Sunday, 24 May 2015

Half-time Score.

Climbing failures : 7 - 1 : Fiend

From my New Year's resolution list:

Have many more trips abroad. - complete fail.
None at all, none planned, feel pretty shit about this. Most of my climbing partners ask me if I've got any trips planned, I mumble a bit about "dunno" "not been organised" and feel like a dick.

Climb South of the border. - partial success.
I've done a bit, in fact most of my trips away, but still not really been to the places I really want to go, nor done the sort of climbing I really want to do. Call it a draw.

Keep training throughout the year - wall, gym, active rest. - partial success.
I've done some of this, and had my best roped successes at Ratho *CRINGE*, but also haven't kept up enough with fitness training nor therapy for my impinged shoulder, another draw.

Do more stretching. - complete fail.
None at all. Really need to do it more than ever, and really suck at motivating myself to do.

Try falling practise on gear outdoors. - complete fail.
None at all. Done some indoors but still feel scared and non-committal outdoors and need to cure that.

Get going earlier in the morning. - complete fail.
Getting even worse at this. Sleeping badly and sluggish. Missed out on entire days due to this let alone just a few hours of extra climbing.

Start more trips in the evening to be ready the next day. - complete fail.
Nope. Rubbish at this too.

Make clearer and firmer plans esp. with disorganised partners. - fail.
Nope. Missed enough days out and really feeling the minimalness of my climbing scene.

You could add "Climb well and really enjoy my climb as I usually do" to that list and get a "complete fail" too, although that's intrinsically linked to most of the above, especially the venues, exploration, and organisation.

So what have I done??

Bouldered overall better than ever over winter - success.
Deadlifting 2XBW personal best - success.
Run 20 mins / 2 miles continually with fuck all venous return - success.
Flashed Ratho F7a+ thrice in a week - success.

Taken out of context, those are pretty enjoyable and quite satisfying things. Taken in the context of myself and my desires they are somewhat overwhelmed by what I haven't done and what I'm not doing...

¿Still not sure of a way out of this rut?

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Wrong place, wrong time

Edit: Yes I know this is a shit blog post. I'm just trying to get it out of my head, God knows it's crowded enough in there already.

So far this is definitely becoming my worst trad season climbing since, well, 2011. Except I was climbing okay then, it was just the weather being almost continuously appalling between the start of May and November. Okay, so worst trad season since 2009. Except I'd only just recovered from an elbow injury then. Okay, 2008. Except that's when I actually had the elbow injury. So the worst for many years then. I've done a lot of good climbs in those intervening years, but not in this one yet. I've perfectly timed a blend of apathy, tiredness, fear and ill-confidence when the weather was good, and a reasonable amount of motivation and determination when it's been bad. I took advantage of the latter by training stamina quite well, now I am bored of that. Training is fun but it's training for something and without that something it loses it's appeal rapidly.

Throw in terrible motivation, worse organisation, utter disinterest in the little remaining local climbing, bad habits and persistent laziness, and stir it in to a vicious circle of low energy, and that's where I am now. Not the best place for a dedicated climber.

There is an inherent sense of wrongness about this for me, I haven't been abroad for over a year, I haven't explored much this year, I haven't got to grips with pushing myself - and I genuinely do miss the experience of being challenged and enjoying the journey of working it all out, and I haven't got any inspiring plans other than a weather-and-driving-scuppered "Go to Wales loads". It all feels like the wrong place at the wrong time. Scotland is great but I miss the vast amount of options available down South, both local and weekendable (God, and I used to think I'd "climbed out" the gritstone when I was down there, I should have been more grateful for 4 guidebooks of local stuff rather than half of one.) and I miss the wider-ranging climbing community and options for climbing partners. I was chatting to someone who is fully immersed in the mid-grade trad scene down there about his success getting a last minute partner....

"Easy when the weather's so good!"
 More like:

"Easy when the weather's so good and you live somewhere within on a few hours drive of loads of climbing areas and on the doorstep to many more and have built up a large circle of enthusiastic climbing partners".
Not to dismiss my good climbing friends up here, but they are quite literally few and far between, and when I sometimes get in a rut and don't communicate and organise well, I rapidly run out of options.

So anyway I am revising the North Wales Rock and Meirionydd and new Langdale guides time after time and even some of the Yorkshire Grit ones too, and not getting anything actually done - the vast amounts of positive inspiration bubbling and seething in the discordant brew that is my mental state, hopefully it will dissolve like a good strong espresso hit and overwhelm the milky blandness of apathy and negativity.

In the meantime, I have quite enjoyed going to Ratho, and I've worked out another cunning plan of trying to be less of a massive gaylord outside - warming up on the occasional local sport route redpointing session (my minimal interest in local climbing) by falling on every single bolt as part of the dogging up. A small idea but anything might help.