Thursday, 13 December 2012

If at first...

A fortnight ago, I made the decision to go on a diet. It is at once the best and worst decision I have ever made. I don't carry reams of fat yet there does seem to be something making me heavier than I ought to be. Come on man admit it, it's FAT! I'm not surprised that a largely recent sedentary existence has brought me here but most importantly, like an alcoholic admitting to being as such, I have crossed the threshold of realisation.

Week one went by in slow motion. Every path I trod seemed to be some sort of trail to a honeypot and I was very much the stupid bear. Alas, after the first few days I was in business and could turn down a carb-based meal at the drop of a hat. A banana was for breakfast, a tin of sardines and bag of salad for lunch with a chicken breast or piece of fish with heaps of steamed vegetables for tea. I happened upon a brief relapse into sinking a few pints with a good friend and a pub tea a week on but by and large it's not been too bad. I'm back locked in to the programme this week and becoming an expert at shunning mince pies.

This week, I read two seperate quotations by two different legends of the British climbing scene. Each seem to articulate differing perspectives on the nature of sieging a project but both entertain. Why entertain? Consider this:

"...we find said boulder and...well...how long can one ‘work’ on a problem before conceding its impossibility - that one is simply posing; decorating the difficulties with a fumbling presence."

Compare and contrast to this:

""if a line inspires you it doesn't matter how long it takes""

The former quotation stems from North Wales trad stalwart George Smith. I always enjoy his pieces on North Wales Bouldering (as do many others judging by recent UKB comments) and find them very much akin to the style of writing found in the Guardian's Country Diary (of which I have an excellent compendium - you really ought to purchase it). I love this quotation for the author's humourous self-deprecation and answerability only to himself.

The latter quotation excites and instills fear in equal measure for it's cold, hard, eternal, unknowing, brute nerve - non disistam.

It may come as no surprise to you that the utterer of these words is John Gaskins. I feel no shame in admitting the level of inspiration that John has afforded me with over the course of my climbing and study life. I feel no shame in admitting also that the past seven years in university have tested me to the ends of the earth. I have for long been at the bottom of a financial ruin to pursue a single-minded academic intention and as strange and fanatical as it may sound to you, the transcendental presence of such committed individuals who have achieved so much have always kept me headstrong.Thus far, he has been the only deserver of a place in my fingerboard hall of fame mounted above the door.

That is why Mr Smith, I hope you will always write in such an excellent fashion as you do and Mr Gaskins, you really don't need to write or say anything more to keep my commitment to the project going. Thank you, really.

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