Where did I go… School and it sucked the life out of me- almost literally- drained me to the core and back- there were no creative juices left. The only thing good that came out of it was, well, the degree of course, my third a bachelor of education and the fact that Josh learned how to take care of grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry and basically everything else it takes to keep a household together. But now that school is over, I feel it’s time to come back to some things I have neglected. For starters my blog.
It wasn’t all bad- although coming from a science background I found it hard to endlessly share my feelings. I went into the program thinking it would be a cakewalk (easy), I had done a masters degree so how hard could this be? It wasn’t so much that it was hard; it was just extremely time consuming and as I found out over my teaching practicums so is teaching. I thought I could juggle teaching and climbing but as it turns out I can’t. I’ve made the decision to spend some time working for the Calgary Board of Education this summer and will likely sub this coming fall/ winter, but full time teaching- nope I’m not ready and I’m also not worthy!!! Props to all the teachers out there who work twice as much as most others but only get paid to work one full time job.
I’ve started to travel- and if you are wondering if it’s only related to climbing the answer is no! My family took a trip to Portugal the summer of 2012- and it was the catalyst to a thirst for traveling and consuming culture and knowledge.
The following summer (2013) we took a guided tour of western Turkey and the Greek Islands- totally amazing, we learned a ton about the history and culture and people.
Then this past may (2014) my mother and I took a tour of Morocco- incredible! I have always had this romantic idea of Morocco and I have always wanted to see the Sahara so when my mom said she would take me on a trip anywhere I wanted to go I didn’t even hesitate- Morocco it was. And off we went- 8 day tour visiting costal and desert cities / towns. We traveld with an excellent tour guide and a great group of people. Now before anyone judges me, yes you read correctly, I have been taking guide tours- I know I know I should be going on these adventures on my own, planning them on my own but I really like the simplicity of the trip being planned for me, never waiting in lines, seeing everything there is to see and more and getting a lot of insider knowledge from the tour guide about the culture and the people. As we take long drives the tour guide chats away on the microphone explaining all things (insert country here) and the guests are able to ask any questions freely. Josh and I have now both traveled to Turkey and Morocco, him on his own and me with tours and for the most part we had very different trips- he got to experience the culture more naturally than I did but I learned a lot more and saw a lot more than he did- to each their own :) Josh spent years traveling with his brother and other friends- so the destinations he doesn’t want to return to are perfect spots for me to hit up ‘on tour’.
Climbing (climbing travels)
Well everyone knows that Josh and I were on the road for a year previous to going to school, so we weren’t hard up for a road trip the last two years (but of course that didn’t stop us). We started out the fall of 2012 climbing on the CCC competitive team. That year team was to be organized with a coach and regularly scheduled practices. This was an interesting year for me and what I like to call ‘my discovery year’. Now, nothing against team AT ALL however the structure of it and the planed workouts just didn’t work for me- by the time nationals rolled around I was out of shape and unable to climb a damn thing- at that competition I turned to my friend Kelly and I said ‘what happened in February that made me go downhill so abruptly’ and her answer was ‘we started training power’ – aha!! The wheels started turning and as I started doing the mental arithmetic (as buck would say) that was it- I stopped strength training and I started power training. Silly me- I know myself- I need to be strong and for me power is a function of strength so why oh why did I stop strength training. A new plan of action would be in the works for the following comp season but first I had to head off to SOUTH AFRICA!!!!!!!!! (ok I’m gonna skip this for its own post, but for now, it was amazing and I wish I could live there and or go back every summer- check out this vid Nate Gerhardt, Josh and I put together thanks to Outdoor Research:
After our Africa trip we came back to an altered Bow Valley- the floods in June devastated residential properties, towns, businesses, roads and yes- even the cliffs or at least the hikes up to the cliffs were destroyed and most of the climbing area were closed when we got home. So, summer of 2013 I visited some cliffs I had never been to: grotto, ravens, lookout – to get my sport climbing legs back. Once Acephale opened I had a one track mind- ‘each one teach one’ – a route I had briefly tried the summer before that I really wanted to nab this summer! So it began, the approximately 4 week period of working ‘each one’. Most of the time was spent working one single crux move. Once I finally figured it out I sent within a couple of days!!! My first 13c and an FFA for that route!!!! It was an awesome summer projecting that thing and hitting up some new spots in the valley :)
My last year of school. I was determined to be even more organized this year than the last year to ensure I kept up with my climbing and still did well at school. After a lot of deliberation Josh and I chose not to join the CCC team this season for two reasons: 1) We realized we needed our own training plan to get strong and say strong for comps / travel and 2) we knew we wouldn’t be able to commit the the team training schedule a) because they were training in the early mornings and b) because our schedules (especially mine with two big teaching practicums) were going to be erratic. A group of us formed the ‘pm-team’ (as opposed to the CCC team that trained in the am’s- we nick-named them the ‘am-team’). We trained together a couple nights a week and once on weekends- we did strength and finer training and some power stuff – never forgetting the strength for me. I have to say that even though I was very busy at school I feel like the training schedule worked well for me and in competitions I climbed well and was a consistently competitive climber all year- my goal was to make top 10 (Canadian national team) and I finished the year in 10th!!!!! Psyched!! I not only trained in the climbing gym, I was also under the eye of Morgan Alexander from Revolution Human Performance.
This year I had my ‘dream team’.1) The group at the gym, or the ‘pm-team’, 2) Morgan, and 3) My chiro Jason fox at Mission Chiropractic.
A little on Morgan: Morgan is the head trainer at Revolution Human Performance here in Calgary. Ex Olympian he is insanely knowledgeable and an educated individual with a focus on strength and functional movement. I heard of him through my friend Pete Woods who had trained with him previously so I thought I give it a try! Writing this blog now I can honestly say that a lot of my climbing improvements and competitive consistencies can be attributed to the work I have been doing with Morgan. He creates 4-week programs that focus on your goals and weaknesses related to your sport- as a side note….
The scene at the gym is incredible as he trains word class athletes of multiple disciplines, we are all there working hard and we are all there doing something different as it relates to our sport- I’m always in awe at the other athletes in there and not to be conceded but they are in awe of me too sometimes as our strengths are often times polar opposites!
At first I hated the 4-week rotation- I like consistency and knowing what to do and being good at what I’m doing, but Morgan did not give in! It took about 6 months before I could actually do anything right and now I’m starting to have strengths is areas I never thoughts possible (like my legs) – I even did my first muscle up recently!! I see Morgan with Josh, Pete, Sue, Lea and Bonar and it’s always a great time and well worth the effort!
So with my dream team assembled I had an incredible year (busy as hell with school but thanks to josh and getting fired from the wild rose I managed to pull it off)!!! Speaking of school- I had my final two placements / practicums at Western Canada high school- I feel so lucky to have gone there and most importantly I had an amazing partner teacher. I got to teach biol 30 and science 10 while I was there. All my students turned out to be pretty rad, I had an awesome time there!
School ended is late April and I laid low for a month before I re-entered the world into my current HR position. I have big plans for this summer and have kept up my training. I’m a weekend warrior now, so I will keep up with Morgan and the gym at least once a week while I’m working- but come the weekend I’m off!!
Well, that’s the two year recap- now that I’m caught up I will have more shorter blogs coming up.
Thanks for the support;
Josh muller & Family
Revolution human performance
Thanks for reading- more updates coming soon!