What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?
The most difficult challenge so far has been finding time for my mentor and I to meet, especially now that all climbing gyms in the area have been closed. It has been a challenge to find times for us to meet since both of us are quite busy. So far, my mentor and I have been able to meet once every two weeks which is a good amount because we are able to make lots of progress with technique and skill when we meet and then in between, I can work on other elements, like strength.
What is working well? Why?
So far everything has worked well, but specifically the format of the mentoring sessions that my mentor and I have had worked really well. We usually meet for 2.5-3 hour sessions, which is the perfect length, as it’s enough time to do a decent amount of climbing but also short enough that neither of us get super tired. At the very start of the mentoring session, we start out with an easier climb, like a 5.9 for warmup, and then we progressively build our way up to harder climbs. Most times my mentor has other people that she knows that are also climbing at the same time which works well, because my mentor, Shannon gets to do some harder climbs, and I am able to take a break and learn by watching her climb.
What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?
Something that could be better is the amount that we contact each other in between mentoring sessions. I’ve found that my mentor and I haven’t really been talking very much in between when we meet, which I think would help us be more effective during our sessions. I can ensure that this happens by reaching out to my mentor and asking her what I should work on.
Unfortunately, I have barely been able to go climbing over the past month as all climbing gyms have been shut down due to Covid-19. I have been doing my best to continue working on strength by working out at home, but it is rather difficult as I don’t have all the equipment that is available at the climbing gym.
Even though I haven’t been able to go climbing very much I have been working on strength by doing the exercises my mentor has shown me when we meet. I have found all of the exercises very useful and as I’ve worked on them, I’ve noticed that it has become easier to do. Shannon showed me a stretch/exercise at the end of one of our sessions that helps develop strength in the rotator cuff muscles in the back (see below). I have found this specific exercise useful as it works the smaller muscles in my back whereas climbing mostly builds up the larger muscles.