I turned up at the wall two days ago for my usual training session after snowboarding (as Dave described in his blog recently, you'd be surprised how much effort it takes to drag yourself onto a training board after several hours of activity :) and I noticed this skinny, I can only describe as, child running up the wall. Not only that, he's being belayed by his grandmother! It turns out I'm watching Finn, one of the local wonder-kids doing his thing. Not only that, he's 10 years of age. And he climbs 24 (7a+/5.12a) on top-rope outdoors clean. As he ran across the roof of the climbing wall, using some stunning technique to make up for his tiny height (he's doesn't even reach up to my shoulder), he was climbing with the maturity of someone twice his age. Amazing for someone who's only being climbing 18 months.
To top it all off, he is sooo psyched for climbing and soaks up anything you tell him. Having being involved with the other kids for the past few weeks, it's been good fun sharing some advice with some others (you probably all know my attitude by now towards sharing :).
Anyway, back to my original point. I've been slogging into the wall for two days in a row every evening after several hours of snowboarding for, as usual, my solo training sessions on the fingerboard. I was starting to struggle a bit last week - repetitive use of a fingerboard without anyone else to give you a push (or you to push them) meant that I was losing focus a bit. And then in the space of a few days, I see all of Dave's emails about pushing out the grades, and Finn starts dancing around the wall. Guess what? My motivation has some extra fuel thrown on the fire and I remember what it's all about. Awesome!
On a side note, Finn is 2nd in the under-12's category in the New Zealand national championships. I've haven't seen someone with such stunning technique in quite a while.....watch out routes!