Alternate activities for when the climbing psych is low??


Original Post
Robert Rowsam · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 40

So I've been going at it pretty hard for a few years now, almost exclusively adventure climbing and big objectives (Alpine & Desert Towers). For the last couple months I've been struggling with finding the stoke for climbing I had only a year ago. This could be for a verity of reasons (dissatisfying 9-5 job, completing several big objectives, new girlfriend, etc..). After a slightly disappointing weekend in the Fishers I'm wondering what else can keep me motivated in general? I realize I'm not normal... golf doesn't sound like an option. Mountain biking, skiing, etc don't really satisfy my needs for adventure and type 2/3 fun, but maybe I'm doing it wrong? Anybody try trail/ultra running?

Sandbagger Vance · · Cincinnati, Ohio · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

chess is pretty fun

Tyler Lomprey · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 55

make a trip out to the Sierra, wont be dissapointed. I also just allow it to be if my sike is low, every wave has a high and low.. why force something? thats how come divorce happens....

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php?action=unread

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,550

River running does it for me. I love rowing an oar rig down long whitewater rivers.

Robert Rowsam · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 40

All solid ideas, thanks. I think chess could be just the thing, though its a hard solo sport.
I'm not trying to force climbing, but without I just don't know what to do with myself. I just don't want to spiral into the world of Mark Twight

As for bikepacking, the kokopelli has always had an appeal for me. Looks like there is a pretty solid community of people doing it too which is nice.

Andrew, the river scares the hell out of me, always has. But it seems like the thing to do. So much great desert to explore from a raft. How is it in the winter though?

J Bird · · southwest,colorado · Joined May 2013 · Points: 345

Fly fishing. I balance my climbing with trout fishing, there are quite a few similarities in the two very different activities. For one, you obtain moments of great focus and a very clear mind; that sort of zen feeling where your reactions and movement are on point but your mind is free. Also, just as quick as you find moments of clarity you have intense adrenaline filled battles, and just like climbing, those moments can be great victories or frustrating events. Gear as well, you can be a very minimalist climber with shoes and a pad, as you can a fly fisher' or gear out super hard to cover all the fields. Fly fishing also has endless destinations from the remotest creek where no man has stepped in a hundred years, to the town toilet bowl.

Tradster · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 0

Kayaking on a nice lake is very relaxing.

Jason Halladay · · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Oct 2005 · Points: 10,337

Funny, as I was reading your question, Robert, I was thinking I'd suggest trail running/ultrarunning as that's my "main gig" besides climbing. I was glad to see your final sentence.
Trail running and, more specifically, ultra running, has definitely given me a bit of the type 2/3 fun at times. It's certainly not nearly as mentally engaging as climbing but it does have its satisfactions in that regard, especially in the overnight outings where I'm strung out and really finding out what I've got inside to face doubts.
It also allows me to do some exploring and get into the wild places that biking and hiking won't allow me to get to so easily or at all.

I hope you find your climbing psych again at some point. I'd say don't feel weird about it...my experience is the ebb and flow of climbing psych is pretty common.

Cory Furrow · · Blacksburg, VA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 25

If possible, caving?

Robert Rowsam · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 40
Jason Halladay wrote:Funny, as I was reading your question, Robert, I was thinking I'd suggest trail running/ultrarunning as that's my "main gig" besides climbing. I was glad to see your final sentence. Trail running and, more specifically, ultra running, has definitely given me a bit of the type 2/3 fun at times. It's certainly not nearly as mentally engaging as climbing but it does have its satisfactions in that regard, especially in the overnight outings where I'm strung out and really finding out what I've got inside to face doubts. It also allows me to do some exploring and get into the wild places that biking and hiking won't allow me to get to so easily or at all. I hope you find your climbing psych again at some point. I'd say don't feel weird about it...my experience is the ebb and flow of climbing psych is pretty common.
Thanks Jason. How did you get into ultras? Did you work your way up from regular distance races on pavement, or did you just start taking longer and longer runs on trail? I want to do it, the idea of "running" for 24 hours in the hills is oddly appealing to me.
Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,550

Winter can be tough for river running. If you have a dry suit and don't mind suffering, there are some options though. The Grand Canyon is always doable and permits are easier to get in winter, you can take more time, and there are a lot of hikes that are just too hot to do at other times of the year. You gamble a bit taking a raft down sections like cataract or westwater that occasionally freeze over in the dead of winter, but going backpacking style with a packraft makes it doable. I'm usually skiing in the winter anyway so don't worry too much about dead of winter river running.

BigNobody · · all over, mostly Utah · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 10

Orgies can be exciting.

Ian Rogers · · Rolla · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 10

+1 for trail/ultra running. I came from traditional running background - cross country / track and field through college. Where I really learned to appreciate and enjoy running came from a desire to explore landscapes. Its like the fast and light alpine approach to hiking. Imagine how much more cool shit you can see in a day if you throw some running into the mix. And what's REALLY fun is going for a big day in the mountains, scrambling and running with nothing but a pair of short shorts and a water bottle - pure freedom.

fossana · · leeds, ut · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 12,951

I took a few years off from climbing to do ultrarunning. When I returned to climbing it had a huge benefit on my endurance, especially for alpine routes. Although I don't race anymore I still do death marches for "fun". Given where you live you might try canyoneering.

Hank Caylor · · Glenwood Springs, CO · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 615

If you really want to get weird and suffer, yet be wildly entertained the whole time. Trust me on this, Pack Burro Racing bro! Google that shit, it's a thing..

Leadville, 22 miler

Georgetown, 9 miler

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,712

powder skiing...

Sandbagger Vance · · Cincinnati, Ohio · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0
Robert Rowsam wrote:All solid ideas, thanks. I think chess could be just the thing, though its a hard solo sport.
I like to camp and play chess with my current gf. Once you have a few opening move sequences memorized, it can get pretty fun.
Zach Wener-Fligner · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 0

If you can get out to California/Hawaii/anywhere on the ocean, surfing. It's the toughest sport I've ever tried to learn, but it's the most fun you can have sucking at something.

Jason Halladay · · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Oct 2005 · Points: 10,337
Robert Rowsam wrote: Thanks Jason. How did you get into ultras? Did you work your way up from regular distance races on pavement, or did you just start taking longer and longer runs on trail? I want to do it, the idea of "running" for 24 hours in the hills is oddly appealing to me.
Unlike a lot of my trail running friends, I don't have a high school or college running background. I had done some long day hikes/backpacking/alpine outings and figured the idea of running the trails lighter and quicker would allow me to cover more distance in a day.
I bought some trail running shoes, starting running local trails, signed up for some ultras and worked my way into the local trail running community. Chatting with other trail runners I learned a lot on training/fun runs and really took a liking to the simplicity of trail running. I haven't really ever ran pavement--it doesn't appeal to me really.
Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

A lot of former climbers seem to find fulfillment criticizing younger, better climbers.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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