Climbing Clinic with Monique Forestier

For Valentine’s Day I treated myself with something I wanted to do for a long time and took a Climbing Clinic led by one of the most talented climbers in the country, Monique Forestier. Monique is noted for being the first woman in Australia to climb routes graded 31 to 33 (still few men can climb at that level). But most of all she is also a mother and a very inspiring person!

An Incredible Opportunity

I wanted to take a clinic with an experienced personal trainer for a while but the costs are in general quite high and I did not had the chance to meet the right person. My mum being a gym owner (and a fitness athlete… that’s another story), I basically grew up in a training environment and I know better than anyone else that you need to “click” with your personal trainer to improve. Of course, there is a lot of self-discipline involved but at first you need to trust your personal trainer and believe in his/her capacities to take you where you want to go. I had many personal trainers in my life and never found the right person. Some were good, some were bad but I just never found what was right for me. Also, it is important to find the right person for the right sport. When I saw that Climb Fit was offering a clinic with Monique I went literally crazy and instantly enrolled; I mean that was the chance to be taught by one of the best climbers in the world! If she could not give me good tricks to improve my climbing who could?

What was missing?

I have been training hard basically all my life. A one-time gymnast and dancer, up to recently I was also a long distance runner but had to stop due to a knee injury. I love the act of training hard, the muscles burning, the discipline it requires to achieve your goal. But, being new to rock climbing I admit I had no clue how to train in order to get better. Should I do push-ups and chin-ups and if yes how many? And what after my body gets use to it? What are the best exercises I can do in a minimum of time to improve when I am at the gym and not on the wall? Fortunately all of those questions were answered during the clinic with Monique.

There was some climbing techniques involved and a good chat about various topics like fear of falling, leading and good communication with your belayer. But most of all she showed us how to train efficiently. I particularly enjoyed the bouldering exercises section, as I do not always have a partner when I go to the gym and am sometimes limited to the weight lifting gym and the boulder wall. She encouraged us to boulder and most of all be consistent in our training.

I want more!

I can’t tell you enough how inspiring that woman is and I felt lucky to be there. Listening to Monique’s advice and following her career from afar definitely makes me want to push myself more. The clinic was a great experience. Monique is such a generous person and it was amazing to have my questions addressed by an experienced climber. Taking that clinic was one of the most educational things I have done in climbing so far and I can’t wait to take another one – perhaps on the rock this time? I can’t wait to start my training program and work on my weaknesses. To get the motivation I even set myself a goal to achieve before the end of March; go outside, face my fear of falling and lead a good and fun 20 grade route. It’s written now…

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