Well now.... I've been motivated! Anyone who knows me will know thats not too hard to do, and actually I'm usually The motivated person pacing the base of a wet crag convinced it'll dry - well this was different. I've been in a bit of a slump, climbing wise lately. No rock since one wet day in Wicklow over Christmas and I've not even had that much rock last year due to money matters and changing careers etc...
All the while this has been going on I've been keeping up a steady base of running so for the first time in my life i am less unfit than most people! Actually it has always been a kind of underlying goal to wipe the slate clean one year, put my climbing on the back-burner and tear myself down to the basic frame - I figured i had progressed much further than a fat, weak-boy should have really and it was time to change things and start building some specific strength ontop of a fit, healthy frame.
Well, its hard to see where you're at sometimes when your head is slumped on your chest wallowing in self pitty and moaning about how little climbing you've done lately. At times like that it seems every email and news item i read is about all my mates climbing everything in sight and ticking silly grades - Panic! But fear not, all i neaded was a wake-up!
Whilst waiting around one evening, idlely surfing, i came across and watched a Dave McLeod vid clip of him sending "Pressure", a font 8b problem up at dumbarton, Scotland ( http://www.planetfear.com/film_detail.asp?f_id=43 ) ... over 100 days working one problem?!?! 4 winters!! Why didn't this click with me before?? I've never worked anything for more than an hour or two! I've never even redpointed a route properly in my life! PLUS I've spent that last year running my legs off and now finally have a decent base frame to build on... I am exactly where i wanted to be... And need a Goal!
I've climbed some pretty respectable things through sheer want and drive up untill now. I've always pushed myself to the edge of my abilities and managed to hang on. What could i achieve if i was actually fit to climb? I need a goal and i need to write it down so i cant avoid it! 8a for starters, anything with an 8 in it infact - trad aswell. Not that i want to turn it into a numbers game ... I just want to push myself - properly. I want to use these numbers as a bench mark to gauge where im at and hopefully help myself develop. Last september i took a brief trip to Siurana and then moved onto Ceuse when Caroline had to go to Turkey for the World Mountain running Champs. We hadn't climbed all year but in Ceuse I could work the 7c+s in Demilune to the chains no problems in quarter of an hour... but i had no stamina, i was soft to the pump. Thats gotta change. Thats my Goal.... now, how am i gonna do it?