Sunday, 26 October 2014

Are Crocs cool or am I just taking too big a risk?

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...

Manchester next stop. Hope that's cool?

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)