What a Summer!

21st Aug 2008

Since my last blog, it’s been a fairly action packed time, in the rain!!

We made a good move deciding to head down to the Unleashed festival on Friday 8th. The weather was fab and Groove Armada were awesome. Such a good night of music, especially when a 6’4” guy decided to put me up on his shoulders, so I could get a better view. It was amazing to see everything from up there, a sea of people all moving in unison along to the beats and the cool lightshow. They finished with Superstylin’ which of course everybody had been waiting for, so the crowd went mad. The energy was amazing and you just had to dance, a brilliant way to end the night.

Unfortunately, the forecast was right and the weather crapped out. We had some ok days but the wind was omnipresent and rain was never far away. Ali’s (my sister) Tesco tent put in a sterling effort by withstanding the gale force winds at night, along with torrential downpours but in the end the tent really wouldn’t have lasted another day, so we packed up and left.

We did manage to body board, which was great as the waves were pretty good and you could have a fun time. It was a shame that it was just on the chilly side though, as we never really felt warm. In fact most of the time we were damp and shivery.

But along with many other families, we tried to make the most of the British summertime but the mass exodus took place last Wednesday.

Back in the Chew Valley (Bristol area), we carried on the holiday. Going to the local ski slope, Ali and I skied, which was hilarious as we hadn’t done it for about 15-20 years but surprisingly it came back pretty quick. Oh to be on snow…but I’m not going to wish the warm weather away yet (if it ever comes!)

Then we went rowing on the river Avon near Bath, which was good fun. It’s always nice getting to grips with water, especially as a climber, you’re always trying to avoid it. I realise when I do things in the sea etc just how much I love it.

So now I’m back in Sheff and trying to get back to normality. Went climbing at the Foundry on Tuesday, which was a bit of a shock to the system. I seem to have lost most of my endurance. Which isn’t surprising, as I haven’t done any training for this at all this year, partly due to my elbow problems. So with my endurance levels lower than normal anyway, there aren’t any reserves to fall back on. It’s not very nice climbing when you are under par and does feel demoralising. But I just need to get my head round it and get on the training treadmill to get things back up to speed.

Also went to Curbar yesterday, which was a nice day out. Pretty chilly but no rain. I mainly did stuff I’d done before but did have a toprope on ‘The shape of things to come’. It’s a really nice route, the climbing isn’t desperate but the gear is quite low and I’m not sure I would like to lead it. It’s one of those routes I’d probably have done in my earlier days but I value life a bit more now and haven’t got anything to prove. It’s the sort of thing where you probably won’t fall off but one little mistake and things could be pretty nasty. Anyway, it’s fun to do some good climbing.

I’m also trying to work out a bit of a life plan. Having not got the BMC job anymore, I need more in my life and something to get my teeth into, so I am looking at various options at the moment. In a way life is exciting because there are so many options and things to do but it’s also quite daunting. I’m sure things will become clearer for me over the coming weeks.

Anyway, hoping to get out this evening but the rain has arrived, so it might be a bit of an indoor sess.

Lastly, with regards my elbow injury, it’s really improved A LOT. I think it’s pretty much back to normal, which is a great relief to me. Compared with about 6 months ago where it was so bad that climbing just wasn’t possible. At those times you just can’t believe it will ever get better. But I got acupuncture from a guy called Simon Cockman at The Stillpoiint Practice in Sheffield and it really does seemed to have worked. Obviously, I was doing other things alongside but that’s what you have to do with injuries. I don’t think just approaching it with one remedy will work long term.

So that’s cool. I just need to watch my intensity indoors. As I am quite keen to train but if I overdo it, the injury will reoccur for sure.