I’ve decided that there’s no reason to wait until January to start obsessing about climbing again. For the past several months, I’ve become increasingly discouraged as my climbing ability has slowly slipped backwards.
Last weekend, I went to Pinnacles with the usual suspects and didn’t feel like leading anything, not even a 5.9. This was finally enough to shake me out of my funk. Since the summer, I had dropped back to training at the gym only twice a week, for 2.5 hours at a time, and watched my endurance dwindle all the while.
My peak strength hasn’t changed much; I can still manage the occasional V4 boulder problem. However, where I used to be able to cruise 5.11b lead routes and finish the occasional 5.12a with one take, now I can’t even get to the top of a 5.11a without a rest.
It isn’t just endurance, though; I’m out of the habit of falling. In order to climb harder, I need to push myself until I’m exhausted, then simply fall off a route. Right now, I simply stop near a quickdraw and downclimb to it, then take. This is a waste of energy, and totally lacks boldness.
So the plan for 2005, which I’ve already started, is to climb more often, for longer, and be less of a chicken. It will be interesting to see how it works out.