Hi readers! Enjoy the beginning of Autumn and this month’s issue. Lots of climbing tips and a link to the Defiance Duo blog.

Defiance Duo Blog

          Here’s a link to my first entry in the Defiance Duo blog. It’s “Graduate Music School (Pt. 1 – Application Process).”

Composition

          I’ve been busy studying marimba and violin duets for my work, With Flowers, We Gather, for Ben Shaheen and Kelsey Broker. It’s almost done! I’ve completed 2 of the 4 movements, and the other 2 are close! Stay tuned.

Books

          This month, I finished Paolini’s Inheritance series and the first 4 in the Artemis Fowl series (I don’t particularly like the ones after that). Hooray for rereading childhood favorites! I also just read The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum for the first time, and I’m astonished to say that I prefer the movie.

Climbing

          After climbing for close to two months, Kia and I are climbing the V3-V4 range (we go 5 days a week). Last time, I said I would give some info about my training regimen, so here it is.

          First, my diet has changed. For those that don’t know, I’m allergic to many foods with preservatives, and I already avoided all fried foods and caffeine, so the change wasn’t huge. Kia and I make a weekly dinner menu and go shopping once a week for all items that we’ll need. This eliminates most snacking, eating out, eating unhealthy foods, and eating at strange times. We stick with wheat bread and pasta and have started eating more fruits and veggies. We’ve also cut back on sugars. Basically, just be careful what you put in your body, and you’ll definitely notice a difference.

          Next, here are a few exercises that can improve your climbing. The first is called a lock-off. A lock-off is balancing your feet and holding yourself to the wall with one hand while reaching out and above with the other. You can hold this for whatever time is comfortable for you, but be sure to work both arms! This exercise improves your ability to move statically, or in a controlled manner instead of leaping. In addition, I highly recommend downclimbing and overhang work. Downclimbing is climbing down a problem you just ascended and improves your footwork and coordination. Overhang climbing forces you to be smart about foot placement and will help with core stability. On that same point, I do ab exercises every 30 min at the gym. Having a strict schedule for it gives your arms some rest and also makes it easier to remember to do them!

          Finally, I am just now getting over a slight shoulder injury from climbing. It could have been a lot worse; my mobility was just somewhat restricted by pain. However, I kept going to the gym. Instead of challenging myself with new, difficult problems, I limited myself to problems I could already do. To save my shoulder, I took everything as slowly and controlled as possible. I also made sure to ice my shoulder each night. Now, I’m almost back at 100%, and I would recommend doing what I did even without an injury! My static strength and balance improved A LOT, and it’s paying off in everything I do! Go slow, focus on efficient and smart movements, and be aware of your body.

PS. – Check out the 2016 Adidas ROCKSTARS competition!