|The Pyrenees coming over from Barcelona |
(my monthly commute in 2012!)
Friday, 31 October 2014
Thursday, 30 October 2014
|The stunning view at the bottom |
of the road from the new place
It felt a bit mental sight calling with John in front of TV cameras at the World Championships and flying straight in from Santiago de Compostela after 3 weeks of mainly solitude reflecting on the last year and finding clarity about a few things then to be plonked into a UK World Cup with John and the other para climbers. A few stressy days in a city then I pointed towards Snowdonia and walked on the coast biving out under the stars until I organised a new place to live in this wonderful country. Some rough nights but they were worth it to follow through with my plans to live just a little further out from the centre of things in Llanberis.
|A forced bivi: 'relatively pleasant'|
It felt hard as you are not just passing on technical information ..."sidepull at 11 o'clock for right hand with right foot up to thigh on a sloper..." Because I knew Reanne and Adam as people as well as para climbers and knew stuff that the audience would not and so when I was trying to keep Reanne's feet higher than normal to help drive her signals from her leg to her brain and push her hard to keep moving when the effects of her cerebral palsy were showing the signs that I had learned to recognise in Austria, it felt a little uncomfortable as I tried to verbally motivate her for all to hear. But I was so proud when I managed to put my own discomfort aside and give Reanne what she needed to hear as she gave it her all for the medal she was so keen to take home.
|Reanne taking her medal from Gijon|
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Next, we begin a 5 week programme to induce a climbing/fitness peak for Jay and start looking for cheap flights to his first experience of climbing paradise...
Sunday, 26 October 2014
Trying to be cool when things around you feel like a load of croc is obviously sometimes easier said than done. In climbing (as in life - mine anyway), belief has been the factor that has held my cool when in extremis on a wall way above with no ropes, too far out to fall and seemingly still so far to go.
In climbing situations like that, I remember just shifting the perceived reality of the potential disastrous outcome to a belief that all I can change is the elements of the situation that were within my perceived control, like the simplicity of just making the next rock over on a small hold as if I was just bouldering back at my wall in Glasgow. A coping strategy, obviously. Coping with perceived danger...
Being honest with your self is it seems key to being able to manage risk. But sometimes you don't know what your capable off until you choose or have to face it. It's obviously easier to face challenges when you have no choice but putting yourself in a position of danger when you have a choice forces a default to the question "why am I doing this?"
That leaves you no where to look but straight into the centre of your self. Usually I'm doing it because what I think I have isn't enough for me and taking this risk could be worth it as it should make me feel better about myself and satisfy the 'rat' that wants that amazing heightened experience that perceived danger provides. And that's fine so long as it doesn't hurt others.
Back in the eighties soloing was rewarded with an image of 'cool'... A cool head to handle the fatal danger of a fall from high above to the terribly firm Terra firma. A bit uncool to the more risk averse, or even deemed selfish. For some; get it right and your a hero, get it wrong, and you were an idiot. Taking risks in climbing is obviously an inherent part of it. Does it have to be so risky wearing crocs? I think so. Even in sport climbing and bouldering there is a small feeling of risk before you fall. So maybe Crocs are so uncool, that they are actually cool? I think I'm wrong here, but there are two 'cools' here: being cool (comfortable temperature) and trying to seem cool (like branding). Which one rings true when up there on that beautiful endless piece of rock without ropes, just the updraft corressing the back of your hands as you reach over to that important rounded side pull, take the tension on the opposing foot and move up with belief... Or is this just a croc of shit to keep me busy on the real madness of the National Express bus from hell down from Scotland to Snowdonia. I prefer walking but that takes weeks...
Thursday, 23 October 2014
|New routing on Gozo Island|
|Malcom Smith on Hunger (9a) at The Anvil|
If you climb between 6a and 7c and are looking to improve your sport grade using our online training programme then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to design your programme beginning mid November. The cost is £100 for the 6 week programme and payable via paypal
|Coaching in Montserrat|
|Finger board session at The Beacon in N Wales|
|The GB Para Climbing Team 2014|
|John & I discussing the best choice of Crocs for my Camino |
and also his climbing tactics
|GB VI Category - John Churcher and |
some handsome footwear behind...
... As team GB took their medals and prepared for the coach back to the airport, John asked if I would be available for competing with him in the World Cup in three weeks back in Sheffield in the UK, but all I could say was let's see how long the Camino takes me and if I can I will, but I didnt want to rush one minute of this truly spontaneous and personally inspiring adventure ...
|The Way... El Camino de Santiago de Compestela|
|Santiago de Compestela|
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)