Recently my definition of rest days has become increasingly blurry. I've found that my enthusiasm for new-routing has lead me to leave unpredictably arduous laboring for my 'rest days' (a.k.a. those days I don't rock climb). I figure, 'Well, I'll rest from climbing tomorrow, but I can still clean this new route and install some anchors.. right?' After a few weeks, this grey area has finally taken it's toll. Yesterday my muscles made it very clear to me that they were considering a body wide strike if I did not take an actual day of sit-on-your-ass-and-do-nothing rest. I reluctantly surrendered.. and here I am, sitting on my ass and doing nothing!
Enter the full time rock climber's rest day... For myself, the rest day is like a bookmark in my week. I consistently shove everything non-climbing relating into this narrow window; things like laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, emails, errands, bathing, shaving, etc. By the time I have sorted through the days activities I have a rejuvenated ambition to get out and climb along with a closet of clean clothes, a fridge over-flowith and a triple blade smooth shave. I often have my next few days (until the following rest day) already planned and sussed out.
Before this grey area I spoke of, I'd been resting more frequently, and it has been amazing. I used to rest once a week, or sometimes less. I'd hammer myself in the gym and then outside on my mountain bike for the entire winter with so few rest days over a month I could count them on one hand. It was this past spring, after I had trained hard for my first competition, SCS Nationals, that I found myself burnt out on plastic climbing. I decided that I was going to limit my time spent indoors, despite the still frigid conditions outside. Thus, I ended up resting more and by the time spring was in full swing, I was crushing it. My 6 days a week training program had shifted back to 4 or maybe 5 days of climbing per week. I feel strongly that it was a proper combination of hard, persistent training, followed by allowing myself more rest that lead to my successes over the spring and early summer.
As with the last few years in general, during the summer I am not concerned with training. I am concerned with rock climbing. There is too much sunshine and great stone around for me to torture myself inside the BRC, although the occasional season always feels great.
On this glorious rest day I created some new graphics for the site, I'm doing the grocery thing (one of my favorite activities by the way), emailing the sponsors and sharing some tea with friends.. all the while I'm gathering excitement about the climbing days to come.
Thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed my birthday with me, be it at the crag, the cabin or out drinking and dancing in Boulder. #24 was a memorable one for sure. Cheers!
Photo: Jstar photo- Steph Carter is not only resting, she is straight chillin'.