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Saturday, 25 December 2010

Your Christmas Sermon

This is the 3rd Christmas sermon on this blog, doesn't time fly! The Sunday Sermon's were fun but they seem like ages ago now. The blogs had a quiet few months. This is because its a climbing blog and i haven't been climbing. I haven't climbed since mid November actually and no i'm not injured. I've been in a weird place motivation wise probably since September, i had been trying to get in the best shape i could for the Diamond season. After maybe 5 sessions i was going well on the route, better than last year although still getting to the same move. I had one session where i was even feeling fairly fresh up there getting there 3 times in a session. Despite this something just wasn't quite right. I felt like i was just going through the motions in order to get it done. I found myself in a strange predicament as although all i needed to do was keep going i was struggling to maintain the tunnel vision approach that was needed. The Diamond is not your standard sport crag. You're lucky to get six weeks a year there and your lucky to get good conditions more than one in three days. To do this route at this crag i needed to invest all my time and focus. I had no money, i was the poorest i'd ever been in my life. Things were just getting back on track with the missus so i needed to put some effort into that. On my return after a two week break i knew the game was up. I had lost the edge physically and this resulted in me losing the physchological battle. I was soon falling off everywhere,it was getting cold too. I resigned myself to defeat. It was bouldering season now and i knew i was weak as i'd hardly bouldered since June, it would be a hard old slog getting back into the Cave. The upshot was the desire wasn't there. I knew then i probably wouldn't climb again for a while. You need to be psyched out of your mind to climb when its so cold and i couldn't be bothered.
There has been a definite shift in my motivation in the 2nd part of this year. Like everyone i get peaks and troughs in motivation but this time it felt like a more permanent shift. I remember when i was younger i was motivated to climb on any piece of shit. I was totally obsessed and up for anything, totally mad for it. These days i can't get excited by sitting down in the mud pulling on and jumping for the top. I wish i had the same motivation as when i was younger but it is completely organic for me and can't be forced. One of the reasons that climbing has been such a big part of my life is that it has really made me feel inspired which is a completely infectious feeling. Of course i enjoy moving on rock like everyone but its the kind of drive that can stop you eating properly for a few months or make you run round the orme even though you really can't be arsed that i really crave. When the inspiration dried up i just felt a bit lost. I've been going at it for so long at the detriment of most other things i guess it was always possible that i'd end up running on fumes. I met Zippy down the Cheedale Cornice this summer, he didn't seem his normal self. He said something about things not going too well. I said "well at least you've been enjoying yourself for years". He replied something like "i've been enjoying myself too much thats the problem". And i guess this brought to the front another pressing issue. The climbing life Vs career/posessions/house/pension etc... Lots of people manage to do both obviously but we all know that to get the most out of your potential it sure does help not having a proper job. There is no right or wrong way, it is up to the individual to decide what they want from life. This is a conflict that most obsessed climbers will have to face at some point. I felt this was my time. As much as it would be nice to try and climb Liquid Ambar and travel the world i knew i didn't want to end up living in a allotment shed with nothing to my name.
I don't know when i'll start climbing again. I'm kind of dreading it as i know my base level is about font 6b so it'll be a tough old slog to get any kind of strength back. I'm looking forward to hanging out at the crag again with familiar faces. It may sound sad but climbing has felt like its given me a place in the world. I may not be finding cures for cancer etc.. but promoting the Orme is surely a worthwhile pursuit and someones got to do it! Merry Xcrement.


Ghostface said...

I could have written a similar post myself mate of late. That said, I went back to university to retrain to set myself up for the future and to do something I love. It's not been remotely easy watching good friends rocket ever onwards knowing I would have made my own gains and worked through some of my own goals at the same time. Despite this, I'm confident with my decision and knowing at least partially how it should pan out.
I know a huge (if presently latent) motivation within me exists for climbing and several key goals. I hope you keep yours and make some sound decisions to set yourself up for the win.

Richie Crouch said...

Hope you had a nice christmas Chris and look forward to seeing you down the Orme at some point next year :)

A good sermon which I fear will become something I will feel the need to address in the next couple of years!

Mark McGowan said...