by Lynn Hill
I was recently asked a series of questions on the topic of motivation. There are many ways to interpret the word, but by any definition, I don't think I lack it. What I lack most of all is time. I often have obligations that get in the way of being able to get out to play as much as I'd like, but when I do, I'm simply happy to be out there.
Climbing is a kind of play with gravity and my curiosity to experiment with what's possible is what keeps me engaged and motivated. I believe that climbing helps me maintain my child-like spirit, which is something I hope to never tire of. But as I've matured, I've learned to appreciate a greater dimension of the climbing experience. Climbing is not only about playing on the rocks, but a pretext for learning about interesting places all over the world, different cultures, languages, people, and landscapes.
As far as having motivation to train, I don't have a problem. But then again, I don't think of exercise or otherwise engaging in physically demanding activities as drudgery. I've had periods in my life when I've trained for various activities such as weightlifting, running track and cross-country in college, a triathlon, marathon, as well as for climbing competitions. But these days, the activities I participate in have become my sole form of training.
To maintain a balance in my training, I make sure to get some aerobic exercise, along with stretching, as well as a host of other activities appropriate for each season. I recently started riding my mountain bike on the trails in the area and it's been a great way to get aerobic exercise on a hot day. In the fall, I will start running the trails again. When the snow falls, I will engage in various forms of skiing (telemark, skate, snowboard), and when the weather is really bad, I will climb at the indoor gyms or take a yoga class.
It's not hard to get motivated to train if training is fun and if it's not fun, then perhaps an attitude adjustment is in order.