Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Long Haul

I’ve started climbing again in earnest. I have some residual pain, but the physio reckons it won’t do me any harm. For reasons still unknown, I apparently had a very, very bad case of SIS. It was much more painful and took longer to recover than usual. Lucky me. The good news is that I no longer have pain doing day to day tasks, which is an enormous change in quality of life for me. I don’t wake up in pain and dread each time I have to bend my arm. Anyway, back to climbing…

So I’ve been bimbling at The Arch for the past two weeks. I wouldn’t say that I lost all of my strength but quite a sizeable proportion. Oddly enough, one of my best days was my first day back. I was quite sore and had to rely on technique a lot. Next week I start feeling better and a bit stronger – technique immediately goes out the door. I’m sure there is a lesson here. I just can’t seem to take it on board (but I like cutting loose, grumble, grumble).

Where did this leave me – well at V3 (flash) or V4 (worked), if forced to put a number on it. I have a lot of work to do. I seem to take ages to recover as well. I just recently upped my protein intake and I’m interested to see how the next few sessions go.

At first, I very much had the ‘kid in a sweet shop’ attitude. There was a new wall to play at and I was so thankful just to be climbing again. That lasted about a week. Then as the guy from The Rock Warrior’s Way would say – my ego kicked in ‘but I’m not happy bimbling’, ‘I climb to achieve things’, etc.

Scarily enough, this time is different. Yes, V7 would be great and I still believe that I am more than capable, but for the first time I don’t feel like I need to do it. I guess that I changed enough of other things in my life that climbing now holds a much more realistic position. I’m still very motivated to climb, to train and push myself. It’s just not exactly everything anymore. I think that my focus has shifted ever so slightly, but ultimately I feel that I stand to gain from a slightly more laissez-faire approach.

It’s difficult to think about how much hard work it will be just to get back to where I was, let alone better. I’m optimistic though, which is of course odd for me. This past week I’ve been climbing by myself, which is a strange feeling at first, and I learned something. I climb because I believe that I can. Recently I’ve had quite a few long dark nights of the soul, but that basic belief hasn’t changed. And that’s what I’m going to use to get me though the long haul.


Anonymous said...

"ultimately I feel that I stand to gain from a slightly more laissez-faire approach" - I think that's the crucial bit. Being less obsessed about it doesn't mean you have to give up any of your dreams.

But you make sure you look after that elbow - getting rid of the day to day pain is just the first step, don't go mad :-o


Jenn said...

Thanks Sarah.

I'm just currently trying to build up a base with climbing, so no big plans yet, or indeed for a while.

I went on a 16k bike ride today around London. Wow, that was a lot of work. I’m also really looking forward to my course in this autumn. I have quite a few other things in my life now, which I think is good :-)