The student news website of Omaha Central High School

Senior rock-climber excels in an uncommon sport

November 16, 2018

Michael Pavel is a senior who has been perfecting his rock-climbing skill for the past three and a half years. He travels cross-country to compete at competitions and has devoted much of his life to the sport.
Since the opening of the local gym, Pavel has been a dedicated member which has driven his success. The guidance of his coach John Faist has helped him to become one of, if not the best climber in his division. “The two competitions I’ve been to this year so far, I’ve won by a large margin” Pavel said, “so I’m still training hard every day to keep that up”.
Through frequent intense training sessions at Approach and the dedication that comes with being a climber, he has prepared for many competitions locally and throughout the country. “My coach put me on extensive training for the whole summer” Pavel said, “I’m at the gym every day”.
Through this dedication, Pavel has made himself prominent at Approach. He sets climbing routes for the gym and attends members-only events frequently.
Although he enjoys the movement and strength required for climbing, the only reward he earns is one day off before his competitions. “Pretty much all I get from climbing is being able to climb a lot harder” Pavel said.
He has developed his overall strength through strenuous workouts that range from climbing-specific workouts with short breaks to grip strength training where he can sometimes only use a portion of his finger pad to hold him up.
This training has resulted in a lot of success for Pavel, yet he feels that this will be the year he finally makes it to nationals. Last year he placed 8th in divisionals and missed the cutoff for nationals by a tenth of a point. “That really boosted my thought process because I knew I had to get stronger” Pavel said.
Although tendon injuries have affected him slightly, he is confident in his ability to make it to nationals this year which will be held in Oregon in January. His coach has served as an inspiration to him throughout his training process. “He’s just overall one of the best people I have ever met” Pavel said “he is definitely one of my role models”.
To prepare for competitions Pavel stops climbing a few days before and completes easier workouts to prepare. “I eat like seven eggs the morning of the competition” Pavel said. His diet proves to be strict, yet his dedication to the sport overshadows his desire for any processed foods.
Next year, Pavel will be too old for the youth division but plans to coach the team and continue climbing. “Coaches are very knowledgeable about movement and how the body works” Pavel said. With his intense commitment to and knowledge of the sport, it won’t be challenging for him to take on a coaching role.
Overall, Pavel’s motivation has brought him to a place of great distinction in the local and national climbing community. “Winning puts me in perspective to other people” Pavel said, “I don’t necessarily want to be number one, I just want to be the best I can be”.

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