God I am boring at the moment. No celebratory tales, no semi-amusing anecdotes, no entirely-serious ethical ranting, no photos, no videos, not even any animals. Sorry. It's fairly representative though. I suppose I should have got a photo of the chunky hardback-sized quartz jug I pulled off The Hill, but I forgot and I didn't even take an exciting whipper.
So in the absence of amusing, I have been musing. And the conclusion is that I need to deal with the matter - the matter that matters being regaining the pleasure, and application of inspiration, in my climbing, preferably by doing it well and regaining my confidence and climbing energy.
An obvious choice to regain confidence but there is a slight technical hitch that I am not inspired for mileage (which can tread perilously close to the anathema that is "climbing for the sake of it"), compared to my passion for specific challenges. So I need to acknowledge what is available and try to get syked for it. The more I can do, the more diverse rock types I can keep my hand in on, the better...
Glen Coe Roadside
Aberdeen Area (Black Dyke, Newtonmore, Little O, etc)
Glen Clova Doonies
Souter / Fast Castle
Northumberland / Northern Lakes:
Whilst pondering of the powerlessness I felt on Saturday, I had the minor epiphany that although I have kept up with the training to maintain the season's previously great start, I haven't been doing it nearly hard nor comprehensively enough. For example, I felt pretty good and strong bouldering over winter, and my first few trips out on a rope, I was finding the moves pretty steady - which makes sense. It also makes sense that having only trained circuits and the occasional route session since then, I have lost a lot of strength and power. I suspect it's similar with falling practice - I've made the mistake of once it's started working where it matters (i.e. outdoor trad), I've stopped training it. But even more than strength, I am always so far behind with that aspect of climbing I need to keep training it even when it seems to be working. So:
Strength / power:
Keep at it. It might not be Scottish Winter Bouldering Season any more, but I still need some for the routes I'm inspired by. Mix up my indoor stamina sessions with indoor strength sessions. Take a brush, liquid chalk, anti-hydral, to stop my skin getting too sore and allow me to keep pulling hard, and have short regular sessions if skin gets too sore. Accept failure and current weakness as a need / path for improvement. Only go for "gentle" sessions if I'm wrecked or definitely have a big day out the next day.
Stamina / endurance:
Keep up with the circuits / indoor routes, and try to focus on doing them slower and calmer with deliberate recovery and shaking out where possible.
Mind / confidence:
Falling practice. I just had to look up which out of practice/practise was correct, so I better fucking do it.
Keep up with gym / running and not shy away from walk-ins. I've done okay with walk-ins recently, I'm certainly no worse than usual (although never going to get any better), so that's some reassurance.
Enough said. I've had low periods before and worked through them. This will be the same.