When Life Gets in the Way

Work has been pretty mad recently… Unfortunately it has made it pretty hard to do any good climbing. I’ve been getting out and having a bit of fun but definitely not climbing at the peak levels that I am used to.

What I have been thoroughly enjoying is the new CityRock gym in JHB. The routes have been phenomenal and the bouldering at least as good. It’s become my home away from home, that’s for sure!

I recently did a slide show about mental preparation for climbing. It was fun to be able to share my knowledge with a group of people who really wanted to hear it. It was a group of about 40 people from the MCSA and admittedly it ran a bit longer than I anticipated.

I really enjoyed the experience so I’ll try to share it with you…

I started it off by giving a bit of history of my life, starting out with the mental preparation that I was able to achieve through shooting.



I had to develop focus so that I could clear my mind an visualize the outcome. This came in handy when I started doing this!

cycling training


This level of mental focus has been so important for climbing. Knowing that is it possible to achieve a goal, know that if you’re dedicated you will succeed.

Explo picthe rise of training

When I started to get serious about pushing myself past grade 30/ 8a I needed some help!


I asked Paul Brouard, one of SA’s top climbers, to give me a hand… When I got his training program, this is how I reacted!


His training was intense, really intense.


He trained almost every day, scheduling rest days when life got in the way. The trick that he recommended was to schedule a heavy training day followed by a light training day, these would focus on different aspects of training.


I’ve met a lot of cool people along the way!


Alex and Ebert

Alex and Ebert2

I’m usually very structured in my approach to climbing…


plan 3plan5


I’ve spent a lot of time in my room on my own and in the gym to make the big progressions. One of the best ways to track progress is to RECORD IT! When you see that you’re hanging for a longer time on smaller holds with more weight, it’s a great feeling! Know how you’ve progressed is great!



This year has been tough for me, I had to recover from a major knee injury and it took a lot of patience, patience I didn’t know I have. One thing I can recommend is to listen to your phyio and biokineticist so that you can come back stronger than ever.


Use the tools of that are available to you. Right now I’ve got a bit of Golfer’s Elbow and I’m simply using a hammer, a theraband and some awesome finger training tools called POWER FINGERS. They are available from Vertical World and have been very useful in helping with recovery.


Well, that was an abridged version of my talk.

I’m off to Spain for a month over Dec/Jan. Can’t wait to tell you all about it.


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