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Train train train…… Why ?

Aaron Mulkey on the First Ascent of The Gambler

Aaron Mulkey on the First Ascent of The Gambler

Keeping the mind and body in top condition is always work. In fact, it’s never ending work.

6am- My wife, Kelly, is ready to go to the gym. Me…well, I’m still in bed and she is ready to rally. Supposedly, she tried to wake me up a couple times, but I doubt it. I think she enjoys watching me in a frantic, drunken daze in the morning, trying to find my clothes and shoes before she leaves me. I pinball off the walls as I try to regain consciousness, walking down the stairs, and then I hear her in the distance, “Let’s go. I’m leaving.” I eventually make it to the car. Our agreement is that I just have to make it to the car and she will get me to the gym. She has a cold RedBull waiting for me in the car and now all I have to do is motivate myself to get out of the car. This is a our morning routine, and clearly, I couldn’t do it without her.

South fork in a morning haze. I think this is what my brain looks like when I wake up int he morning

South Fork in a morning haze. I think this is what my brain looks like when I wake up in the morning

Today, my morning was different. Out of nowhere, I have been having a weird knee issue and all I wanted to do was just sit in the car and sulk. My mind and body debated the pros and cons of getting out of the car, like it was a legal debate. I didn’t want to go into the cold gym, but as I saw others coming out from the early morning session, I didn’t want to be the grown man throwing a fit in the car because my knee hurt. In the end, the jury decided that even though I knew I couldn’t do the workout that Connie at the Alpine Training Center wrote for me, I knew I could still do some sort of workout.

Aaron Mulkey working on Wyoming Huecos

Aaron Mulkey working on Wyoming Huecos

Ultimately, I remembered the days following my knee surgery and remembered how badly my knee hurt. I thought,  “You have no excuses today. Get your ass in the gym and do something.”

The great part of the gym is that it always seems like a bad idea at the time, but afterward, you’re always glad you did it (unlike a few decisions I made with women in my younger years).

Mammut Athlete Doug Shepherd wondering why he is wearing crampons in August.

Mammut Athlete Doug Shepherd wondering why he is wearing crampons in August.

If you’re going to perform at any level above average, training must be a daily routine. I can’t say that I have always felt this way, but there’s no doubt it works. Training can take on many different forms. Kayaking changes the routine climbing mechanics that my body is used to, which I believe keeps me protected from routine injuries. Kayaking is also incredibly mentally engaging, which keeps me on my toes and allows me to have another card to play when making decisions in the mountains.

Chris Guyer enjoying the dry tool route Wyoming Huecos

Chris Guyer enjoying the dry tool route Wyoming Huecos

Have fun with your training but keep it consistent. I have always said that we owe it to our loved ones to be as fit as possible when taking on inherently dangerous activities in the mountains.

Mulkey logging some flight time

Mulkey logging some flight time

Getting used to pushing yourself is always good training, although I would rather not be logging flight time.

 

Doug Shepherd climbing Wyoming Huecos and Chris Guyer working on another route

Doug Shepherd climbing Wyoming Huecos and Chris Guyer working on another route

A nice sunset after an evening dry tooling session in the south fork

A nice sunset after an evening dry tooling session in the South Fork

 

Training in the steeps of the South Fork is always good for the body and mind

Training in the steeps of the South Fork is always good for the body and mind

It’s that time of year to get motivated for the upcoming ice season and there’s no better time to jump on the training wagon. Next time you don’t want to get out of bed or can’t find the motivation to get out of your car, just remember: Will Gadd didn’t become one of the strongest ice climbers in the world by watching his morning cartoons and eating donuts while drinking Dom Perignon.