Monday, 10 May 2010

Enter your zone

Forget what you think you know about where your limits are. Climb without guides. Climb often. Climb happy.

After 9 days of climbing in Siurana and 3 weeks of evening and weekend craging back home in North Wales I am feeling in the best form I have ever experienced. The last two sessions out on rock have totally blown apart the last remains of what I thought was impossible and what I thought was required to achieve personal progression.

I’ve typed about it before and each time I get a little closer to understanding it fully. There really are no limits. Everyone is on an even playing field. We have the same tools, it’s what we do with them that makes the difference.

Friday I had an awesome breakthrough on holds, moves and a route that I previously sacked off and considered impossible. Sunday I had another similar experience on another hard route that I had looked at in the past but considered physically un-doable for me. After aiding up the route to place the draws and brushing the holds, I lowered off, pulled the rope down, tied in and gave it a lead attempt – no expectations, no hopes – just because everything else was busy. I was planning on working one of the many moves I couldn’t do and settling in for a long term project. Without really thinking about it I began bearing down and snatching up the poor holds and steepness… clip, clip, clip, clip. Before long I had climbed through the 8a section and clipped the last draw before the chains. I was chalking up on the rest before the final stiff pull through the crux of a 7b+ that the route joins. I don’t wait long – I expected nothing and have nothing to loose, I launch into the sequence, hike my feet, commit and … my right hand blows out of the wet hand hold. I sail back through the air looking up at the last hold. Only then I realise what I had done and hear the shouts of the people who had stopped to watch. Shit!!!! But I don’t tick 8a’s first redpoint attempt – do I? Why the hell not?!?! I had it!! YES!!!! I can have this anytime!!! Woo hoo!!! I get to climb it again!! That felt amazing!!! I need to focus.

Seeing Caroline working her projects during the past few weeks has given me a kick in the arse. Some days they go smoothly and others it seems like every hold is just a tiny bit too small or far away. Yet she keeps trying and making progress, even if it’s only a new clipping position or finding a different way to hold a piece of rock. From the belayers perspective it’s clear that the ability is there and every move can be climbed so naturally it’s only a case of waiting for a magic moment when it all comes together. But I can see Caroline sometimes doubting if it’s even possible for her some evenings. Obviously it is – and more! I suffer from those same thoughts too… but the beauty of doubt is that it’s very nature insists on there being a possibility of success! From now on, if the move can be done at all – even if it’s only once every hundred tries – I’ll send the route.

Redpointing is all about staying motivated through the hard days and milking any improvements or success’s. Use them to fuel your psyche during the drought periods of repeated failure and fatigue – every moment spent on holds or moving between them your body is assimilating the route – believe. So heres my to do list for the next few weeks out in the open…

Elite Syncopations 8a
Gwennan 8a+
El Rincon 8a+

After payday in a few weeks time I should be able to afford diesel and want to play down at LPT some more… at which point my to do list may well change!


Lee said...

Definitely! Awesome post.

Dave said...

Cheers dude!

A testing evening at the crag today - falling off the surprise route again above all the hard climbing! Keep smiling and enjoying the process....