Jumping for joy? Hmm, read more to find out...
It would be accurate to say that I have had my fair share of accidents over the years; in fact you could even go so far as to say that I am somewhat accident-prone. I would vehemently deny this of course but unfortunately the list of broken bones don’t lie...and 4 weeks ago another minor fracture became an addition to that ever increasing list (more later!)
During the first few years of my climbing life, I totted up quite a few accidents and breaks. I was young and I guess fairly reckless and I was pushing myself, sometimes beyond my capabilities--I learnt the hard way that this wasn’t the best way forward. Fortunately, nothing too debilitating occurred and I recovered after time off to be able to come back into climbing. These accidents did take their toll mentally though and they made me safer but taught me about consequences and that the ground is pretty painful. So my ‘good-head’ became a slightly more cautious ‘good-head’.
My ‘accident-prone’ days seemed over having had no major mishaps for about fifteen year; until a couple of years ago, when I broke my leg quite badly (I’m still wondering how I can get the titanium plate removed, as there is something niggling inside that tells me it shouldn’t be in inserted in my bone for the rest of my life, it just seems wrong somehow). This also coincided with an operation on my shoulder, taking yet more months of rehab and now just as I am really getting back into my climbing, I’ve cracked a rib!!
OK, it’s certainly not life threatening or even vaguely serious but it is incredibly annoying. So I have had a frustrating last four weeks with various trips to A&E because of related problems such as debilitating muscle spasms etc, that have meant climbing has yet again been curtailed. Ironically, the ‘accident’ happened on an indoor climbing wall because my ‘cautious good-head’ forgot it was meant to be cautious! I was climbing on the comp wall at Awesome Walls and I’d just onsighted a f7c that went through the roof (I think this route was a final route from a military comp that had just happened) and so was feeling pretty confident. So then I got on a f7b+ next to it and got ensconced in the roof again. I was immediately very extended and realised that I couldn’t take a hand off to clip, so instead of backing down, I opted to push on and miss the clip. By this point I was nearly ten foot into the roof without a clip and the only way I was going to get the next hold which looked a little too small for my liking was to JUMP! Which I did...and the consequences weren’t quite as I’d hoped. As I flew through the air and tried to latch the hold, it wasn’t looking great. I tried with all my might to grip the hold but I just couldn’t do it. What happened next was your classic uncontrollable fall; the act of jumping for and missing the hold had spun me 180 degrees, so that I was taking an almighty whipper and being catapulted into the wall back first. I knew it was going to hurt and I wasn’t wrong! Strangely, things seemed ok for a week apart from painful internal bruising, I didn’t think I’d cracked anything until I was trying to climb and my back went into an almighty spasm and I was stuck mid-climb; even driving the car home was incredibly difficult. That was the first of two trips to A&E.
This was the only climbing I did for a few weeks!
Anyway, it’s been four weeks now and the rib/back is certainly getting better. I am climbing again but can’t risk any sort of fall yet, as it is exactly where my harness would catch me and the thought of a fall happening makes me feel slightly nauseous.
So I am mainly top roping but am leading if I am sure I won’t fall. Off out somewhere tomorrow with Katherine, not sure where yet. If we go to Garage Buttress at Stoney, I will try an f8a there but very carefully. We may end up down in Cheedale possibly on Two Tier Buttress which unbelievably is rumoured to be dry. I don’t quite know how after all the rain we have had over the last few weeks but it’ll be good to get down there again.
The other thing that happened on a walk up to Big Brother Buttress on Kinder (see jumping picture), was that I dropped my iPhone 4 in a river. Well, I have to say, as much as I whinge about Apple and their disgraceful consumer practices, the robustness of the phone is incredible. I didn’t notice until I got home that my phone was missing, so I mentally retraced my steps and realised that the plop I had heard when my rucksack tipped over, was my phone falling into the river. Anyway, I drove straight back to retrieve it, by this point it had been submerged for a couple of hours. I was already planning a new phone contract etc but when I found my phone, it looked like it was still working. I couldn’t believe it! I turned it off and dried it out for a couple of days and now it is working perfectly and after it’s bath looks really clean too!! So well done little iPhone.
Finally, we went to see Dawn French’s live show on saturday night at The Lyceum in Sheff. It was an (expensive) treat but well worth it. She performed an autobiographical solo show that didn’t disappoint. It was both funny and very poignant at times and I would recommend seeing it if she is performing anywhere near you.
Cheerio for now.