Body: Injury Truths

Is it possible to climb all the time and not get injured?

By Rock and Ice | June 18th, 2010

Is it possible to climb all the time and not get injured?

Andrew Bisharat, Carbondale, Colorado

 

Nope, I don’t believe so! The fact that climbers have arms resembling sculpted titanium rods is a good indication of the stresses they endure. Hanging onto a cliff, not infrequently risking a perfectly good set of ankles, is a great way to generate strength. It is also a great way to self-combust. Eye-popping, tendon-ripping and, at times, bone-fracturing feats of power are for some climbers just party tricks. Fear is the catalyst of physiologic mayhem. The flip side of the coin is where pain becomes background noise only, and every contractile tissue available moves you upward an inch at a time. Tap into this dark well of strength often enough, and you learn to do it without the adrenalin. You naively reset the many cerebral and physiological emergency brakes until they are barely a hindrance. The strange thing is that climbers are always surprised when something snaps.

 

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