Sunday, 3 January 2010

8a or die ?




A thread on UKClimbing has changed my life ! It's not often you can say that.

One of many on the same subject - Can anyone climb sport 8a ?

In particular one reply from Adrian Berry:

"If someone is reading this and fancies taking it on, this is how you do it:
... focus your training on one route - forget everything else. When you've done this, add a grade and pick another - train the weaknesses that are stopping you - redpoint it and add a grade etc. Keep going until you do an 8a. Starting at 6c - I would estimate about 3yrs. Stay focussed and it's inevitable."

It cuts through the bullshit really doesn't it ? I'd always had excuses to keep the nagging voices at bay. If the voices become too loud I drown them out with talk of how i am just about to commit to start seriously thinking about figuring out a training plan to get me up that 7a/E3 if only I wasn't so busy.

I've always wanted to climb harder than i do - E1 and Fr6b, the odd golden moments on E2's and 6b+ - but not many.


2009 had been the usual trot along in my comfort zone apart from one or two notable events. First I increased my bouldering grade from near poo inducing effort to tick the odd V3 to doing my first V5 and V6 in the same session 2 weeks after my first ever V4. How ? Getting in with a motivated group of good climbers who showed me how to really try and dig deep. Seeing the massive extra return you get from giving that little bit extra was eye opening - as were the grades.

Second I had a coaching session with Gaz Parry whilst on holiday in Spain and ended up on-sighting Fr6c. I had a sudden realisation that i did have the tools to climb hard(er), i just needed to get them out of the box. I think the tools were hidden in the bottom of the box and the box was at the back of the shed under all that crap that's in there just in case you need it one day.

Back home i cracked on with my usual plan of action - carry on as normal, expect special things to happen, then make an excuse when they don't.

Being on the UKClimbing.com fit club thread for the last 2 years has shown me the difference between those who hit goals and those who don't. Less time talking and more time 'manning it up' and actually doing.

So why haven't i been doing ? It's taken me a lot of effort to figure this one out, but it's basically as follows:

1) Scared of failure
2) Scared of success
3) Scared on the end of a rope

Phew that feels better off my chest. Thanks for listening ! Seriously though i do have issues with success and failure which i've only realised in the last year whilst taking our recently adopted children to therapy. It's been good for me as well as them :0)

I think it's the thought of taking those 3 issues on and winning that is what has clicked inside me.

I can't get the time on rock to improve my trad grade for the foreseeable future. Sport climbing can be improved without needing so much time on rock and i've really enjoyed the red-pointing i've done. The whole process appeals to me here and now, and is achievable, so that's what i've decided to focus on.

Adrian's post just hit home at the right time. I've had the worst run of illness ever in my life and haven't climbed properly since the end of September. I have missed climbing massively and i want to be better than average.

I want that 8a and all it will open up for me - which will probably just be 8a+ ;0)

Maybe it's shallow but my life my rules and it's what i want! It may end up being like plastic surgery. You think it will make everything better but when you get it done things are still the same but you've just got a bigger penis. I'm just hoping the journey will be a bit more enjoyable than that - and won't involve surgery on my privates.

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