Saturday, 26 February 2011
It’s funny when you are feeling wasted how the little hole you’re in seems much deeper than it actually is. Since Freida arrived last week, my non-climbing life has been fantastic. The best it’s ever been, despite the adjustments and sleep deprivation. But the importance of my climbing life doesn’t just go away. It doesn’t change at all, in fact.
I used to think it was psychologically dangerous to be dependent on my lifelong habits of the outdoors, exercise and training I do through my climbing. As time went on I realised this was silly. I think eventually it becomes a part of of you that is hardwired. And thats fine. It is amazing it takes 30 odd years to realise it’s ok to be yourself!
Naturally, I’ve put a lot of thought, work and planning into how to balance my climbing and non-climbing life. I’m certainly not perfect at it let me tell you. But I have been doing this all my adult life and it’s worked out well so far. Some of this is really practical basic stuff - having a top-notch climbing wall next door to the nursery, living in the heart of the places I want to climb and having a flexible work schedule to take advantage of good conditions. These are the key ingredients for sure, and maybe the hardest to secure - over a decade of hard work for me. The others are more subtle.
Yet despite the planning, I did get the fear last week after having several absolutely crap training sessions in a row. Sure, they were performed in a haze of sleepiness, but was tiredness really all it was? And even if so, is that it for the foreseeable? I could see, for about a nano second, while falling off a ridiculously easy circuit the other night, how someone could give in to tiredness and permanently lower their expectations in order to avoid such disappointment. I thought previous experiences might insulate me from this weakness. But it’s amazing how being knackered lowers your guard.
All very gloomy. Until it wasn’t... All that was needed was a little extra sleep. It’s being grabbed an hour here, an hour there. But add it up to a critical level and lo and behold, the performance returns. This week maybe I’m getting to grips with the new routine of snatched naps. And all of a sudden tonight the power returned to my arms like magic and I clawed my way up a couple of my hardest creations on the wall. I forgot how well the body adapts and bounces back to change. What a lift!
Yes Yes I know how silly this post might read to someone who doesn’t share the same addiction to training. And I know the challenges for me are nothing compared to Claire right now. But everyone has to have something to keep them keen. And for me it’s this. I’d rather go without food for a week than training. Since this is primarily a climber’s blog, I’m just going through the little ups and downs that go on while in the bubble of the climbing session. But once it’s done, I take off my rockshoes and go back to the important stuff - Claire and Freida!