Wednesday, 23 October 2013


Turned 30 last weekend. My madame organised me an amazing Alan Partridge-themed surprise party whereby all concerned were clad in full size masks. I'd just woken up after a nap and entered a room thinking a pint was on the cards before dinner. Low and behold... "A HAAAAAA!!". Spectacular fun ensued through the night and I was pleased to be the last man standing (sort of). Hitting the big 3-0 is seemingly a big worry for many people but I've come to be way more comfortable with the advancement and replenishment of cells in line with an arbitrarily devised unit keeping system over these past few years. Ultimately, if my crimp on the acid test rung feels good, then I feel good; I don't need a bio marker and socially stigmatised number to represent anything remotely about my person. Despite only really being free from the shackles of the academic institution for the first time in thirty years as of this year, I'm happy with how climbing is coming back into touch. My understanding of the micro intricacies of board climbing feels sufficiently developed and all of the timing elements that board climber par excellence - Mr Keith Bradbury - used to tell me on those board sessions early in the formative days of our friendship now all make sense. Presently, my fingers feel good but my core feels like a sodden bath sponge in comparison. Tres interessant! I'm looking forward to passing my sodding driving test at long last and getting involved with some Gaskinsesque dawn raids prior to work over the coming months. I miss writing and have done all year but alas the daily development of my business has occupied any time outside of training. The grand plan is of course to go full time with the business in due course and be answerable only to myself (also allowing greater flexibility to my climbing and life schedule). A poor summary but the keyboard is dusted off hopefully to log a good climbing year ahead...

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Operation light as a feather

So far so good. Out of a possible fifteen days, training has thus far figured in seven of them. Owing to a slight pulley strain and plenty of finger training over the past two months, I've earmarked January as 'conditioning month'. I've now gotten into the habit of running every other day and as a result lost 3kg since beginning the mission in November. That puts me at 80.9kg from 84kg and I'm hoping to keep going down now I'm getting firmly back into the swing of running. I'm scared I might achieve something some day if I can get to a new low weight. I suppose mid 70kg would be a good aim but I'm happy to keep running as frequently as possible to increase this diminishing weight trend and see what happens by around March time.

Living in Leeds again has thus far been excellent. There's a great scene here and a wholesome mix of activities to indulge in. It's also got me thinking; I'm 'due' to complete my studies in architecture this coming September but I'm fearful of this. I'm 29 now and as many peers keep reminding me, I've "been in university forever". I love academia very much and I could see myself excelling and really enjoying a life in architecture in parallel with doing some teaching/critiquing in future years at the university. I'm juggling this prospect of long days, an uncertain state of the construction industry and whether I want to commit 100% to it. Since working in a temping job for the NHS in Leeds on their web team, life is easy for now. I can walk home in ten minutes with no stress returning home with me to put 100% into my training. I feel as though I've always had latent potential to be so so much better at climbing but it's always sat secondary to university.I'm now asking myself what the hell do I want? There's an extremely real chance that I could forfeit the opportunity to travel down this professional path in which instance I will transfer all of my dedicated energies into achieving very specific climbing goals. I will not fail at these if this is to happen.

The other scenario is to fully surrender climbing. I would absolutely have to. Nothing has been more painful to 'tick over' and never give full devotion to the sport. Years have ticked past as I've watched countless videos from friends climbing on Euro trips and further afield. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't in the least bit jealous. I've felt completely jealous.

My problem is that I want to give absolutely everything to the task in hand in all that I do. I know that it's decision time and that something has to give. How to proceed? Yours, well and truly stumped.