting older and (un)realistic expectations.
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Spaztic


May 30, 2013, 11:43 AM
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Getting older and (un)realistic expectations.
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Cross-posted from MP:

I'm quickly approaching 40. I have a new family (2 girls, toddler and an infant), new (old) house and everything else that goes along with the white-picket-fence lifestyle. If I'm lucky, I'll get a few days outdoors this year, but mostly I'm just a gym hero when I can fit it in, which is usually 2-3/week for 1-2 hours each session. I climb exclusively at a bouldering gym despite me being primarily an outdoor route climber, as it allows for a more flexible schedule (no partner needed) and is more efficient. The strength/power training is a bonus, as Iím a weakling. I have done some hangboarding and easy campusing, but frankly, if my indoor sessions are the only climbing I get to do, Iíd rather climb than faff about doing training exercises.

What are realistic expectations in terms of gains? Should I be happy to be able to meander along with some very modest gains year-to-year?

I climb with guys 10 years or more younger than me, and they seem to recover faster and make bigger gains. Being the old dog, itís a bit disheartening to get left in the dust. Is it completely unrealistic to expect to keep up with them? Time to drop the ego and bask in the glow of middle-aged mediocrity?


dynosore


May 30, 2013, 12:00 PM
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Re: [Spaztic] Getting older and (un)realistic expectations. [In reply to]
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Spaztic wrote:
Cross-posted from MP:

I'm quickly approaching 40. I have a new family (2 girls, toddler and an infant), new (old) house and everything else that goes along with the white-picket-fence lifestyle. If I'm lucky, I'll get a few days outdoors this year, but mostly I'm just a gym hero when I can fit it in, which is usually 2-3/week for 1-2 hours each session. I climb exclusively at a bouldering gym despite me being primarily an outdoor route climber, as it allows for a more flexible schedule (no partner needed) and is more efficient. The strength/power training is a bonus, as Iím a weakling. I have done some hangboarding and easy campusing, but frankly, if my indoor sessions are the only climbing I get to do, Iíd rather climb than faff about doing training exercises.

What are realistic expectations in terms of gains? Should I be happy to be able to meander along with some very modest gains year-to-year?

I climb with guys 10 years or more younger than me, and they seem to recover faster and make bigger gains. Being the old dog, itís a bit disheartening to get left in the dust. Is it completely unrealistic to expect to keep up with them? Time to drop the ego and bask in the glow of middle-aged mediocrity?

There's always someone better than you, I don't care what it is you're participating in. Everyone has different reasons for climbing too. If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong.

I could care less about what grade I climb in relation to other people. I like to do long back country routes, and my skills aren't where they need to be to do some things I want to. That motivates me.


bentgate03


May 30, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Re: [Spaztic] Getting older and (un)realistic expectations. [In reply to]
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I turn 40 this year. Reaching my 13a goal this summer. Harder than I have ever climbed. I get out 1x week after work and 1x on the week-end. You have to train smart.

I have two kids, a wife and full time job. I have a goal with every session I do and I have summer plans mapped out during the winter. My wife knows it is my passion and the one thing that drives me.

Dont give in. It can be done. Stay in shape, train hard and have fun.


Syd


May 30, 2013, 1:50 PM
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Re: [Spaztic] Getting older and (un)realistic expectations. [In reply to]
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Spaztic wrote:
... I'm quickly approaching 40.
What are realistic expectations in terms of gains?
I climb with guys 10 years or more younger than me, and they seem to recover faster and make bigger gains. ...

Lee Sheftel 5.14a (32, 8b+) at 59 yrs old.

I'm in my 60's and if I make my current target of a 5.12b clean I'll be very happy.

Yes, young blokes like you do recover much faster and make bigger gains though ;-)


cacalderon


May 30, 2013, 5:44 PM
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Re: [Spaztic] Getting older and (un)realistic expectations. [In reply to]
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i must say i feel im in a similar situation... like the posts before, dont give in and keep going.

The trick is to climb smarter understanding the changes your "aging" body is going through. Granted, easier said that done but if you enjoy climbing and its your passion.. dont give up and keep climbing.

Also, most definitely the younger kids might make bigger gains on a shorter amount of time but i still see older blokes pulling crazy hard... takes time and discipline but its possible.


(This post was edited by cacalderon on May 30, 2013, 5:46 PM)


kpb


May 30, 2013, 9:35 PM
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Re: [Spaztic] Getting older and (un)realistic expectations. [In reply to]
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I'm 50 and after a long break (6 years) am climbing better than ever. I've set some goals for myself, and I think the ways to get there are not really different from training when you are younger. Technique, smart and well planned strength training, overall fitness training (running), and good diet/weight control.


flesh


May 31, 2013, 10:04 AM
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Re: [kpb] Getting older and (un)realistic expectations. [In reply to]
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At 34 I'm climbing better than ever. Ben Moon did his first v14 (although he had been doing v13 forever) at the age of 45.

2-3 sessions a week are plenty assuming your doing it right. Getting psyched and trying hard, having enough rest.... blah blah.

I started climbing hard again a couple years ago... I honestly haven't noticed any difference in anything versus when I climbed hard in my early twenties. Except that I train smarter.

If you're still in your thirties.... I've got to believe the young guns are getting better faster because they try harder and/or you have some limiting beliefs.

Then again, for me, I only get better if I'm psyched. I can only be psyched if I have some outdoor projects to work towards. If I could only climb outdoors a few times a year, I'd probably be climbing a few v grades easier right now.

Solution, find a way to climb more outside? Make it a priority. Your a warrior, you need you're warrior time man!


Spaztic


May 31, 2013, 3:19 PM
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Re: [Spaztic] Getting older and (un)realistic expectations. [In reply to]
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I think I'm pretty much hearing what I expected, which is good. Glad to hear you old dogs are still climbing hard (and getting better).

I'm still improving, just not as as fast as I'd like, and I think that expectations might need to be adjusted. Every time I climb outside, I'm stronger - it's probably because the days are few and far between.

The main thing seems to be recovery. If I boulder every second day at the gym, or even three days per week, I get thrashed. I have a hard time backing off and doing light days, and then I pay the price for it. I'd like to be climbing at my limit (like the young guns do) every session, but I simply can't. And I think that's where age comes into play (and probably the lack of sleep, jobs, parenthood, renos, etc.). Or maybe not.

And oh man, I wish I could make outdoor climbing a priority, but it just isn't realistic given current life circumstances. Hopefully once the girls are a bit older.


shockabuku


May 31, 2013, 4:54 PM
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Re: [Spaztic] Getting older and (un)realistic expectations. [In reply to]
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I'm 46, best thing I ever did for my climbing was to get my kids on a competitive climbing team. But that didn't happen till their early teens.

At about 40 things started to slow down. I particularly noted that hard bouldering becomes counter-productive without two to three rest days in between. Route climbing isn't doesn't require nearly the recovery that bouldering does. I also notice the effects of sleep and diet much more these days. But, I continue to get better, just at a somewhat glacial pace.


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