Cruise Control || Bouldering Technique

Good morning friends, lovers. How is everyone doing this morning? If you’re like me you’re sitting on your boat, your laptop in front of you, thinking about where to get your first caffeine of the morning. I’m probably going to go to Metropolitan Market to get my latest caffeine obsession, Phocus. Seventy five miligrams of caffeine from green tea, added L-theanine, nothing else. Well, maybe some flavoring. But no sweeteners, nothing weird. So far I haven’t seen it anywhere other than Met Market, and it’s only $1.99, which makes it cheaper than just about any coffee beverage you’re going to buy, and also cheaper than most energy drinks.

Plus it doesn’t make you feel insane.

Aka it makes you feel focused and calm and ready to do stuff like clean your boat, and organize it, which was what I did the other day.

Yesterday was my SECOND LESSON AT VERTICAL WORLD. FINALLY. JESUS. The head instructor, Andy, who is amazing, (probably) has a lot on his plate, so scheduling has been a bit difficult. But yesterday I had my first class with him, and it was great. It was amazing to work with someone who not only crushes at climbing but crushes at teaching. Because, after all, it doesn’t matter how hard you can climb as a teacher if you can’t impart any of that skill and wisdom onto your students.

God I wanna go to Europe this summer.

We started WARMING UP ON AN OVERHANG, which normally I would never do. Why would I never do it? Because I don’t like overhang, because I’m “bad” at it, and because I’d always assumed you shouldn’t warm up on overhang since it’s hard on your arms. But like, you obvioulsy don’t climb hard boulders when warming up on overhanging. You climb the easy stuff. And in that way it’s kind of like just hanging, except you’re also focusing on technique, and technique when your mind and body are completely fresh.

So we did that for a bit, focusing on creating momentum and leading with my hips, not my arms!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We also focused on getting my hips closer to the wall, since I’d been pretty square EVEN WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS BRINGING MY HIPS INTO THE WALL. Basically we focused on this one V1 that had one “kind of hard move,” and did it over and over leading with the hips and getting momentum and also getting the feet set up correctly and then the move felt super easy. Bomb, right? Yes.

After that we went to a V4 that was more my style, aka vert aka started with a traverse aka was more compy. The cool thing about Vertical World that I’ve noticed so far with the bouldering is…..well, I don’t know how to describe it. I feel like the boulders there are more deceptively difficult, and this V4 was no exception. I tried it and flailed on the bottom, then watched Andy do it and was able to get to the crux, and then after discussing the crux with Andy was able to DO the first move of the crux, aka bomb. I didn’t send the boulder, but I learned a lot from it, and felt like I could send it if I was a little more fresh.

The biggest thing I’ve learned since starting to focus more on technique: You’re not going to get better instantly, and it’s still going to be a shit ton of work. John Kettle has a line about “cruising your projects” in his book Rock Climbing Technique, so I basically thought once I started taking lessons and doing exercises from Kettle’s book I would instantly cruise my projects. I thought I’d be cruising V4’s and projecting V6’s and 7’s. Not the case. Not the case at all. And that’s because I haven’t put in the work yet. Once I DO put in the work, who knows. Maybe there will be some element of cruising.

So that’s basically it for now. What a gorgeous day here. I MIGHT climb tomorrow. Might. Might. Might. But we’ll see. Have to listen to the body. Have to go get my Phocus tea.

– Wetzler