Saturday, 16 August 2014

Grass Roots... Finding the fun man!

Same height but thankfully
less grown up than the grass!
After a productive coaching session with John from the GB Para climbing Team at the Beacon climbing center, I decided I wanted to get out of the valley and get back to my roots a day early and hopped on the afternoon train to Glasgow, with no change of clothes just my coaching bag. I don't wear pants so it was just a matter of finding a tee shirt in Glasgow and taking the odd shower in between Glasgow showers!

Finding fun in climbing is what feels the most real element of it all. I arrived at the Glasgow Climbing Center to some smiling friends from the past. The atmosphere was great and as I waited for my mate Colin to finish his work I noticed 4 young students probably new to climbing ( 2 guys and 2 girls) climbing together. As the center began to empty they started mucking around on the mats together and then one of them set off on this traverse off the mat onto the wall round the building and then next student followed by the next until the were all traversing back to the mat on the other side where the first student semi somersaulted onto to the mat with the others following like puppies. It was great to see them so uninhibited and just having fun with climbing like that. 

It's funny as we get older, we feel obliged to act differently but keeping the child inside is what seems to be where all the fun is! I saw a post on facebook about growing up, saying 'don't do it, it's a lie' and it seems to be the case. Fun and happiness seem to work together and yet at 46 I feel more in touch with the fun side of my life than I was as a boy.

1984 with a head full of grown up stuff...
Visiting my old haunts where I used to boulder obsessively, sometimes twice a day where I would dog off school in the day to have a session then wait for my cousin to finish and then have to put super glue on my skin to get through the evening session on the hard sandstone. But it was nice to just touch the holds and not feel compelled to pull up this time, just look and smile at the things I could do as a boy and look forward to the things I am going to do as a man.

A nice evening with my best mate, a few beers and great discussions about our lives going forward. We share a birth date within 24 hours of each other and so we are able to compare and reflect on our mutual experiences, lovers and the other important ingredients of life. 

Climbing makes the child in me happy and coaching is making the adult me more fulfilled and helping me learn about el humano and the positive transfer between like minded people and friends.

Happy that the holds haven't grown up too much and are still small.
 I realized a couple of years ago that I wanted to do what I wanted to do with my life (so long as I didn't hurt others) and having fun and never letting one's inner self grow old looks like a good path to be on. Being adult for me is not about judgement, it was about being honest in relationships or carrying my broken mate alive from a dark winters night on a savage mountain or holding a persons hand while they took their last breath of life or watching my babies pop out into my hands as a young man...

Referrals from clients:

"...This training season I decided to get all the help I can to speed up my improvement. I needed guidance to work towards my goals in long term. I also needed more vision and opinions about my exercises and weak links. I am glad I can share my training with Mark..." (Ville Mustonen, Finland)

" I met Mark in Glen Nevis on his return to climbing to check out some lines he had in mind for me, I wasn't really training at this point but after a day or two talking and training with him I had a much more structured idea of what to do to improve and I did" (Kev Shields)