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Work Hard, Train Harder. By Dom Wragg
On climbing and working
I first went climbing when I was 6 years old for a birthday party and from then on I was hooked. I was climbing everyday after school and getting outside as much as I could exploring new places but things soon changed when I turned 18. I always thought I would have worked at a climbing wall or been in a job where I could fit in suitable hours to climb. However I became a rope access technician just after my 18th birthday, I had friends in the job which made it more appealing and the pay caught my eye.
I still remember the first job I got in Broughton which started on the 5th August 2013. I was nervous to say the least as I was blessed to have a family that was supportive and wanted me to climb and was able to without having a job until later on in life. I didn’t know what to expect but my first shift was definitely a day I won’t forget, I remember 20 or so odd men looking at me like I was the most inexperienced fool they’d ever seen. Ignoring what they said and taking it on the chin I slowly started to enjoy what I was doing.
Through the seemingly unending shifts at work I was only focused on one thing, how could I fit training into my new lifestyle. Working 6 days a week I was finding it hard to stay at the same level I was climbing. After getting my first pay check, all I wanted to do was work. I forgot about climbing and looked to see where I was working next. Yes, I was still climbing here and there but nothing to the standard I set myself before school ended.
A whole year passed with me having one thought on my mind, would I ever accomplish the goals I set myself. Working non stop and working away, I was climbing and training when I could but just trying to stay positive was key. Being a home boy I found it hard working away from Sheffield but it soon became normal and spent more time away than I actually did at home. Soon came around a trip to Magic Wood, Switzerland. During the 10 days away I accomplished some goals that I thought I would never achieve only dreamed about since a young boy. It was a huge breakthrough making it into the 8’s as I had been working away and not really climbing. I wasn’t expecting myself to do this but doing so changed my my mind set completely.
Heading back to the UK with a huge amount of determination, I suddenly found myself climbing every night again with no excuses. I was blessed to be put on a job 40 minutes away from home for 18 months working days. Being able to climb every night I got myself back into a routine, having a training regime and keeping a balanced diet. Long and high demanding days still occurred but living at home and training with friends I kept my psych high. The balance between work and climbing was finally corrected and I was looking forward to see what the future held.
Planning a trip to Joes Valley, Utah, I had 5 months to step up my game and push on with working and climbing. The trip soon came around and there we all were sat on the plane jetting off to America. It was amazing to experience new grounds outside of Europe and see how I would climb. I managed to get myself up some great problems but there was definitely some room for improvement. I was starting to notice the difference in my climbing, not being able to keep up with my friends of which some are professional climbers. So I went back to the drawing board and found ways in which I could fit my job in more with my love for climbing.
Taking 2 months off work to be in Joes Valley affected me massively even though I had this passion to climb I also felt the need to work and catch up on what I had missed. It took a while to work out the balance between the both which was a huge relief. It was good to see finally that I could do the job I enjoy doing as well as climb well. I began fitting in pull up and ab workout sessions while at work and preparing my lunch the night before to stop the temptations of a Mcdonalds on my break.
I met my girlfriend Molly at the end of 2015 and she changed my life dramatically, for the better of course! She changed my mindset completely, her passion to travel and explore sparked a huge dream of mine. She always talks about living everyday to its fullest and I totally understand that after seeing her go through her latest heart operation and coming out hoping to have one summer free of operations. Being a rope access technician I am self employed and can take time off whenever I want, yet have never taken advantage of this until now. We have bought a van and have just gotten it kitted out by Rustic Owl and couldn’t be happier. Buying this now lets us travel wherever we want and have decided to set off around Europe for the summer heading to various climbing destinations. We don’t have an exact plan but just seeing where the summer takes us, seeing how far I can push myself and what will I be able to achieve. Leading up to the trip I have been concentrating on my Stamina doing lots of circuit sessions and getting myself back on the campus board. I’ve also began running again which has been a slight shock to the system but hoping it will all be worth it.
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