British Junior Bouldering Champion Alex Waterhouse on how he fits it all in!

HUGE Congratulations to High Sports sponsored Alex Waterhouse on winning at the Junior British Bouldering Championships!

Here he tells us how he manages to strike a balance between bouldering and studying.....

I have just returned from a very successful day at the Junior British Bouldering Championships, where I came away as the British Junior Bouldering Champion and the overall boulder cup winner. This competition came at the end of a long period of revision, exams and stress where I could barely have a moment to myself, and it really came down to the wire, all being decided on the last problem of the day.  While having a well deserved rest today I thought I’d take the opportunity to answer a question I get asked a lot: How do I fit it all in?

On my way to winning the British Championships this year,

Photo by Max Ayrton

With school, training, competitions, a social life and a business to run, a free moment in my life is rare! After 3 weeks of exams, 16 hour revision days and 3 weekend competitions even I’m not sure how I manage it, but I’m going to look at some of the strategies I’ve used to keep me sane and productive. 

Revising between qualifiers at the European Championships,

Photo credit by Sandy Carr

Scheduling is really important. Not planning every single moment of every single day, but having training sessions planned and regular makes them hard to avoid, no matter how busy you are with other things. Planning them with friends, or with a coach, helps make the best use of the time as well and make climbing sessions even more rewarding!

 Stopping wasting time has made a huge difference too. I once did an exercise where I wrote down what I did in half hour blocks for a week, and it showed me just how much time I was wasting away browsing the internet, playing games and not being productive. Being able to focus all day, every day is a difficult skill to learn, and everyone needs a break sometimes, but being aware of whether what you’re doing is really helpful to where you want to be will make a huge difference to your time.

 Whatever you do, just starting something is the best way of finishing, as no matter how much you procrastinate it still has to be done, and it’s rarely as bad as expected once you’re off and on the way. With revision, I often told myself to just do five minutes, and I often managed a whole lot more than that. When I’m training I use the same philosophy, no matter how pumped I am I make sure just to get on the next climb, and can almost always get far further than I expected to while puffing on the ground making excuses.

 With the end of my exams comes a new chapter for me, and I have now left school. I will now be taking a gap year to focus on climbing, business and some travelling, with perhaps a bit more free time (though I very much doubt it!!). It’s an exciting time for me ahead, and I hope to continue my current form into the European Boulder series which starts next week!

Happy Climbing,

Alex Waterhouse

High Sports Sponsored Climber