20 August 2014

Ready?

So, we went to Font - go and read the last post, from Bryn, it hasn't had nearly enough hits. Go on, I'll wait.

...

Okay, all Font-ed up? I hope so. So we went to Font, and then I had about a month off with my dodgy shoulder. That sucked. I've started climbing again (though I haven't gone back to see Charlotte, my physiotherapist, since the month off, and the shoulder still twinges. And this all still sucks. That I haven't seen Charlotte sucks, that the shoulder still twinges sucks, and oddly, somehow, the climbing kind of sucks. Why is that? Well, following Font is a toughie - it's a place of wonder, and under Bryn's new-to-Font enthusiastic guidance, we made good sport of it. Also, a month off does indeed take the wind out of your sails - climbing breeds climbing, it seems. And a lot of the gang seem to be away for the summer, or moving house, so while it can be a solitary experience if you want it to be, a thriving social scene doesn't hurt.

All that said, the last couple of sessions have been good for me. Both at Almscliffe, both inspired by recent Communal Climber Mike, in that I've followed him up ticks that I probably wouldn't have thought to do otherwise. I believe Mike got them both in one night, when I was there but doing nothing more than documenting the experience on Twitter. I followed up over two occasions. First, the Postman. Postman Plus, or Postman High, I suppose. I'd found myself up about the Postman for some scrambly reason, and I looked down on the extra few moves and thought it doable (well, Mike had done it, so...). And it was. And it was pretty much fine, possibly just one precarious moment in which a transition was balanced as if on a pommel. But a pleasing tick all the same. Next up was Flying Arete. Wait, no, sorry - it was a rock near Flying Arete, which was just the landmark. Opposite side of the path. Delicate start for all limbs, reachy moves in order to get established, but then some nice meaty holds to progress and polish it off. Both of these climbs were pretty much highballs rather than overtly technical, but very satisfying all the same.

Tonight we're due at Hunter's Stones and Norwood, where I need to revisit a problem that was bread and butter for everyone else last year, but managed to consistently defeat me. I owe it, big time. That I'm wearing the wrong trousers, well, I'll have to do what I can.

But here's the thing - I think I'm ready to go back inside. I know Mr Prince will make a show of misliking this (and I'll be keeping an archive of this post in case he gets delete-happy), but I need to be able to throw myself at problem after problem after problem. I need tunes blaring in the background. I need free pizza. I need bouldering leagues. I need gangs of climbers to banter and engage with. I need that to get my head back in the game. I need to go back inside so that I can relish getting back outside. This is ever the cycle for me, accentuated by the long shadow cast by Font - and I need something that has a little more distance in the comparison to help me reset.

Hopefully Hunter's tonight will do some good - a slightly bigger crowd than recent weeks, a good sunset with any luck, and revenge on that problem. Beyond that, over the coming weeks and months, I'll see you inside. And once I'm reset, I'll be looking to drag you back out on the rock with me.

From Hetchell, last week, where I didn't do any climbing.

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