Bouldering during Corona Winter

Today I want to share some thoughts on bouldering, anxiety about finishing the dissertation and the second wave of Covid with you. Since the area where I am right now has been labeled risk area according to the German system, restrictions in my current bouldering gym have gotten stronger.

Opening the windows to mitigate the spread of corona versus getting a cold from the breeze?

Yesterday I went bouldering where they constantly had the windows open. Then I gave a talk and we had the usual socially distanced post-talk wine in the garden. Only that now, it has gotten really cold. And this morning, it’s not like I actually had a cold but I could still feel my body grappeling with having been out in the cold and probably not wearning sufficiently warm clothes for too long. And sweating in the bouldering gym with the windows open, a constant cold breeze. Actually I tore (or maybe didn’t tear but hurt) a muscle in my neck yesterday while bouldering.

 

During the first wave, at least we knew that summer time was coming

And all that has left me wondering on whether I will be able to go bouldering much during the winter, should things not improve and I can’t really see how they could. During March’s corona wave, luckily temperatures were climbing every day and thus, I could go bouldering outside. Although I remember that in the beginning, there were many mornings where I drove out to my climbing place and it really was still too cold to get any actual training in for a while. So I’m not feeling all that hopeful for the winter. I mean, of course I can still go outdoor bouldering every once in a while using bike gloves (which worked pretty okay back then). And I also think that lockdowns this winter will only be more localized, so gyms won’t close down all the time.

Restrictions in bouldering gyms and adapting my training?

But here in Mainz at Blockwerk (review to follow soon), you need to book a 2h window in advance and of course, depending on the pandemic development, there are less and less free spots. Since I’m too old for student discount according to Blockwerk rules, I pay 9,50€ for a single entry for which you could normally stay the whole day. And I need to book well in advance to secure a spot which is really not optimal for our line of work where I can never tell in advance when inspiration will strike. 10€ for two hours is really expensive, especially if I can’t even decide freely when I’d like to go. My 12-sessions-entry-block is spent (which would make the entry fee a bit cheaper) but I don’t dare buy another one. I’m thinking of reducing my training from 2 sessions a week to just one and maybe supplementing with some other training. This is quite a striking difference to my training in Graz at the end which was bouldering gym three times a week and then one weekend session bouldering outside.

I’m feeling a bit gloomy about this prospect but I also can’t see how else things are going to evolve. Bouldering is an important part of destressing / work-life-balance for me but if the experience gets more stressful or puts me at a very high risk of getting sick, I don’t want to go anymore.

This is probably quite a luxury first-world-problem. But it’s also all about me coping with the stress of the final months of the third year of my dissertation.

So this was just a little report of some of my current feelings. How are you dealing with the fact that the second wave is upon us?

Best,
S


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