Monday, February 23, 2009

Gym climbing and injuries

Every injury that I have acquired due to climbing has happened while climbing indoors. I have never been able to climb higher than 5.10 (with the occasional 5.11) in the gym, because every few months I get injured and then stop climbing for 2 weeks. And I'm wonder if it is really worth it.

For the past two weeks I haven't been able to ice climb due to a sharp pain that shot out of my elbow and down my arm while climbing in the gym. I generally climb two nights a week at the Alaska Rock Gym. This is the third injury I have had at the gym in the past six months.

Maybe taking two weeks off is me being overly cautious. Brian has chronic tendinitis in his elbow and it is not fun. If you ignore elbow pain and climb through it, it is going to get worse. Eventually you will have pain all the time, not only when climbing, but when biking, typing, picking up a coffee mug, and brushing your teeth.

When it gets to that point you have to stop doing everything for a month or more in order to let it heal. I guess I just don't want it to get to that point, so when I feel pain during climbing, I stop. Then I don't climb for two weeks.

Which means I haven't been able to ice climb either. So I'm wondering if climbing in the gym is really worth it. It's fun. I get to hang out with friends and figure out problems. I get extra exercise during the week, and when all of the stars align, I climb with flow and grace and it becomes a form of meditation for me.

But do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? After spending two week mid-February not out on the ice, I'm not sure.

(The picture came from

1 comment:

Amber said...

If you ever do decided to go back to the rock gym let me know. Preferably after my shoulder stops hurting. I'm a newbie but willing to go and get better!