I have been thinking about some interesting thoughts/idea’s/topics to write about lately, specifically for my “you’re not hardcore” series of posts (this is not as easy as it seems FYI for all your non-bloggers…to always come up with new ideas to write about). Originally, I thought I might write, in great detail, about WHAT my workouts entail (reps/sets/workouts/just what the hell do I do?). Whenever I mention that I spend 3/4 hours a day with this ‘training,” thing, people always wonder how I spend that much time and the answer to that is it’s easier then you might think.
Yesterday for example I spent about 3 hours; I rode to work (50’ish minutes), after work I rode to the gym (30 mins), did endurance climbing specific training for 1 hr 30 mins, then spent another 25/30’isn mins riding my bike home) the time spent training really gets away from me, about 20 hours a week are spent climbing/training for me. My wife will even comment that I spent TOO MUCH TIME, one thing she doesn’t complain about is the muscles it produces ha-ha.
That leads me to the idea of time, how we perceive it/use it, the rush of modern life, we want everything HERE AND NOW for the most part. But, the one thing we have that still takes time and energy is getting fit (and staying fit).
How do we see time? My argument is that we don’t see it at all; that everyone stays so connected all the time that many of us don’t even TAKE the time to notice that Life is passing by. While we stay connected to screens, between smart phones, tablets, desktop computers, laptop computers, TV’s….TV’s in every house, every room, some people even have them ON the refrigerator just in case your angle in the kitchen doesn’t give you a view of that 60 inch TV in the living room that is on for 5 hours a day. People don’t even take the time to eat dinner and it’s not uncommon to see four people (true with all ages) sitting at a restaurant, not talking to each other all with phone screens lighting up their faces. This UN-natural tie to our ‘online lives’ is what makes time pass without anyone taking notice, we don’t take our eyes off screen long enough to see that the world is out there waiting for us and it’s passing us by…
Oddly enough, even though we have unlimited access to all the worlds information in our front pocket (which funny enough we only use to play games) within seconds we still find ourselves in a constant rush. There seems to be a go-go-go/never enough time attitude with nearly every person I come in contact with. We eat “FAST FOOD” because we don’t have time to cook real food and we know it’s shit food but we don’t care because WE DONT HAVE TIME. We need our lives to be totally mobile, banking, phone/text combined with never sleeping enough hours, we take work home with us, work from the side of our kids basketball courts; we are a people that are always trying to play catch up, which will never happen because our reference to time is somehow off.
The one thing you cannot have without a great deal of effort and sacrifice is TRUE health and fitness; or at least the level of fitness people desire (ie think triathlon/iron-man bodies). Everyone wants the ‘smok’in bod’ for themselves and their partners, but not without loads of work and time and commitment.
On climbing message boards I will often see “how can I improve my climbing/how do I climb 5.12/what should I eat” this opens up two important questions to me 1, we are a society that is afraid to make decisions and why should we need to when you can just ‘google the solution.” and 2 everyone thinks there is a quick a one solution fix and more importantly this one step shopping Amazon idea shouldn’t be uncomfortable or gasp…it certainly shouldn’t be hard.
It has taken me nearly 8 years from the time I first climbed a 5.12. For reference 5.12 is climbing’s ‘magic grade’. The grade which most climbers shoot for/dream about but more or less don’t have the motivation (or ‘time’) to ever get there. During those 8 years I trained, revised the training regime over and over and fought through countless injuries, revised my diet AND work schedule countless times; I was always working and all of that is to just to stay in shape to climb 5.12..let alone trying to surpass it.
To reach that first fitness goal took years of climbing and adventures, summers living in the van, living cheap and climbing as much as possible. Then it took a full 6-months of winter training to make my first breakthough. A winter where I rode my bike everywhere (nearly 30 miles round trip from my office at the time), regardless of weather. After that I would get home and I would go into the garage for hours of campus training/finger board training/core work more cycling on a trainer, it was cold/dusty and miserable but it worked come spring I sent my first 5.12 route.
There is no pill, no app, no easy solution to reach these types of levels in fitness that so many people want but few have the dedication to achieve. Hard work and dedication and time, that is what it takes and you need to make sacrifices. I for one LOVE THIS and I love the process, so many things come too easy in the world so I crave the extra effort. Besides you get the most out of the situations that required that hard effort…not the ones that are cake-walks.
When someone tells me they don’t have the time to do (fill in the blank), I just think they have poor time-management (hint: the average American watches 5 hours of TV a day, stop watching TV and you’ve gained 5 hours of time, we got rid of this distraction 6 years ago). So stop making that classic list of excuses, turn off all your screens regardless of what type and spend time with love ones, pursing activities that are creative & challenging, get out of your comfort zone and try living in the moment for a change; you might just find yourself happy and fulfilled.
Start simple: Take one day a week (we choose Sunday) and decide to unplug – EVERYTHING. No screens on Sundays. That will be a day for you to spend time with your family, friends, kids, even yourself. Read books, go outside, play games, do things outside of your technological bubble, and just see how you feel.