Thursday, 22 March 2012


I recent came back from the annual BUCS meet in Sheffield at the works bouldering wall. First, the place is massive with some pretty steep and high problems. I have to admit on one of the problems I was a little scared of blowing the top move as It felt more like a solo than a problem!

The competition itself was really good with a great atmosphere and some really class problems. Everyone was getting stuck in and sharing beta along with some great support for the climbers on their routes which made it seem less like a competition and more like a social meet with your friends which was really good!

What I like about competitions is the fact that you get to watch people try there hardest at each problem and focus solely on getting to the top! This for me is great as It gets me in the right frame of mind and ready to crush. Well it usually is, but something was wrong this time. I felt generally horrid, no psyche, no energy and no enthusiasm. It was the worst possible scenario possible for me, I had waited months for this to come around and when it finally came it was like someone had turned off a switch. Coupled with the fact that I had by that point been up for 24 hours I knew that It was downhill from there.

However rather than go at it hammer and tong I decided to cut my loses and not risk injuring myself before my trip on Font next week and play a spectator role. From doing A level P.E the year before I have a fairly sound knowledge into analysing performance and decided that to get the most out of the next couple of weeks climbing to come it would be worth learning from what I could see here.

Luckily for me some fairly well know punters were lurking around sending some of the harder problems, so I sat back and took note. Cheeky heelhooks were thrown in along with some impressive rock overs and lock offs which all made me want to review my own performance and improve to have some of the fluidity of some of the competitors.

For me though one competitor stuck out, Natalie berry. Yes she one the overall event in the women's and is a GB team bandit, but from watching her from the few attempts she had on the harder problems I learnt a fair amount. Now I could go through all the technical moves etc that went on but for me the biggest part was her determination and effort put in. It was clear each problem was tried with 110% without any lapse of concentration or from what It seemed any thought of failure.

This is a massive thing for me, Hanging in there until you cannot go any more and giving It your all without a single doubt you will not do it! So as I came away from Sheffield slightly disappointed in my performance but not empty handed as now hopefully I have the all ingredients for a crushing summer!

Friday, 2 March 2012


Since I last wrote nothing new has really happened on the climbing front. Another comp came and went with an O.k performance earning a respectable 10th place! My goal for this comp was to come in the top 10 so I was fairly pleased with the result. A quick trip to Cheddar yesterday

Whilst I have been down the wall I have found myself trending more towards trying to finish projects and conquer the red 7b circuit with little success. However these last couple of weeks I have tried to alter my usual way of doing things and adopt a training programme my friend sent to me. So far it has proved useful and I have followed it fairly well with only a few slip ups. However I am finding it a lot more intensive and demanding which is excellent!

Since hurting my finger a couple of years ago I have found myself trying to hold the majority of things open handed with the only exception of the smaller holds or when it really counts. This has been good and I have found myself quite fortunate in being injury free in the hand department! Until recently.

The training programme focuses on raw power and strength for a few of the days with a mixture of endurance and core work for the rest. This means for the power days I find myself underneath nine wooden rungs gurning away with the (apparent) intention of breaking my fingers at the joint. Improvement I tell myself comes at a price, however this seems more like a torture you might see in a Bond movie (If Telly Savalas was 8b crusher).

The price I seem to be paying Is extended resting and a bit of pain in my ring finger. At bit of a bummer but with the added rest it seems I am able to crack on with my work......Or procrastinate massively. So for now when I say "I'll have a day off" It means exactly that, not the usual of getting the rope out and trying to work out the moves on some desperate number in the gorge and then complain to my flat mates that my hand hurts!

Enough complaining as I have a quality weekend to look forward to If the weather holds, fingers crossed!