Focus and Determination by Mayan Smith-Gobat

We’re proud to have Mayan as one of our Gnarly athletes. Besides being one of the world’s top female climbers, she’s also just a phenomenally amazing person who loves to travel and give us some insight on her ‘day job’ for us folk stuck behind a desk. Here’s her latest update from her blog,, which is a great way to get motivated to put some adventure in your life. Thanks, Mayan!

No pain, no gain, that’s the theory right?!

I hope that is true, because I have been pushing my body harder than ever before and existing in a state of perma-tiredness… Getting up at 5 or 6am every morning to train in the cool morning hours and make the most of the day… My training cycle has involved grueling circuits, sprint intervals, long hill runs, tread-wall sessions and a LOT of climbing. Completing this cycle has required a huge amount of energy and focus, and I have even been relishing my few rest days more than ever before…

preparing to set another route on the treadwall, with my faithful helper, Thanks Rowan!Preparing to set another route on the treadwall, with my faithful helper, Thanks Rowan!

I have to thanks Rob Pizem for putting together such an awesome and demanding program for me! I have found myself loving having a plan to stick to and I feel like both my body and mind have thrived on the routine it has created in my relatively random life.  I have always enjoyed pushing my body to its limits… So training has just become another more thorough and structured way of seeing how much my body can handle. Now, after five weeks of training it is exciting to see how well my is responding and the progress I am getting in my climbing, overall fitness and strength. Even when I am exhausted, I have been performing better than ever before! It makes me realize (once again) how much room I still have progress and learn in this sport.

Sampling a new route on the top tier at Redstein, near Carbondale, CO. Photo: Duane RaleighSampling a new route on the top tier at Redstein, near Carbondale, CO.
Photo: Duane Raleigh

Surprisingly, I have actually managed to follow through with this program to the end, and combined it with climbing in as many different places as I can around the Grand Junction region. Attempting onsight as much as possible and do large numbers of pitches in a day, rather than get sucked into working on one route, as I normally would. I climbed in Rifle, the Puoux, played on the alpine granite up on Mt Evans, and locally in Unaweep. And I even made it out to the Black Canyon for a day, but unfortunately it was still a little on the warm side!

Climbing in the Black Canyon with GregClimbing (and sweating a lot!) in the Black Canyon with Greg… The river looked so inviting!

In this way I have managed to get a much higher volume of climbing in and kept my focus on training for my goals in Yosemite! It has been great to be based in one place for a month, it has helped me regain my focus and drive. In a few days I am off to Germany to attend the Adidas Rockstars Comp, then to the Valley!

Thanks to everyone here for welcoming me into the community, and all my sponsors for believing in me and helping me follow my dreams! Gnarly Nutrition, Five Ten, Adidas, Petzl, Stirling, Joshua Tree Skin Care and Em’s Power Cookies.

Joel P

Joel P

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