Tuesday, 29 June 2010


I spent the last weekend at Amiata, in a super posh B&B that my girlfriend chose. The plan was to bake in the sun and chill in the swimming pool, for her; to destroy hard boulders, for me.
Predictably, she had more success, but despite a months long layoff due to the elbow, the lack of specific training, baby skin and hot, aggressive rock, I definitely pulled.
At first, I was feeling very nervous; it was as if everything was new. I felt unsure about doing moves that didn't seem that hard; I felt unsure to be able to actually complete a problem without screwing something; I felt unsure if it was a good idea to really give it a serious try, or if it could have been better for me to hide in the shadow of my elbow injury and step back from stage.
Predictably again, I decided to give it a go. On the first problem, I was very tense. The move off the pinch seemed hard and as I tried the topout I immediately started to have problems, until I found a sequence to the right side of the boulder. So I took my chances, stepped under the small overhang and concentrated. Then I pulled on, and I felt everything easy as it once was. Despite this, I did manage to screw it on the topout, due to not being used anymore to climbing. I was tempted to take the tick nonetheless, the move that I fumbled is easy and I was scared to try again the bottom move, the slap to the sloper. Then I thought that I had to get used again to the pressure, that I had to get confident again, to see myself doing every move and to believe. So I did it again and crushed it.
This brought great joy and satisfaction. I had previously cleaned another line to the right, dynamic slaps and compressions between the arete and some pinches, but the rock had already taken its toll from my fingertips and my body was tired, I didn't have much core tension and could barely figure out the bottom moves. The top ones will be hard, but I will do them and it will be a great problem.
I walked back down to another small overhang.
Months ago I had been there, and I had done the problem, but I couldn't complete the sitter I wanted to add. So I set to work, but every hold was too painful, and despite getting the last crimp twice, I had to admit defeat.
It was time to get back to the pool.
Sunday, with my already acheing tips, I found myself again there. I warmed up, and felt comfortable under the pressure of wanting to do the sitter first go. It wasn't a flash, in my mind it was even harder than a flash attempt. On a flash, you can blame everything for blowing it: a wrong sequence, a suddenly greasy hold, or whatever. I couldn't. I knew exactly what I had to do, how every move and every hold would feel, how hard. So it was with great joy that I did it first go, cutting loose even if I didn't want to, but climbing it well.
I went back to the problem of the saturday, and added a sitter to that also.
Finally, I went back to another sector to give a try to another project of mine, a traverse on slopey holds. I made progress and I felt happy and grateful. I felt grateful to myself, because I never let go and kept my faith in a better future, even when I was feeling sad and I found everything unfair.
So I came home with new problems done, and, which is even better, new projects to bash my head against.
My elbow was tired but fine, so maybe that better future has finally arrived and I am ready to welcome it.


Ghostface said...

Lore, I wish I was over, I really do. Keeping psyched as ever I'm pleased to see! The UK needs you, ahem.....

lore said...

My friend,
I need UK. I just want to come over with some time to spend, unlike last visit. I want to climb in the Cave again, I want to get back on the grit and I finally want to experience the Peak lime.
It's a dream trip in my mind. I hope to make it real soon.