melissa i strong

rock climber, writer, photographer, working on life daily

Listening, Understanding, Forgiving & Accepting Your Maturing Athletic Self; Confessing of Over Training & Getting Back on Course


October  15, 2014



It seems like I hit lows/valleys two times a year and it’s time to learn from the lows.  What is similar in both situations is me continuously pushing myself—with little to no rest!

Now matter how much I hate to admit it I am getting older and I my body is feeling it.  As I mature into my 40’s (by the way it is so difficult to face that but this is part of my lesion—I am not 20 any more--ACCEPTANCE) there is no more denying it—my body needs more rest.

Most athletes, including myself, are driven—you don’t become an athlete sitting on the sofa unmotivated.  No we are motivate, goal driven people who are happier when we are physically active—especially in the sport we love, for me it’s climbing.  This drive keeps us going and happy but it can also hurt.  The drive comes with stubbornness, which helps in some situations perseverance can pay off but it can also be blinding and destructive in the end.

I started becoming physically fit at a later age, not until my late 20’s to early 30’s, then I could do it all—climb, run practice yoga, hike, work and repeat.  I was so blind to the fact that this would one day be more difficult and bashed my way though my 30’s and injuries not stopping or slowing down until my body forced itself.  I have pushed into my 40’s with the attitude that nothing will slow me down!  I am fit, I eat well, I am healthy have a great new training program, I can do a triathlon and not skip a step—lets keep pushing!  Thankfully it was not a halting injury that made me wake up this time.  I faced the facts that I was tired—there was no denying it.  Between working a ton, climbing training for climbing, training for the triathlon, being obstinate and not listing to my training program and never actually during the rest periods, I hit a wall.  Lack of motivation, lack of Wednesday partners, physically exhausted, tendonitis attempting to rear it’s ugly face made me an unhappy person.  This combined with a lack of my most motivating climbing partner, Adam (he injured his pully climb the weekend of the tri in Steamboat), left me in a downward spiral.  I felt like my training with Steve Maisch ( was paying off.  I followed his 37 page training program faithfully, so to speak.  There were times I was suppose to stop climbing and just train which I never did.  I also thought I could climb through my designated rest times.   Basically as usual I pushed too much (I should start reading my own blog—I feel like I have said this before).

I will go back to this training but follow the intelligent words of Maisch “A lot of rest is good for strength building and because this is a busy work time you reduce the risk of injury by not being stressed to get out to the park. “  In retrospect I definitely feel like and idiot and wonder, what was I thinking?   Running, yoga yes but resting all pulling and guess what my tendinitis is feeling better.

Part of this is over training, worked and general fatigue and part of it is age but the bottom line it is beautiful outside—we are having an amazing fall, and it so difficult to not charge.  But rest the need to rest is slapping me in the face so it’s running and yoga plus I will have some down time at home before we head off to Hueco.  Accepting this slowed down pace and taking two weeks off is a struggle for me.  Accepting that I cannot do it all is not in my nature but something I have to understand, not beating myself for not pushing, taking the time, and enjoying the time is all part of the forgiveness, acceptance, learning and understanding.

The great thing is that the rest will do me good and let me begin one last phase of training – without overstraining and get to Hueco Tanks this November!