Re­flec­tions by Canada’s Top Comp Climber

And Why You Should Cel­e­brate Your Vic­to­ries

Gripped - - OFF THE WALL - Sean McColl

Back in 2003, I did my first world cup with my coach Mike Doyle. Lit­tle did I know that world cup would be the first of more than 100 by the end of 2015. Af­ter my first world cup, I was hooked; the com­peti­tors, the at­mos­phere and the com­pe­ti­tion was ev­ery­thing I wanted. The com­pe­ti­tion in 2003 gave me enough mo­ti­va­tion to train and in 2008 I com­mit­ted my­self to the cir­cuit.

As the years pro­gressed, my re­sults im­proved. I swapped be­tween lead, boul­der and speed, which is some­thing I still do to­day. I’ve al­ways en­joyed the di­ver­sity of the dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines and I’ve never wanted to be la­belled as a spe­cific type of climber. I love climb­ing and com­pet­ing, so if there is a dif­fer­ent for­mat, I’ll try it at least once to see if it’s fun. Peo­ple of­ten ask me what is my pre­ferred dis­ci­pline and it’s al­ways im­pos­si­ble to an­swer be­cause I love it all (lead, boul­der, speed, duel, psi­cobloc).

I don’t know when and where I re­al­ized I had been com­pet­ing for so many years, but I do look back on my climb­ing ca­reer and ref lect on ev­ery­thing I’ve achieved. I think the num­ber one rea­son my ca­reer has been long and I’m still able to com­pete is my train­ing regime and over­all fit­ness. As I was grow­ing as a climber, I didn’t use any ex­treme train­ing pro­grams. It also helped that as a teenager, when I was go­ing through pu­berty, I was climb­ing and play­ing soc­cer both three or four times per week, which helped my body de­velop into that of an over­all ath­lete.

Ath­letic f it­ness is very i mpor­tant with the now phys­i­cally de­mand­ing style of the world cup. Be­cause of my physique, I can train and test my body in ways that other climbers can­not. I also an­a­lyze my train­ing ev­ery year and see where I can or want to im­prove. I stay open to crit­i­cism but at the end of the day, I know what my body can do and what it’s ca­pa­ble of. Af­ter so many years com­pet­ing at a high level, I also know where I need to be to be suc­cess­ful in com­pe­ti­tion.

The big­gest tip I have to achieve a long ca­reer in climb­ing is to lis­ten to your body and stay in­jury free. The worst thing for a com­peti­tor to be is in­jured. For ex­am­ple, if you lose a large amount of weight in a short pe­riod of time and keep train­ing at a high level, your risk of in­jury is much higher than if you lose the same

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.