The Summer (of sport) has arrived!

1st Aug 2012

The Summer (of sport) has arrived! Funky Sheffield graffiti new bed web

Spent a few hours at Lincoln Cathedral yesterday, it was nice to be back there and was the first time since we filmed there for Climbing Great Buildings almost exactly two years ago. And funnily enough it was for the BBC again. Tim and I were meeting up with some of the production crew on a BBC 2 programme, to do a recce on some rigging they are looking into for their presenter. It’ll be quite a similar rig to what we did on CGB, so should be fun and I’ll be behind the camera this time, which will be more relaxing! If they decide to go for it, we’ll be doing it in a couple of weeks.

The last few weeks have been full of physio, kids, van sewing, vomiting and the Olympics. My left shoulder that had the operation is slowly progressing. It’s now been exactly 9 weeks and still no climbing unfortunately. I’ve got to wait another 6 weeks until I can start again. It’s been quite difficult I have to admit, it’s a long period not to climb and maintain your focus on the physio especially 3 times a day and it does take up a lot of time too. Also, I don’t seem to be seeing big improvements, so I really wonder whether it’s making any difference. But I’ll just keep plugging away with it and just hope that by the end of it my range of movement and strength are back to normal because they definitely aren’t at the mo. My right shoulder was diagnosed with an MRI as having a longitudinal tear of the supraspinatus. This became painful in February (I have no idea what caused it) but it was very painful and getting dressed was hard work, trying to throw sticks (!) and sleeping on it was painful. But what with my broken leg and my left shoulder, it wasn’t my top focus. But I did manage to get referred for an MRI and thankfully it wasn’t another SLAP tear as they thought, so I have various physio exercises to do on the right too and it seems to be helping. So in a way, thankfully I’m not climbing and can concentrate on the rehab…although I do wonder whether the not climbing has

  1. Either caused the problem or
  2. The muscles I have lost due to inactivity were shading a problem that may have existed for a while,

Whichever, it’s been very puzzling and it seems a very strange thing to occur especially as I was on crutches at the time.


I am feeling a bit sorry for myself at the moment, luck just hasn’t been on my side this year, with all the injuries and breaks. Then two weeks ago I caught a really nasty bout of gastroenteritis. I don’t normally suffer from stomach bugs and I really don’t think I’ve ever been this ill before. Without going into too much detail, I spent a whole night emptying my body of all solids and fluids from every orifice. It was a horrible experience but thankfully the sickness etc didn’t last longer than 24 hours. Unfortunately, because my internals were so traumatised I have been left feeling very ill. I underestimated how depleted my body was and got back to normal life and eating my usual diet of high fibre foods possibly too quickly. It became obvious when Tim and I went down to Bristol to look after my sister Ali’s kids, I just felt very ill all the time and incredibly tired. I had wanted to go off camping with them and do ‘fun stuff’ but felt so bad I had to ring NHS direct to get some advice. I had a nurse who was incredibly helpful and I have followed her advice to the letter and it has helped dramatically. Basically, I cant’ eat any high fibre foods, so no veg or fruit for me for a while which is very strange and just feels wrong. So I’m limited to very bland foods like potatoes, toast, white rice etc and have to take it easy. It’s boring but I feel so much better and she said it’ll be a couple of weeks until I can get back to normal. Who’d have a thought a night of sickness and diarrhoea could cause this much trouble?

Personally, I think because I’ve been in hospital so much this year and been pumped full of anti-biotics, that my immune system and especially the ‘good’ bacteria in my digestive system have been severely depleted. And that’s why my body has really been knocked for six by this bug. So once I’m recovered I may try to reintroduce some pro-biotics but have heard it can make you feel a bit rough for a while, I’ll see if I am brave enough!

Someone else who’s had some bad luck recently is Shauna Coxsey. I’ve been eagerly watching her amazing progress in the World Cup bouldering comps, where she’s doing GB proud and is lying in an incredible 2nd place but unfortunately she broke her leg the other day bouldering in Switzerland. Well I know how gutting that feels but for her she only had one comp left and I’m guessing that missing the last one will affect her overall ranking for this year. Bad luck Shauna but at least she’s young only 18 or 19, so she’ll recover quick and be back before she knows it.

Finally, I got a little creative (little being the key word there, I’m not known for my artistry unfortunately) and sewed a load of new van covers for our seating/bed area.

I’m pretty pleased with it as it’s a nice job to have finished and the van now looks almost complete, it did take me a week mind you but luckily I have some time on my hands at the moment- wish I didn’t though. It does give you a chance to do things you wouldn’t normally do, so not a bad thing.

Enjoyed some amazing 30 degree weather down Bristol way last week, even got a slight tan but now back to the drizzle in Sheff. At least it gives me an excuse to watch the Olympics. I can’t say how much I’m enjoying it and really wish I had got some of the tickets I applied for. It also makes me want to see climbing in, it could possibly happen for 2020. Way too late for me though, I would have dearly loved to compete in an Olympics and just watching all the competitors at the moment really highlights that. Even though competitions weren’t my main focus, I did really enjoy them and if the Olympics had been a realistic goal, then maybe my focus would’ve been that for a period. Anyway, I’m hoping for the future generations that it will get in, it would be incredible to see climbing there.


Come on TEAM GB!!!!!