Should You Be Trapped in a Basement

Yes. And if you are already, congratulations, because it means that you are serious about a non-productive activity, and a certain class of non-productve activity – an obsessive devotion. Not a hobby, hobbies can happen in a den and earn their keep. Hobbies are spare time things, to be set aside when they become inconvenient.  I don’t mean hobbies, I mean all those things for which the term ‘amateur’ was devised and were the reason why, in sport,  that term used to define the Olympics. Obsessive devotions will eat you up and must go in the basement, or sometimes a garage.

Anyway, for all those amateur mechanics, body builders, musicians, inventors and artists, I have no advice. For climbers, though, I can say exactly what to do should you be trapped in a basement. 

First, pick the right basement. It should be grim. No windows, no decor, it should be a concrete box if at all possible. Flourescent lighting, at least in the form of fixtures with tubes, is out. A single, bare bulb will do. A single door is best, too. It ought to lock from the inside. People should wonder what is going on down there. Wild fantasies keep people away on the front side, and compare favorably with reality if need be.

Not perfect, but close.

Fill the room only with training devices which pose an eminent risk of harm. Use free weights, no machines. You need at least one campus board. If you have a bouldering wall, pad the L.Z. with the minimum cushioning required to prevent fractures. Any Russian training device you come upon, buy it and put it in the room. They have had the world’s biggest basement for over 100 years, they have what you need. For instance, a bottle of garlic pickled in vodka may help to see you through moments of weakness.

You will need a ferret, or other small, vicious animal. Let it run free to control vermin. It will keep you company without being too chatty. Ferrets are best because they also provide a good moral lesson. Once they struggle to consciousness for their four waking hours per day, they have a pure focus on destruction. Animals ten times their size rightfully fear them.

Training secrets

With this basement, you can train at 4AM or midnight. You won’t want to linger. You won’t need some meathead in a campaign hat, or worse, spandex tights, to keep you moving. Lose focus and you will crush a toe, break an arm or get bitten.  When you can finally bust out to climb outside, you won’t need a warm-up, you will be ready to send.

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