Following the Psyche: The Road to 14a | Latticer Stories
We’re back with another Latticer Story, and this week we’re heading stateside with Premium Plan client, Aaron Child. Aaron is an IT Manager based in Utah who recently hit some awesome long-term goals. Not only did he send his first 5.14a, but he also sent three V10s – goals that he has has for the last 4-5 years. Aaron has been on a Premium Plan for the last 6 months with Coach Ella Russell, and in this interview talks about getting that extra little boost to reach his goals. Read on to find out more from Aaron.
Header image by Jon Vickers.
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We were thrilled to hear about your recent climbing successes on home turf! Could you tell us a little about those goals; what and where were they, and how did you feel for achieving them?
I sent my first 5.14a in American Fork Canyon, Utah – Hard Blues at the Billboard. I also sent a very unique 5.13b (Redrum), and another long 5.13c linkup (Hard Blues into Atmosphere). I also managed to quickly send three V10s in Joe’s Valley – Apple Bottom Jeans, Death Scream, and Hydrogenated Oil, and a couple of V9s – Worst Case Scenario in Joe’s, and Lick the Bag in Ibex. It felt simultaneously surreal and validating after sending. I’ve worked hard in the past handful of months to be able to climb at this level, but I don’t think the reality has quite set in yet!
Amazing to hear! So how long have you had these goals, and when did they first seem attainable?
I have had the goal to climb 14a and V10 consistently for the last 4-5 years or so. I’m a big believer in establishing a solid base, so those goals were on the back burner while I was accumulating experience by redpointing as many 5.13s and V8-10 as possible. The 14a goal seemed attainable last fall when I started making big links on Hard Blues. The bouldering goal didn’t seem attainable until just recently!
Could you tell us a little about what you do for work, and how you fit your training around day-to-day life?
I do I.T. work for Momentum Indoor Climbing, and I’m also a freelance studio musician. Fun fact: Hard Blues was FA’d by Jeff Pedersen, the CEO for Momentum, and therefore, my boss. It was really cool to have his support and talk with him about the history of that crag! I’m constantly making the rounds between our three gym locations in Utah, so it’s easy to get in a quick session during lunch wherever I’m working that day. I’ll also usually put in additional sessions at night a couple days a week work. Recording sessions fill in the slots between work and training quite nicely, whenever those become available.
How do you feel from your training with Lattice?
Before training with Lattice, I felt like I needed a slight ‘bump’ to the next level in both my fitness and functional strength/power. Thanks to Lattice, I’ve had the best season of my life. I’m psyched for what the future holds!
What are your future goals and how do you hope to achieve them?
Long term, I would like to be able to consistently and quickly climb 14b and V12. Short term, I would really like to continue to have fun redpointing in both the 13b-14a and V9-V11 realm, and maybe find some V12 and 14b projects. I’m confident I’ll achieve these by having fun and working hard.
What are the best pieces of advice you would give to others with regards to training towards their goals?
It’s easy to get sucked into having ‘immediate gratification’ expectations these days. Thinking about training on a long time scale can really help put goals into perspective: it can take years to gain high end finger strength and power. Might as well have fun climbing, trying hard, and following your psyche, wherever that may lead.
And here’s what Coach Ella Russell had to say about Aaron’s achievements…
“If I only had one word to sum up Aaron, it would be PSYCHED! It’s been an absolute pleasure to support Aaron with his training for outdoor route and boulder projects – his motivation and commitment to the process is exemplary. As an already very competent elite level climber, working with Aaron has been more focused on fine tuning and including new training stimulus to what he’s been used to before in his climbing and training. Full credit to Aaron for sticking with his project and sending when he least expected it – we see this mindset of letting go before succeeding in so many climbers and the key is working out how to access this mindset for future projects which is very personal to each climber.”