...and bloody hell I didn't know it was possible to get THIS weak!! I should have paid more attention to The Path Of Weakness when I was hanging around with Duncan Disorderly... I've been out climbing a couple of times in Scotland and it feels any progress I'd previously made has been swamped by the logistical mess I'm trying to sort out moving to Glasgow, and the subsequent distressing lack of climbing and training.
The mind is willing, the desire is strong, but the flesh is oh so weak - or more like, oh so unfit. I'm getting unfeasibly pumped on routes I would have considered beneath my dignity as gentle warm-ups a few months ago, and have ended up slumped on a rope or collapsed at the top of a route, hyperventilating with exhaustion on a few occasions. When I'm nauseous with the pump and my vision goes funny on a slabby F6a+ (do grades really go that low??), there is definitely something wrong. And this wrongness is definitely down to my legs and the aftermath of the DVT clots (steep walk-ins are still a multipitch affair), and it is becoming clear that I am hanging on to what little fitness I've regained by a thin thread. I obviously need to keep up with exercise and realise what a long and uphill journey (although I'll stick to flatter walk-ins) lies ahead.
However, there is some hope. This situation is fairly reminiscent of when I broke my foot in summer 2005 and was hobbling back to fitness in the autumn - about the same time as now I was struggling just as hard on routes just as easy... And over winter, I trained, got my strength back, climbed well in early spring and then started my best climbing years ever in that next spring. This time, regaining CV fitness might be a lot harder, but my summer climbing experiences have been a bit more consistent, I've got several years more climbing "wisdom" (yes, really!) and I'm in an area with a better choice of mileage routes (in 2005 I ended up going to Clwyd limestone for a long weekend's mileage....Glen Nevis or Gairloch are somewhat more appealing choices!).
And of course, there's a follow on motto to this blog title:
You can't have fun when you're weak...
...But the great thing about being weak is you can get STRONG!