Anders Ourum accepted to share the "fountain of youth" to every climber out there based on his past experiences and wisdom. The technique, balance, and grace that any type of climbing requires can get better with age (just like wine) and with Anders' suggestions, today's climbers could see themselves sending their projects with every oncoming birthday.

1. Perspective helps! Gather the evidence and gain some knowledge. Anders suggests reading “The Fine Art of Climbing Down Gracefully”, by Tom Patey. Believe that someday that will be you.

2. Past, Present, Future. Think ahead and look after yourself when you are younger. Imagine who you want to be and what you want to achieve in the future.

3. Prevention. Like any physically demanding sport, injuries do happen in climbing. Try to avoid injuries by practicing safe climbing techniques, proper warm-up and cool-downs and by listening to your body. If you do injure yourself or have a recurring injury, take it seriously. Learn about what it is and get the best diagnosis, treatment and therapy available. Many injuries have long term consequences that aren’t immediately apparent so if you want to celebrate your 80th birthday on the Apron in Squamish, BC detect and treat your injury early. One can get away with a lot of dumb stuff when you are young, but often there’s a price later. Start looking after yourself early!

4. Balance. You work so hard on balancing on the wall so channel that same energy in finding a balance in your lifestyle. Practice work, life, balance and always maintain fitness because you use it or lose it.

5. Body Rock. Fitness involves using all your muscles, physical and mental – strength, stretching, aerobic capacity. Over-specialization often leads to over-use injuries, to which we’re more prone as we get older. Practice the moves and holds that challenge you and create a schedule where every part of your body is involved at one point or another.

6. Zen. Climb for yourself, for the company, for the challenge, and for the environment. If you jump on the “must climb harder” treadmill, eventually it’ll spit you out. Difficulty is optional, enjoyment is mandatory.

Anders Ourom @ FEAT Canada Feb 2012

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