Motivation vs climbers : 6 Tips for Staying Motivated After a Break

Let’s be real. It sucks to take time off from climbing and come back feeling weak, uncoordinated, and out of touch with the rock. However, you can get back to your previous level and even surpass it with enough dedication. And motivation.

Motivation. There are many reasons why we occasionally need to take a few weeks, or months, off from climbing: injury, work, exams, travel, family, ski season… Or, occasionally, a general lack of psych. Coming back feeling weak and uncoordinated can be disheartening and demotivating.

Who likes falling off V3 moves when six months earlier you sent your first V6? The good news is, you are capable of getting back to climbing V6 again. But only if you embrace where you are right now and get back to climbing regularly. Here are some tips for staying motivated during the process.


Accept where you are

You worked hard to reach the level at which you were previously climbing. But after a few months off, of course you’re going to have lost strength. This is just the nature of our sport. Don’t get frustrated when you can’t do moves you did six months ago. Instead, focus on what you can do, and work up from there. If V2s are now difficult again, start by trying to climb every V2 in the gym or at your local area, then worry about the V3s.

Set goals

You were previously projecting 5.12 and now 5.10 feels cruxy… Set realistic goals for where you’d like to be in 3 months, 6 months, and a year. For example, give yourself 3 months to get back to sending 5.11b/c. Then 6 months for 5.12a. And a year to send 5.12+.

Focus on progress

While goals are important, it’s also important to focus on the process (namely any progress you’re making). Examples include climbing a grade harder, moving more smoothly on the rock, or getting one move farther on your current project. Even if you aren’t back to your previous level, enjoy the process of getting stronger again.

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