Archive for March, 2009


Kung Fu Climbing

March 2, 2009

This past month, yes the full month, I didn’t climb.  I went on a visit to Florida, to work more intensely, on my phd dissertation and decided to take the whole month off.  This decision was backed up by two main reasons: 1) the gym in Gainesville doesn’t get me psyched anymore and 2) a part of me felt it was time to try something else, another sport or something.
It is clear that I love climbing.  I obsess about it, I dream about it, I buy the movies and remember the climbs I did ages ago.  And it gets a little tiring, especially since I haven’t been able to do that much climbing!!!  To put it succintly I’ll quote a good friend who shares my name and some of my tendencies but doesn’t show his face as often: “Too much porn and not enough f#@%ing”.
So I decided to take up Kung Fu.

I have a few friends who have been doing Kung Fu regularly and obsessively for several years now and whenever I hear of their training routines I am pretty impressed.  One day I decided to try their “Day Zero”, just for kicks, and was thoroughly impressed by the physical and mental demands on the body in conjunction with the fluid, zen, approach.  It really fit with me.  The last exercise of Day Zero was to hold a stick behind your back, such that the hands were in fists facing forwards and the stick was supported by the inside of the elbows, and to rotate the torso such that the stick would strike a punching bag.  And to do that 1000 times.
1000 times!

So I joined the Dojo and for about 20 days, at lunch time, I would go there and be put through different routines.  What sticks out the most were the punches and kicks.  I had to complete about 8 different punches and 8 different kicks.  Each punch and each kick had to be done 150 times on each side into the air and then 150 times on each side onto a punching bag.  So, that’s 8 x 300 x 2 = 4800 kicks and 4800 punches.  The sheer volume is dizzying.  This aside from the core conditioning ab exercises and pushups and so on.

That month has passed and I’m now back in the East Bay.  It is raining outside so no climbing at Mortar Rock today but I’m psyched for going to the gym and my brain has been running on overload as to new training methods and exercises for climbing!!