Climbing and Relationships

Recently, I’ve been having conversations with my SO, who is also my climbing partner/ training partner. We both have climbing goals, mine is to get to a point where I can project and attempt 13’s this upcoming year, whereas hers are more focused on just overall improvement, confidence, and head game.

What I am struggling most with is figuring out how to structure my training schedule to meet both her needs and mine, as I know we both value our time climbing together. Yet, at the same time, I feel like when I do that, I sacrifice either her time, if say I am in an endurance block when they are not, and I need essentially time on the wall, when they are doing single routes, or they want to climb, when I should be doing a strength/ minimal climbing conditioning day, where the strength and conditioning is not currently part of her focus.

I am wondering how those of you who have climbing partners who are their SO work their training schedule so that you don’t feel like you are losing time with your SO to train, but you also don’t sacrifice your training needs?

Also, just in general ideas on how others structure their time with their SO if they are climbing together/ training together or not?

I feel as if The Hard Truth touches on this quite a bit. Not romantic relationships per se, but how friendships impact climbing.

Could the pair of you have some success with a spray wall? Then you can train your own respective qualities simultaneously.

If her confidence/head game necessitates lead climbing, which I imagine it might, can you leverage that day too somehow? And if you have zero need to tie in, is it conceivable that all that would be spray wall training is adequate enough for you to be alright with just being a belayer on her lead day? Assuming your schedule would allow for that, of course.

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Sometimes things have to be separated. If it’s a commercial gym you might just need to be in different parts of the building. If it’s a time issue, you may have to do some solo sessions.

Sounds like the best work your partner can do is going to be outdoors actually performing the sport. Assuming you’re able to find projects for both of you at the same or nearby crags, this can be a great thing, assuming you are able to be patient with her process during your rests.

I also wouldn’t overlook the fact that a more physically prepared climber will often find the confidence to get through the fear and anxiety issues before one who isn’t physically prepared. Strength and endurance breeds confidence. It isn’t by any means the entire answer, but it very often is a big component of the answer.

Above all, sit down with your partner, express the concerns, and try to figure out a game plan together!

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