Tuesday, 23 December 2008

It Should Be Easy… Shouldn’t It?

A V4 that really ought to be easier than it is!
© Sarah Clough

I have this odd notion fixed in my head that if you are good at something, you don’t have to work very hard for it. In practice, I know the complete opposite.

I think that ability or whatever only gets you so far, the rest is just plain hard work.

But how much should one have to work? I spent the past week non-stop studying. It wasn’t a pretty sight and it caused me to question, if I have to work this hard – I must be rubbish and I should give up now. Can it really be worth it?

But this can’t be right. People work for years on developing theories, solving problems, understanding things and by definition – they were good enough.

It’s difficult to know how much to expect or how far to push it.

I guess it’s about perspective. On one end you end up never being satisfied, always looking for the unobtainable. On the other, you set your sights too low and never push yourself.

Hmm… I guess another way of looking at it is, if something really is that easy, is it worth doing?

I suspect the things that drive you and comprise you are long fought, hard won and never easy.

Sunday, 7 December 2008


A lot of this blog is taken up with posts about not climbing on account of injury, bad weather or most recently due to a hectic schedule. Generally this has quite a negative impact on my climbing.

Oddly enough, after my most recent break, I don’t seem to be a million miles away from where I left off. I’ve been away from regular training for well over two months now, but I might even go so far as to say that the break was slightly beneficial.

Here is a (somewhat boring) video of me at The Arch this weekend.

The V5 took one session to do and the V6 two; not too bad. I also ticked another V5 that took two sessions, but popped a pad on my finger, so no video for that one.

I like the initial heel hook move on the V6 and it seems to suit me. The wild dyno at the top and subsequent awkward hand matching isn’t the regular flowing sequence. It just works for me.

I haven’t been outside in ages though and that it really depressing.

I did however manage to get some mountain biking in at Swinley forest on Sunday. Cool crisp air and frosted earth. It’s not bouldering, but it’s not a million miles away either.

Monday, 1 December 2008


In a desperate attempt to regain lost strength, not to mention dignity, I ventured to my wall tonight, expecting nothing more than a few V4’s.

I got a V5 that I failed last time on the first go and did a lap on it just to make sure, but even more surprising was the V6 that I did every move save the last and to make it even sweeter, I found out that I was adding moves to the start that weren’t necessary (though I feel it’s a much better problems with the gratuitous sideways campus move ;-)).

Seeing as I haven’t been climbing in ages and I was actually feeling very, very tired tonight, what was different?

First, it was quiet.

It seems as though the word is out and my favourite wall is no longer a secret. Good for business, bad for concentration.

Sometimes even utterly inconsequential V5s at the wall require a huge effort for me. I often have to put so much of myself into it; probably too much. I find it extremely difficult to do so if I’m being distracted. I have to dig deep and focus, silly as it sounds.

It is actually part of what I enjoy most about bouldering, the ability to commit and focus yourself 100% on something that seems impossible and ultimately (err… hopefully) seeing it through. It just doesn’t work for me in crowded room.

The other big difference is simply wanting it. After a layoff I always forget just how much you need to want something and the more difficult it is, the more you have to want it.

I still have a way to go, but maybe I’ve not lost quite as much as I thought I had.

Yo estaba bien por un tiempo,
volviendo a sonreír.