From early in my bouldering career, I was always intrigued with sending V12 there was just something mysterious and daunting about it. For a long time, it was the gold standard and only a few in the world had done it.
Time has past and the V12 grade while still impressive is no longer seen as the top of the scale. I believe at this point V17? is considered the top of the grade (click here to get a better look at the bouldering grading systems).
Over the years I have achieved some decent climbing accomplishments based on personal goals, these were typically centered around a particular climb or a grade. When I was in my mid 40’s I hoped to one-day climb V12 before I turned 50. I had achieved V10 (the problem has since been downgraded I believe) and thought if I put my mind to it and found the right line I might actually achieve that goal.
Unfortunately, one fateful day in 2012 while monkeying around on the Campus Board (showing off for a friend), I felt a pop in my left elbow. I was in peak shape and I thought I was ready to break through another plateau. I had just returned from Bishop with a few V9 sends, one was a flash and felt like I was ready.
That injury was more serious then I had originally thought and took well over 18 months to heal, I did not climb during this time and really just spent time in the gym working general fitness the best I could. I had lost the drive to get back in climbing shape. It has been six years since that occurred.
During this time I joined a competition BBQ team and rather than get lean and climbing fit I became really good at cooking brisket. While not completely inactive, I really had no fitness goals and anything driving me from a fitness perspective.
About 30 days ago I was heading to see my mother in the hospital (she is doing better now) and thought I would stop by the climbing gym (Hanger 18 Mission Viejo) and just boulder for a bit. I needed to get out of the house and move. I was greeted by several of my old friends and was energized to climb again. I am now 53 and turn 54 in March of 2018.
I had ditched sending a V12 by age 50 goal during my injury. I have since reset my timing and thought, why not try and accomplish this goal by age 55. I know how to make my body strong and if I clean up some weaknesses (flexibility and movement), who knows maybe I can get this done.
This blog is a real-time look at my journey to get back in shape, improve my weakness and send a V12 boulder problem. I hope you enjoy the blog and if you have comments or questions during this mission please send them my way. I added an email sign up please join the list and continue on this journey you can follow along. I will try and chronicle different training techniques and lessons learned so you may integrate these as you strive to hit your goals.
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