As anyone that reads this blog knows, injury related downtime is nothing new for me. In fact, injury related boredom is the main reason this blog was created 2 years ago. Given my history, one might even say that I am a bit injury prone. Lucky you.
After my brief outing at Flagstaff the other weekend in Colorado I have to admit I was feeling pretty good. I’ve been battling a nagging finger injury since October which has meant any “training” this winter has been out of the question. Despite this, I climbed several very crimpy lines during our brief session that were fairly difficult for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t allow myself enough recovery time from the aforementioned small crimps and my finger injury got much worse while climbing 2 days later.
So here I am once again (still?), staring at 2 big trips coming up in the next 2 months to the Southeast and Joe’s Valley, with no real idea when I will be able to climb anytime soon. Bummer.
But the main point behind this post was not to elicit sympathy as I know everyone has their injuries to deal with. The point is more to explore the emotional side effects one experiences when injuries force a break from climbing.
As with all my injuries, the immediate aftermath finds me feeling very listless and unenthusiastic about much of anything. Obviously this is partially due to the disappointment that comes along with the actual injury, but it has more to do with the lack of being able to experience the enjoyment climbing brings. I always miss the physical exhaustion one feels after a good workout the most.
I think all climbers know what I’m talking about. Climbing is addicting! I have yet to find any sport, hobby or activity that can bring the kind of enjoyment climbing does. Frankly, I’m not sure one exists.
My question for everyone out there that has experienced the post injury malaise is this: what do you do during these times? Is there a different sport you focus on while you are unable to climb? Do you take the downtime to focus on things you neglect in the name of climbing like friends and family? Do you spend all your time perusing super awesome climbing blogs until you are better?
If you are interested in some additional reading on the topic of climbing injuries, there are 2 recent posts around the interweb that you may find interesting. One is about climbing blogger injuries and the other is great piece from Sonnie Trotter on the importance of taking it easy sometimes as opposed to training all out.