|The fantastic new competition wall at the Climbing Works|
Unfortunately I missed the finals on Sunday evening but by Sunday morning's semi-finals it was evident that it was going to be a good day for watching climbing instead of taking part. I'd arrived with the intention of just going climbing while the semi's were on, but it was so fascinating that there was no hope of doing so. I'm rarely distracted in that sort of way when at the wall but this was brilliant to watch, with some big name stars going out in the semi's - with some help from Climbing Works problem weirdness :)
My own climbing, well as usual it was an interesting experience. I basically had no expectations on the day as I knew there was no chance of qualifying (or even making the top 20 or 30) so it turned out that I didn't really give it my all on some of the problems and ended up with a pretty average result at the end of the day. I knew I hadn't given it my all when I realized that I was not really sore in any way on Sunday when I got up.....The big positive is that it was a good learning experience to estimate that of the 30 qualifying problems, there was only about 2 or 3 of them that I have little or no chance on.
It's pretty inspiring watching a bunch of people giving it absolutely 110% every time they stepped onto the wall. The huge positive is that this seems to have re-awoken that mental grit that has been missing from my climbing since last summer. I'm blaming it on the stress of work for it, but I've known for a while I'm not really giving it my all at times. Some invisible block seems to have been broken through however as the session last night was one of my best in ages - attacking holds and not really giving up. A friend said a while ago that he's known all the training plans and theory's for a long time and he thought he was giving it 100% until a while ago, that is until he really started giving it 100%. I'm starting to understand what he means, I have a feeling I've been pretty inconsistent at this point for quite a while!
After Spain I'm definitely missing 'real' rock too since I've gotten back. I'm really motivated to be properly ready for this trip so hopefully it keeps the fire burning on the indoor wall motivation for another 6 weeks!
Anyway, Nigel as always put in an awesome performance and made the final - not bad for a guy who's on a medical placement and hasn't really climbed in about 2 months! One of the interesting asides of the comp is the 'tricky-ness' of competition climbing. One of the semi-final starts involved stepping onto a vertical wall onto a small volume with all hands and feet on it at the same time. Not sure you'd really come across this on 'real' rock so sometimes it can feel particularly cruel to have a problem such as this! Still though, with everyone being so strong I presume they have to find creative ways to isolate the field.
All in all, a brilliant weekend and topped off with the Sheffield Adventure Film weekend (SHAFF) - got to see some nice footage of Leo Houlding on his new route at Yosemite, some bouldering footage from the states. By far the most amazing film I've seen in a long time of Uli Steck running up the Eiger in 2 hours 40 minutes - I'm still blown away by what was shown. Wow.........