Sunday, 30 November 2008

Long, Long Time Ago…

Well it’s been ages since I’ve been climbing, even indoors. I think that this is the second longest period of time off that I’ve had since I began; the longest of course being the shoulder injury saga.

Looking through my training diary, I’ve managed about 9 sessions in two months. Ugh. I’m hoping that once life settles down, I can return to at least three sessions a week. Last time I went to the wall I was still flashing V4 and struggling with V5s. It’s not exactly the end of the world, but I have a lot of work to do. Sad to say but there really is something missing in my life.

I’ve been keeping up with a bit of cardio from my daily cycle commute. It’s only about 8km round trip, but it’s better than nothing. I try to fit some running in when I can, but the weather and darkness is very much against me.

My shoulder has been causing me a ton of pain lately. I always envisaged taking autumn off, but I thought it would be good for my shoulder. I never realised how badly it would be affected by being cramped in a desk writing all day. I’ve been trying to keep up with my exercises, but I haven’t had much success. I think a return trip to the physio is in order, if I can find the time, not to mention money.

This autumn / winter was always going to be a major challenge. I suppose there was comfort when things were ambiguous. Now, looking at the challenges in black and white, I wonder if it was worth it. But I always come back to the conclusion – what other option was there.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Familiar from a Distance

For as long as I can remember, I have experienced a neurological hiccup called Synesthesia. Often, when I think of a number, it appears in my head associated with a consistent colour (one is white, two is red, three is light green, etc.). I have a similar experience with letters and sometimes short combinations of letters and numbers (eg. 4a, V5, ErbB-1, 4-OHT, days of the week, months, etc.) produce a similar effect.

Apparently, it has little meaning outside the notion that it is one possible way to wire a brain. I don’t see it as an advantage or disadvantage; it just is. But equally, I would miss it if I woke up one day to find it gone.

So why bother mentioning it? Well, it’s a good example of something that despite its consistency isn’t really there. When I hold it up to close scrutiny, it immediately disappears; yet, I still know that it does exist. I suppose it’s something of a cognitive sandcastle.

For me, belief in ability follows a very similar pattern. “Of course I can…” / “what the heck was I thinking??”. Neither is real, yet they do influence a host of things as far reaching as motivation to the mundane, like crag selection.

I feel at times that I can achieve what I set out to do and align up my life in way which makes failure very difficult. It is who I am. Despite the obvious drawbacks, other modes don’t suit me. Yet, what is this all based on – something that I can’t even put my finger on – and therein lies the flaw and my current pursuit; to make these things more material, to have something to point to. However given the set up, I know that if I was ever to find such a thing, I would have already moved on to the next.

No, it doesn’t always make me happy, but not trying doesn’t either.

You did however chose it for a reason.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Autumn Redemption

Whilst perusing my filing cabinet for paper to cannibalise as scrap, I came across a letter that I had long since forgotten about.

It listed how I was more than academically qualified to continue my studies, however despite even having a UK visa, it wasn’t the right kind. This took years to rectify and I did lose hope for quite a while, not to mention a bit of my sanity.

As I mentioned a while back, I tend to forget stuff like this. It gets lumped into ‘think that I don’t want to think about’ category and is packaged away to some dark chasm in my mind, but what it leaves behind is emptiness. I feel like I lost out on years of my life – as if I was doing nothing, but this is far from true.

I fought a ridiculously drawn out battle and yes, I did lose a bit of myself in the process.

I recently joined the ranks of London cycle commuters and it is well… a challenge. Earlier in the week however my trip in went great and the morning sun was a perfect autumn gold. I think that I stumbled upon a bit of peace in the shadow of the A40 flyover.

DNA repair made easy by Jenn

I have a sense of purpose that bouldering was never able to give me. It always left me feeling empty and wanting more. Saying this, however, it did give me the ability to believe in myself when that time had long past, which is why ultimately I don’t want to distance myself from it too much.

I’ve taken a few weeks off from training. I kinda always planned on doing such and besides, the weather is absolute rubbish this time of year, but I’ll be back. I don’t give up that easily.