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Dave Bowes Journey back to the World Championships

Day 34 - Paraclimbing Meeting

The first GB Paraclimbing Team meeting of the year was held at Awesome Walls, Sheffield, where we welcomed our newest members Matthew Phillips, Martin Heald, Isabella Walsh in addition to Joanna Waterton, Hannah Jacques and Hannah Baldwin who are part of our development squad.

The second part of the meeting was to discuss the annual plan, what we have achieved so far and most importantly the budget. The norm would be to spread the money across several events. However, with the IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) Paraclimbing World Championships being held in Paris, 2016 valued by both the team and the BMC as the most important competition of the year, it was agreed that all funding would be dedicated to this competition. Other competitions, such as the Italian and Austrian rounds would have to be self or crowd-funded. With such a big decision of funding, all members (even new members) understood and had a vote on the matter, with the decision being unanimous.

Once the meeting had finished, everyone was eager to start training but first, some new kit. We were issued new kit from Berghaus, we all got kitted up and then got straight into training. I started to train with Martin, a moderately experienced national competitor, I was mentoring him on the difference between national and international competition – the different route styles, different needs (route reading, and not to just attack the route like he normally would). Teaching Martin reminded me to identify the crux (the hardest part of the climb) myself and rest just before on my good arm, then push through the crux with minimal stress on my bad arm and rest again before moving on.

Throughout the day I continued through several different stages of climbing managing to progress half a grade at a time - surprisingly, I was climbing6C by the end of the afternoon. Although this does not seem very high, this had exceeded all expectations for my second climb post-operation. Climbing 6C is only a few grades below where I have to be for Paris in September. I would like to be able to on-sight 7C by September and ideally lead 7C on-sight to maximise my endurance (due to limitations of certain disabilities all routes in Paraclimbing are top roped for the fairness and safety of all). After a very confidence boosting day, I made my way back home. Ensuring a two day rest before climbing again to ensure that my shoulder received the proper rest for recovery. 

Day 37 – Physiotherapy Appointment

Wednesday the 13th of April I had an appointment to see Phil MacDonald (Sports Therapy Liverpool) and had also arranged to meet up with my team mate and friend Phil Mitchell with the idea of climbing beforehand. I was still feeling stiff and sore after Sunday’s climb but Phil could see that it was bothering me. I was concerned that I might have overdone it again, and as a result was feeling rather down. I would have just rather waited for my appointment but Phil convinced me to have a go on the wall, even if I just traversed a bit, as he knew this would pick up my mood. Within 5 minutes, I was going through most of the circuits, slowly working up the grades, which showed an obvious pick up to my mood as I climbed more and more.

I’ve made a lot of progress off my own bat in the last several weeks but everyone hits a wall sometimes. The importance of having a friend like Phil to help pick  your mood up and push you forward is invaluable. 

It was then that I realised that I had gained some serious strength and mobility since my previous climbs.  Another huge relief and a massive boost to my morale. By the end of the session, I was slowly but carefully loading my bad arm and even climbing some  overhangs – this was a very good day.

My physio appointment with Phil consisted of testing my shoulder’s strength further: isometrics with Phil using his arm as resistance (which shocked him by  the amount of power that could be exerted at such an early stage), weighted exercises (Eccentric Exercises) with 5kg weights and some Thera band resistance  training. After this, I was sent on my way with similar exercises and a goal of Paris becoming ever closer.

 Phil MacDonald provided Allcord with a statement regarding Dave’s journey so far, “Considering Dave went under the knife just a few weeks ago, his  progress is  remarkable. He recovered near full range of movement early on in his rehab, and the shoulder strength is coming on in leaps and bounds. I’d definitely put this  down to his attitude - rarely have I seen someone so determined to get back to fitness, and so disciplined in pushing himself, but within safe boundaries. Dave’s got a pile of exercises to be getting on with, as well as climbing, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much he’s progressed the next time we meet!"

Schedule for the next month

I have got to the stage where my shoulder is strong enough to train every day and I will ensure that I take full advantage of this new found strength. My weekly plan will consist of climbing three times a week interspersed with light weights 4 times a week and resistance band training every day.”

Check out Allcord on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and Dave BowesTwitter and Instagram for more updates. Also check out the #championshipchallenge #fightbacktofitness for all of Dave Bowes related posts.

For updates also check out Boot BananasBirchall Blackburn LawClimbskinPranaMetolius and Evolv

Picture provided by Dave Bowes


Author: Allcord

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