Friday, 11 January 2008

Feelings of dread

Super early start tomorrow for the first team training of 2008. Fitness testing again. We were tested in October to get our base level of fitness and tomorrow we'll be tested again to see how we've progressed. I, for one, am dreading this because I don't feel as fit as I did back in October. I just haven't been able to train properly in the last month so I don't see how I can improve on any of my tests. I guess that I'll just have to take it as a look at where I'm at right now and use that to focus on the next few months. Back in October it seemed like the next season was still miles away and that I would have loads of time to get ready, but the time has just flown by!

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Bah humbug. no really.

This has got to be one of the worst holidays ever for me. I started feeling ill on Saturday during my shift at The Castle but wasn't too bad. Luckily I knew that I didn't have to do anything on Sunday so I could just rest and hopefully be OK to travel on Monday to see my gran in Nice. John and Leah lent me 7 DVDs to keep me glued to the couch and I had loads of drugs waiting for me when I got home. However, no cocktail of paracetemol, vitamin C and echinacea could stop this one. Full of self-pity I rang my mum up at 3 am (my time, not hers) and we both agreed that it would not be wise for me to risk getting my nonagenarian gran ill so I had to miss my flight. Jon and Laura have let me have Solly for a few days so at least I'm not on my own. Unfortunately, as Christmas day was a mostly wet and muddy affair and Solly is a big hairy dog my flat is looking really really dirty. Not that I really mind, it's nicer having him around than being on my own. I finally feel better today, but not well enough to start doing anything beyond long walks. This is, obviously, very irritating because In about two weeks I'm going to be tested again for fitness levels and right now I feel about as fit as...I don't know...something really unfit!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

The importance of family

A bit of a heavy title, I know. It's been a very heavy week for me though. My gran died last week aged 93. I was meant to see her just 3 days later. I'm OK with that- I mean she had a good run of it and she died very quickly. The sad thing for me is that she leaves behind her partner of nearly 70 years- my 'papy'. It was really hard seeing him say goodbye to her. However, every the optimist, I have all the more reason to have a few sneaky trips to Font as he only lives about 45 mins away! In fact, I managed two days out. Worked on the red circuit at Roche aux Sabots. It was amazing on Friday- perfect weather and the whole day I only saw about 3 people in this usually packed out place! The next day I took my cousin with me. He's grown up in Paris, but has never been climbing and had no clue about Font. He absolutely loved it- I can't wait to go back with him and get him in some proper boots!

Trainingwise, I haven't been able to do anything but I really don't care because while I spend most of the year putting myself and my climbing first it was good and right to put my family first. My grandad is 97 now and I can only hope that he'll be around next October when I go back to Paris for the European Championships. So I'm pretty psyched for that. Back at work and back to routine tomorrow.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Pics from the party

ASBO is floored.
...on the dancefloor!

Theory test, The Arch and more

After recovering from the weekend I took the day off work on Monday to study for my driving theory test. Took the test and passed the multiple choice with 50 out of 50! The Hazard Perception really threw though. I didn't understand what I was meant to be perceiving (am I meant to click for every pedestrian, cyclist, etc. or just when they do something stupid?) and I was getting more and more agitated. I was nearly in tears at the thought that I might fail this test. I never fail tests. Somehow managed to pass and since I was in the corner stopped by The Arch to see Fred and his new wall. Looks really good- I can't wait to have somewhere else to train. I'm also keen to see how Dylan's new holds work. I really like the shapes of the ones that I've seen. Back at The Castle I spent the evening in the Catacomb- nothing like long roof problems to sort out body tension. It's getting reset this week anyway so I wanted a last blast on a few of the problems. Ended up climbing with an old friend of mine and had a really nice time.

Tuesday I did some routes with Mike. I haven't done routes in ages and just missed it a bit. My head's not the best for leading indoors at the best of times so I just did lots of volume at the lower grades. Had a few moments of glory- did Steve McClure's 7a+ on the fang which involves campusing up the side of the fang and seconded Gaz's 7b+/7c on my second attempt upstairs.

Today (Wednesday) I'm testing for the Boulder Ladder and then we're putting Mike and Ray in the firing line for an open forum.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

another weekend at The Castle...

The lads re-set The Mezz on Friday so I was on it Saturday morning after mum left. Awesome but hard...very hard. I mean Castle grades are hard anyway but this was something else. Spent the afternoon at the desk trying to work out next year's budget until the big party started. it was pretty good. The guys did a great job decking the place out- lights, smoke machine, lasers, sound system, 4 djs and lots and lots of booze. Party went on til 3.30 and we cleaned up quickly. Got home and in bed for 4.30 and then it was back to work to open at 9am. Quite amazing how quickly the place can be transformed from climbing wall to club and back to climbing wall. Think we're going to have to do it again sometime! Today I'm on Duty and trying to cope with the usual stresses of a Sunday- instructors missing, lots of novice climbers and just lots going on. Heading back out on the floor now...

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

bonjour maman!

Yep, my mum's arriving tomorrow morning from Chicago to see her favourite (and only) daughter. I'm really excited to see her especially since I've been able to take a few days off work to spend time with her.

Of course, this also means that i've had to pack a lot in over the past two days. Today, for example, I got up early to walk Solly then went to work for 9 am. I was getting lots done so kept at it til about 9pm but because I know that I won't get a chance to train for the next two days (and shopping and visiting stuff isn't really training even if the bags are really heavy) I thought I should finish off the day on the campus board.

I'm still struggling to get 1-3-5 fluidly but I reckon if I keep at it a few times a week I'll get there eventually.

So since the Plywood Masters on Saturday the week has flown past. I went for a quick jog on Sunday but that only resulted in 2 inch blisters on both arches of my feet due to my new orthotics. Damn. Monday I tried the new problems in The Pen. Did all the problems up to 6b and found all the 6bs really really hard. Tuesday I went to the BMC open meeting which was at the Houses of Parliament (well nearby). It was a good meeting and really nice to meet everyone there. We all bemoaned the low attendance to the London and Southeast meetings. Despite having 40% of the BMC membership it's rare to get more than a dozen people turn up to a meeting. I reckon that it's because we don't really have any local issues to get fired up about. We all climb at different crags and have such a broad range of interests that we don't really have a common identity. My solution? A flag that we can pitch up that says- I'm from London and I don't need your pity!