Out Of Balance


On the surface it looks so simple

Get from a to b.

Yet climbing is an incredibly complex sport, some master it faster than others but there is only one true way to achieve what's possible for you. You'll have to commit and work hard, no matter how much natural talent you have - but you'll also have to go about it in a very specific way. Climbing is based around building blocks; technique, flexibilty, strength - contact strength, static strength, finger strength, core strength, dynamic power.  Each one of those can be broken down further, analyzed and trained to help you improve. You have to build steadily on each.

The more you build, the stronger and better a climber you become. 

There is a problem though, if you're not careful while you're building these strengths you can easily create weaknesses. Each one layered upon another, ultimately creating instability in your body. I've trained exceptionally hard in the past and with it my body became out of balance. Years of surfing has helped somewhat, but when I woke two days ago with an elbow sore to the touch I knew those many years of training had created weaknesses which were now coming back to haunt me.

Luckily for me one of my former training partners from the UK is an exceptional physio and sat down with me last night for a Skype session to diagnose my problem and explain the exercises I would need to help bring me back into balance.  In my experience it's very hard to find a great physio that understands training, climbing and the issues it brings.  Huffy fortunately is an underground British climbing beast, knows his training, and also knows the history of my body's strengths and ultimately weaknesses.  It's the nerve in my elbow and it's caused by tension in the muscles in my back.  I'm now on the road to recovery, working on my rehab and training in ways he set out which won't make the problem worse.  

I can't look at this as a setback on my road back to fitness,  I see it as a new building block - one which will ultimately make me stronger in the end. 


Neal Mann

New York City