Monday, 13 August 2012

New school inspirators

I've realised that it's a little tricky trying to pick a blog up from where one last signed off. Though I have been climbing, much of what I've been doing has been just enough to tick over at times varying to concerted efforts at other times. Since September, I've lost four hours a day to my commute which hasn't been conducive to facilitating solid climbing performances on a consistent basis. I've really been trying to eat as well as possible in work and at home to give myself a fighting chance. Obviously getting straight to the wall from work at 7.30 means a late dinner afterwards and then not wanting to eat too heavily with a 6am rise the following morning. I feel constantly tired and it's not something I wish to entertain for too much longer. All of the work I've been investing in to my project has come to mean very little but I know the levels of despondency that one can come to associate with injury and time off and how in fact, the body is an amazing entity that can always develop when asked.

Undoubtedly, life could be made a lot easier both financially and economically by making a move to Manchester. For many reasons, this isn't a move that I have wanted to make and it's actually quite nice dipping in and out of a different city each day. Though that might be me putting a positive spin on it, I really am fond of Liverpool and enjoy rolling back into Lime Street each evening through the murky, cavernous underbelly of the Edge Hill cuttings.

I thought for the subject of this post, I might pass idle commentary on some of the things and people that I find inspire me. In actual fact, I can certifiably say that the vast majority of 'dedicated' climbers I meet inspire me in their various different ways. We each have our own respective life pressures exerting their influence and attempting to suppress our abilities to climb consistently and in style. To then be able to climb to a standard which is above average requires maximal focus and an ability to translate all of the peripheral minutiae of life into a sort of ambient noise. This is no mean feat and I am very much aware that some of my cohorts would seem to be masters of this particular art. As phenomenal and groundbreaking as I find many of the top level modern athletes to be, I find it much easier to trace the simplicity with which the path to their present condition has been forged. Whether through the aid of parental contribution, sponsorship or just getting by, the vast majority of these young uber talents have grown into a climbing world that in terms of training facilities is wildly more sophisticated than it was twenty years ago. Historically speaking, though training on brick edges in a back yard before becoming one of the worlds greatest rock climbers might sound a romantic notion, one must also remember that a great many members of this previous generation were forced to reside in caves or in squalor in order to become the finest athletes of their day. I have a deep seated admiration for the commitment that was very necessary for these climbers to make in order to be the best they could be but although this hardcore (almost homeless) means of existing and climbing seems to be far less rife than it had been during the 80s, there seems to be a new breed of hardcore; those individuals who manage to hold down reputable and demanding professions whilst managing to remain focussed and strong. Doubtless the proliferation of indoor training facilities assists said individuals, but it's a different kind of struggle that they face.

I'm inspired by Matt Donnelly's return to form having had a long layoff from the sport. Despite managing a large team of people and working long days, his devotion to training and pushing his own personal boundaries is immensely impressive. Lorenzo Frusteri's commitment to training is equally as impressive given his arduous commute between Siena and Florence each day in 40 degree heat. After a day spent teaching Italian to foreigners, I can hardly think of anything less appealing than pulling down on small edges on a steep board or dangling under tiny pockets with many kilograms attached to oneself. I could reel off a list of countless friends and acquaintances whose devotion to their own progression never fails to impress me and as we humans only ever seem to laud our peers posthumously which seems to me to be rather tragic, I'd prefer to take the opportunity to do it here and now and to congratulate these people for offering me a very real and familiar source of inspiration.

Lastly, though I never really get time to write any more, I hope to write soon of a very exciting personal matter. My thanks to all sources of inspiration whether you know me or not.