Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Be like Jerry

I was surfing a wave these last few months - a wave of low motivation. Being the somewhat fickle character that we can all be at times, this all changed when I read Jerry's book. I realised that on an altogether different level, I have been suffering from similar self belief problems that he encountered in the early days of competing. Since emulating his tactics, I'm finding myself feeling every atom of wood/resin or in tonight's case , metal under my fingertips. A surge of motivation has begun to coarse through my veins once more.

Currently, I have a goal in my head that would once have appeared perhaps too grandiose for me to entertain. Now that I have seen what I must do, I no longer have been wasting time wondering and instead spend my time doing. Tonight, a late call to Pemb heralded a cancelled training session but my motivation led me to my fathers garage where the only edge to hang from was a small rounded metal one. I can't believe just how perfect a training hold this actually was and I devised a toe -on, toe-off deadhang session stepping between a bandsaw and a lathe every 5 seconds. Where there is a will to train, there is indeed a way.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Brush with death

Was royally dissapointed this morning to find out I'm very much needed this coming saturday on site. This is something of a downer as I mistakenly thought Cocoon in the Park was in July and only found out last week from Em that it's this month. Pretty gutted that I've tried to see Luciano three times now, each to no avail. Alas, there is to be a 12 hour warehouse party with Martinez playing in Liverpool in July. That's not a bad substitution and I'll live with it.

Had something of a brush with death today. Two Welsh scaffolders were on site with just myself putting the third and fourth lifts in. There I was merrily brushing up detritus when a common brick came whizzing past my ear landing just next to my foot. Now it's lucky that I made a strange decision to start brushing up early in the day as if I would have remained in place painting the I beams, I would now be very much braindead or dead. They neglected to tell me that they were above me otherwise I wouldn't have been anywhere near their clumsy hands. Still, it was nice talking fishing with them.

Felt somewhat dreadful yesterday with a bit of a cold coming on. Ignoring my own wisdom of avoiding training in this state, I couldn't resist going for a potter. This of course led (as it always does) to innane feats on the fingerboard with Crouch and Crypt project time. Spent some time with softlad trying to stitch together a toughie in the Crypt before heading up to the beastmaker. After toying with the idea of making up some circuits on it, I managed to dispatch a front lever on the 45's into a deadhang to a pullup to a double to the 30s. Whilst not impressive in the least, it's nice to know that if I'm feeling ok on an off day, I should be able to perform better in subsequent sessions. Also managed to deadhang the 45s for 17 seconds on the warmup which wasn't too shoddy all things considered.
I suppose in many ways I should be thankful for a stint of manual work which is essentially a 9-10 hour workout every day. Training after doing this is no mean feat but it psyches me up all the more for needing to invigorate my training beast within.

Rest tonight and session two of the guru's masterplan to de-punterise me tomorrow.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Labour of love

I'm pleased to report that my examination results for semester two just came in and I passed the year with 58, 63 and 76. I'm a bit dissapointed that I only landed 58 percent for my studio projects but I know that leaving a lot of drawings out in the pinup assessment from project one cost me dearly. Not fussed in any case as it's a solid pass and I've learnt so much since that project. I can't really complain with 63 for structures/environmental exam either considering that was the product of two days worth of revision. 76 was something of an unexpected whopper for Architecture and the Built Environment and I'm pleased to know that I can still write essays reasonably well.

I started labouring on a two storey extension opposite my parents home a few weeks back. The house is owned by some good family friends and Mal (who lives there) is a director of a construction company. At only 35, it's been impressive to see how much he knows about many different areas of construction and I can see from the rapport with his colleagues that he's a well respected boss. It's been a pleasure working for a totally likeable guy and he's been keen for me to be involved with the whole process as an aid to my own education. It's also been physically intense and after working 8am to 6pm I'm feeling battered and broken. This seems to be having some repercussions upon my climbing performance but it's also giving me a pair of shoulders I thought I could never own! It's been good getting the tick as the only worker to lift two of the oversize concrete blocks at a time. Even outside of climbing, it's still nice burning people off.

I was introduced to the project architect on Friday who seemed impressed that I wanted to work at the other end of the drawing board and he was keen to take my phone number with the prospect of working for him. I hope this follows through as I need the work badly and would benefit immensely from working with him. We'll see...

After promising to visit Casa di Pearnall for a long time, I finally managed to summon some funds to board the train to Manchester last week. Was super impressed with James and Em's pad and particularly the Cadbury's outlet bulk purchases. Anyone that thinks a top level climber eats only grass and dandelions should check out the size of the mini egg shipment in situ! Had a delightful few days eating nice food and talking dirty so thankyou both!

Headed out yesterday with Matty D at our usual alpine start time of circa 3pm. Despite both of us feeling exhausted from a late night, we eventually ended up at Beginner's Wall pulling on some holds until deciding we were both too tired. Called into crag x on the way home as I've wanted to see it for around 15 years. It lived up to my expectations and I'm fully psyched to get there asap (preferably not after a days labouring!).

In the meantime, if you would like to pay host to a nomad for a night or two, drop me a message and it'd be good to talk to you.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Raging psyche

Was another edition of the beastmaker last night and by shit did I feel good. Really starting to notice gains from a few weeks of concerted effort. Feeling stronger than ever on monos and introduced the weight belt for some exercises last night. I'm really very psyched at the moment and hope to unleash it on some rock soon. Financially, I've not been in a position to leave the house for the last week save for venturing to the wall with senor Pembridge. I'm using this period of dire financial ruin to put the blinkers on and concentrate on what is actually available to me - training. There's a few things I'd like to tick off over the course of the next month and am super keen to revisit the Flashpoint sector on the Orme to take a look at the highball Seaview Prow thingamawhatsit and Doyle's majestic problem up the scaled down LPT. There's some unfinished business too at Beef and some things there I'd like to open an account with.

Spent an hour today taking my first AutoCad steps. It's been pretty boring but hopefully a few hours of this can at least give me the beginnings of a basic grasp for what I'll need to do with it next academic year.

Boring as sin sorry. Will engage brain soon.

Saturday, 6 June 2009


Commenced regular training as of this week. Feeling pretty good on the beastmaker and after printing off the 321 article have begun to think more strategically about training specifics. It was useful to see where my micro weaknesses lie and where I felt better than I thought I might. Felt pretty broken yesterday morning and shoulders feeling nicely sore from weighted typewriters. Have decided this is a useful exercise for me since gangly people tend to have to work harder to climb 'open' (in the words of Mal). Really enjoying being back in action though am pretty worried when I sit down and think about it that I think I prefer training to climbing. Hmmmm. This wasn't supposed to happen. How is it possible to prefer the means of facilitation rather than the mode of climbing? I'll embrace it anyway and if nothing else aspire to the graded feats listed at Beastmaker HQ.

Managed to score some minor hours of work at the Wirral Environment Centre last week. Was interesting to see what they do as much of it is relevant to my study modules. Got a day of power cleaning coming up this week before I start labouring on a new build on thursday. Quite looking forward to pinching some stacks of bricks and seeing how to work to plans; something they don't seem to emphasise in the ivory towers of academia.

Not much else to report really. I had a sort of moment of clarity concerning my thoughts on minimalism in context of architecture the other day but am too tired to unfurl these today. Next time.

Last up, congratulations to Mick and Debs with their newborn uber beast Jack. I dread to think how soon he'll be burning everyone at the crag off! Best wishes to you both.