5 Stay Healthy Tips
Every year, I take months off from my favorite sport—rock climbing—because of overuse injuries. Sometimes, as with last year, the months extended to more than 10, with five months of physical therapy, followed by surgery and more therapy. I’m 39, yet I have repeatedly ignored the advice of my physical therapists and doctors for the nearly 20 years that I have climbed, and subsequently I tear, strain, and destroy my cartilage and tendons. I’ve had every type of shoulder tendonitis you can imagine, two shoulder surgeries, and various other injuries. Most recently I got elbow tendonitis and took two weeks off. So, finally, I’m going to try something different. I’m working weekly with a qualified trainer, Juan Esteban Usubillaga, at the Boulder Rock Club, in Boulder, Colo. I’m not going to miss my training sessions, and I’m going to do exactly what he tells me. My goals are to get through 12 months of rock climbing without injury and to climb the fairly difficult grade of 5.13a this spring. The things I’m learning from Juan easily apply to other sports. I’m in my second week of training, and my five tips of the week are:
1. I slowly build my base. Before I climb 5.13 or even 5.12, I’m going to spend another full month climbing lots of easier routes. Juan has me warming up for a full half hour before doing six rounds of three routes in a row. That’s three pitches of 5.11 in a row, followed by 6 minutes of rest, followed by another three pitches of 5.11, done six times.
2. On off days I’m developing more stamina by cycling and/or using the elliptical machine for a half hour.
3. On off days and on some on days I’m also building my core by doing core exercises that I learned from Grassroots Team Member Melissa Love (we’ll be publishing her 10-minute Core Video next week, so be on the lookout for that!)
4. I’m eating a protein and carb-rich fruit during my workout to keep my sugar levels up to maintain motivation and stamina, and I’m eating a similar protein/carb/sugar snack directly after training hard.
5. I don’t overdo it! No matter how excited I am to climb, I will not push myself harder than Juan recommends.
-Lizzy Scully, Stonewear Designs Editor