After taking some time off for the holidays, getting back into the swing of things can be tough. Better yet, when training climbers for 6 months and not doing production tree work AND taking some time off for the holidays can lead to a rough return to work! Obviously the work can still be done but recovery is always a factor when it comes to keep production high. Here is a great way to stay in shape while you aren't working.
One of the things I have become obsessed with over the years is rock climbing. There really is no better way to get a full body workout than going to a climbing gym or even better, climbing outside. Core strength plays a major role in not only climbing trees but also rock climbing. Over hanging rock faces can make your core muscles as hard as the tree trunks you ascend every day.
Rock climbing not only builds massive amounts of strength but it also greatly improves your climbing throughout the tree. Most people assume if they can do plenty of pull ups then they will make a good rock climber. Though they will have great upper body strength they will be lacking the footwork that truly makes a great climber. By increasing your balance and foot work while ascending big walls you are also making spurless climbing and trusting your feet much easier. Many times climbers tend to not trust their feet when limb walking leading them to a wobbly and much more difficult time than they need it to be!
I love being at height. I love having my feet off the ground with birds flying below me and the wind blowing leaves around. Unfortunately trees are only so tall at this point. Actually, Hyperion (the world’s tallest tree) is 379.3 feet tall. For comparison sake, Mt. Everest is 29,029 feet tall. There’s a bit more climbing when it comes to rocks if you are looking for a great deal of air beneath your heels!
The best part of rock climbing on your off days is the fact that it is extremely fun! How many times do you actually have fun at the gym while grunting and lifting weights? How much fun do you think you would have ascending 1,000 feet up a sheer rock face looking out over the treetops that look like toothpicks below your feet? Keep picturing that, I’ll see you outside on the rocks!