I started rock climbing in 1997 when I was 21 years old. I started climbing in the gym before I ventured outside top-roping and sport climbing a year later. Now I’m a dad, a husband and a massage therapist but I still love to climb and plan to climb for the rest of my life.
My step brother introduced me to gym climbing when I was 21 and I fell in love right away. It was like I finally found the answer to the meaning of my life. As I started venturing outside top-roping then sport climbing everything else in my life started to fade away. I slowly phased out my mountain biking and quite karate and ju-jitsu. I brought yoga into my life a few years later, only because a friend and climbing partner suggested that it would help improve my climbing. I have had to take time off from my climbing; moving around, injuries, massage therapy school and babies have all taken me away from climbing for periods of time but I have always come back to it.
Now that I’m a family man my climbing focus has changed. I spend a lot of time teaching my children to climb and helping and encouraging my wife to improve her skill and experience. I take the whole family up multi-pitch trad climbs and we do day trips up to Rattle Snake Point to top-rope. My youngest daughter was four when we did our first family trip up to Bon Echo National park, a 300 foot multi-pitch trad climb craig. I do get out climbing without my family, I train once or twice a week at Grand River Rock, I get out to Mount Nemo a few times a year and up to Bon Echo a handful of times. When I’m climbing with my family I`m patient, encouraging and methodical. When I’m out with `the boys` we like to climb hard and push our limits.
My training as a massage therapist has been a great help to my climbing. When I injure myself I know what to do to get myself back climbing as quick as possible. I know right away if I should use heat or ice, when to stretch or rest or just push through. It use to take me a week or more to get a solid answer as to handle an injury, now I start with the right course of treatment right away. But even better I know what to do to stay healthy and reduce the risk of injuring myself. Proper stretching, training supporting muscles, better posture, proper rest periods and hydrotherapy all keep me strong, flexible and limber to me keep climbing and training hard.
I find that my massage therapy clients who rock climb gain specific benefits. Aside from the fact that most of the injuries a climber will come into me for I have had and can relate to, I have also done the research for my own climbing injuries so I’m up to date regarding climbing injuries. I also know the lingo. I know what a crimp is, I know what a jug is and I know the dynamics of a layback and roof climbing. Communicating the specifics of an injury is often difficult between a client and their therapist. Trying to descried a climbing injury to a hockey player is like speaking a different language, and vice versa. I have experience with many different clients with many different injuries related to many different sports and professions but it’s the climbers that I know understand the best.
Climbing has been part of my life for a long time. It has permeated the rest of my life, family and work. I might not be the best climber but I have a lot of experience and have a lot of fun with it. I hope to continue growing my climbing experience and I hope to share my knowledge by helping as many people as I can with their climbing.
By Jeremy Bissonnette
Link to me on Google+ at +Kitchener Massage Therapy