The Howitzer

For the past couple of months I’ve been thinking about how I can move faster in my climbing. Growing up i could run like the wind blows and was confident to dodge any bullet. I had fast reflexes…quick as a cat you could say. Obviously, as you get older you tend to slow down a bit and your body aches a lot more after doing something active. But regardless of my age or how my knees, back, and ankles feel , somewhere inside of me is a big ball of explosive energy, waiting to be unleashed.

With climbing, training, traveling, family, etc., there isn’t a lot of time in the day/week/month/year. Always trying to fit too much on my plate, there’s a lot i don’t get around to. And thus certain things don’t make the cut for what actually gets done. However, as of lately I’ve been motivated to search out various ways to jump-start the rockets within. I used to play a lot of badminton when i was younger. Now that game forces explosive movement, fast reflexes, left, right, forward, backward…a fantastic way to get your body used to moving fast. I’m going to start playing again. Tonight I went out to a friends annual birthday dodgeball match. No matter how old you are, that game always puts a smile on your face. The joy of unleashing a howitzer at someones head is like nothing else. For near 3 hours 20 of us were running full tilt, wheeling balls at each other and loving it. Tonight i was reminded that my body can move fast, that i have the ability to react quickly…I’ve done it before…many times. I just needed to go back to what i knew. It may seem silly, but a simple game like dodgeball gave me the confidence in my ability to move swiftly.

I stopped playing a lot of sports when I discovered my passion for climbing. As far as sports go now, all i can think about is climbing. Any spare time that’s presented to me…I’m going climbing. Now, in climbing there’s a lot of movement required, very specific movement. But I can feel that my body has slowed down within this style of movement. I’m no longer moving as fast as I once could. And just recently I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s perhaps because I’ve forgotten how to move fast. When i was younger it was second nature because i was always performing in sports that required explosive movement. I didn’t have to think about it back then. But now, now I have to really focus on telling myself to get my ass in gear. Even still, whether by me or people yelling at me…I still struggle to move fast (enough).

Playing dodge ball tonight reminded me of bein’ a kid again. My feet were fitted with readiness. I was agile, hostile, mobile. Now, despite the fact that i’m sitting here on the couch with swollen ankles, an ice pack on my shoulder, and a sore left knee, it felt amazing to move that quick again. I’m excited to get my body back into explosive shape. I really feel that by playing badminton, perhaps some tennis (when i was growing up, I thought tennis was going to be my future-man i loved that sport), even more dodgeball…that these sports will help remind my body how to move fast again. I’m also going to do some research on how to train explosive movement. I’m totally psyched on this. And whoever reads this…if you have any insight on training explosive movement…I would love to hear your thoughts.

In my climbing, I know what holds me back, and what i have to work on. Speed is one of them. Every day, every minute, as a Christian I need to renew my mind, trying not to conform to the patterns of this world, but to focus on God and all that he has for me. Super cool. In Climbing, I’ve realized that i need to utilize the same tactics. I’ve been taught so much that if i don’t continue to renew my mind with that knowledge, constantly performing/putting into action, I’ll forget certain things and inevitably under-perform. Just how I used to move quickly without having to even think about it. Stop moving quickly-start forgetting how to. Above are just thoughts; ideas that i’m exploring on how to get my body moving quick again. At the very least, I’m excited to brush off the dust on my racquets and start playing badminton and tennis again. Great for cardio, reflexes…and of course–fun.

(Funny, i was going to write about something totally different…but got off topic by the time i was through the first sentence. Obviously I needed to get those thoughts out.)

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