Category Archives: bouldering

training…second week, home and away

In the second week of this programme and each session has involved dealing with a sensation that can only be described as mild nausea. I remember this feeling, years ago when I ‘trained’, now its clear that for years I have only been putting effort into the things that I enjoyed. For example, hanging off and moving on small holds I like, thus I do lots of it and think I’m training. This last couple of weeks I have been doing  amongst other awful exercises; ‘planks’, they are horrible, what is their to enjoy from passing from fatigue to feeling sick, heart pounding, red in the face and vibrating from head to toe, basically nothing.

training…bla, bla, bla.

I’ve been lying…’I train’, that’s what I say to myself. Maybe many years ago I did actually train, I had notebooks, stopwatches, targets and plans. Over time things changed, I took the words in a couple of articles in an old ‘On The Edge’ magazine too seriously, Moffat said all you had to do…I’m not sure of the exact words but something like ‘get down low under an overhang and pull hard’. Moon said stop ‘training strong’. So right now, the situation is I can pull quite hard on small holds on steep ground, as long as I don’t need to do more than five moves., but I don’t train. This in itself would be fine if one of my projects wasn’t more like 18 moves long, 12 hard moves at least. predictably no matter how strong or motivated I’m feeling I always fall more or less at the same point, about 8 moves in.

So I’m facing up to the fact that I need to train, specifically power endurance. As I’ve said my forte is for short and sharp, wandering into la cabane (shed) and coming out an hour later having done no more than five moves in a row won’t cut it, nor will half hearted stabs at finger board routines.

The problem is I find the amount of info online so big it overwhelms me, I know I need to do core work, conditioning, bla bla, It’s so boring and seems so complicated as these days people are making money out of this and need to seem ‘expert’. Yet the training protocols vary massively, I think in reality its pretty much guesswork still. So I’m using a generic workout plan, the beauty being that it comes through each week via a website/email and I’m confronted by three workouts a week to follow. I know that I will benefit from it, simply because its making me doing everything that I would normally avoid, namely longer sessions with volume and many horrible exercises for my core, I believe I will also need to start running! I’m writing this down in the belief, that I hope holds true, namely that once something is named and written it becomes more likely it will happen. I’m also lucky, I have a board (pictured below) and finger boards at home and a decent(ish) wall, with 50 or so set problems, 20 mins drive away. I have free time and a goal that will come into condition in a couple of months or so. I also have many, many other projects and interests in my life, honestly!

aftermath

My last post was about a project…well it took a few sessions, but I’m very pleased with this problem. It pushed me a a bit, struggled initially to climb past my seven move limit/block. In the end it went easily though. I’ve spent a year in the Ariege looking for new problems but it was only in the last couple of months that the searching started to pay dividends, the bare trees of winter probably made the difference allowing glimpses into the trees that finally revealed the potential. Should be more to come!

project

I looked in the woods and I found a very promising unclimbed boulder. I came back with brushes and a ladder and cleaned the moss and dirt from the boulder. Revealed beneath was a prow of granite, hidden in the trees, a thing of interest a thing of desire. On my second visit I began to piece the moves together, complex yes, but everything seemed to be in the right place, every move was powerful and interesting. I’d found a beauty.

It’s now a project, it’s harder than I thought. Thirteen moves long, none easy a mid way crux and a difficult finish.

Ohh but the joy….

burnt toast

I went for a long drive to go bouldering; in the end I didn’t climb much at all. After crossing the Pyrenees I drove across vast tracts of empty arid Spanish landscapes, boggling in its scale and occasionally marvelling at its detail. I had plenty of time to think on this long journey. Bouldering has for a few weeks lost some magic, relentless failure and snow has left me jaded, the pursuit of projects had numbed my desire. The trip was cut short, just too much snow, I was back home and today drove out to look at some recent discoveries and to try an old project. Exploration and newness left me refreshed and invigorated, this is what bouldering for me has always been about, the creative, unknown, the possibilities.

One night whilst away I drank a bottle of wine in a white plastic hotel room and watched on rolling news the unfolding spectacle that is Trump. I’ve been completely out of touch from mainstream news media, only getting the endless second hand horror from Facebook. Are we moving into an un-theorised phenomenological era? There has never been TRUTH, any event or happening or experience is always represented and mediated, always serves a specific discourse, there is always a transition and an impossibility to represent the act itself. A ‘post truth’ world, of ‘alternate facts’ and ‘falsehoods’. The FB’s, the tweeters, the instagrammers, are a generation of experience seekers, their lives documented and sprayed for all to see, nowadays a life or experience without mediation means nothing…Beuys and Warhol in different ways prescient…and in principle the contestation of truth is a good thing. This directly leads us to a world where politicians are celebs, the message is a massage, the desire for popularity, success and winning comes at a price. That price is mass idiocy. An opinion, is an opinion is an opinion and we get Trump and Brexit.

Let’s build a bridge across the Atlantic, a wall to divide America from Mexico, let China suffocate, all the animals are dead, the world is too hot, burnt toast is bad for you…