Thursday, 4 July 2013

Telling people what they dont want to hear

I was having a conversation with a climber the other day.
She is pretty damn good at what she does, and is closely associated with another climber, who is phenomenally good at what HE does. 

They train a lot, sometimes not using the same methods as other people, and have quite strong opinions on what makes a good climber, and what doesn't. As such, they are great people to listen to in terms of what can make a good climber, or what training methods may or may not be useful. 

That being said, it is a good thing to remember that whatever is said has to be taken in context of the climber, how hard they climb, what they do to recover, and how susceptible they may be to injury. 

Our conversation revolved around the fact that she was being asked about the training that he was doing at the moment, keeping his strength up, being able to climb at a seriously hard level and generally be damn good at what he does. The question was asked because other people want to train like the guys who are at the top. The theory being, if you train like those who are doing well, then, by default, you must get as good as them too.... right?

She gets asked how they train, and she tells them. But also then, tries to give a little bit of background - which is the bit other people don't want to hear. For example: the past 10 years worth of hard training to get where they are now. If 5 years ago, they tried to train like they do now it would have meant potential injury. It is the foundation base, built up over long months and years of training, the hard yards, the stuff others don't want to do, that separates them from the mediocre. 
The stuff behind the scenes of getting better

Their bodies have adapted over years to the stresses of their training. They probably know exactly how they respond to specific inputs, and they also know exactly what they will do to recover. 

The question askers always seem to blank this out. They don't want to hear about the hard work, they want the short cut. The ability to climb hard without the dedication.
That rarely happens. 
Don't let your ego dictate to you what you can and can't do. Listen to your body. To get to that position takes a lot of hard effort.

By all means listen to the masters, but ask the right questions. 

What did they do to get to this point in their training?
You are starting where they started from, so build on it. 
Don't expect to jump in at the highest level and expect to get better. It doesn't work like that.

I suppose I am equally guilty of this over-egging of my ego as any. I see excellent fell runners and try and find out about their training. They've been running for many more years than I have. Attempting to replicate their training will just end in injury and disappointment. 
So I've told myself what I don't want to hear. 

You may not be at that level. If you aren't, don't pretend you are, so don't measure yourself by their yardstick. 
Work hard and apply yourself, and at some point, you might attain that level, and by then, you shall have your own way of training which may help you surpass what they are doing.

There is no shortcut, except hard work. 

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