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Moving house and moving on

24 Oct 2013

Right now I feel like a football that has played a very long game and I’m not sure the game has finished yet.  The umpire just doesn’t want to blow the whistle.  In my last blog I was very happy for it to be September.  I must have felt some degree of relief at the time.  It must have been some injury time, but shortly after that the game resumed with full force.  The ball hasn’t stopped moving, I wouldn’t mind if it was just rolling along gently but every so often I just get kicked.  Surely the players must be tired by now?

The big reason for this was the house move.  Wow, what an impact that has had.  Even the estate agent said it was the most stressful move she had dealt with.  I won’t go into details, but I am typing from a new house, which only in the last week has started to feel like home.  We did it, and I might as well say never again - you never know, we might be lucky.  However the house is really great.

New house

We have a new yellow house! This is the view from the back.

From little chance on goal, one was in the net and we celebrated, but 5 minutes later the other team scored one.  That was our old house which Nic and I prepared for tenants (cleaning, painting etc).  Next time we’ll be getting the professionals in.  I love to immerse myself in Living etc the minute it flops its way through the letterbox each month.  But the reality is for my house only (painting houses you don’t live in is soul destroying to say the least).  We had the sensation we were going backwards in time.

The end of that week had us in despair and going on holiday seemed the only option.  A week in Northumberland staying with Gav and Hel seemed like a Swiss retreat.  We didn’t even mind that it rained most of the time we were there.  We had no DIY to do.  It was bliss.  For one week we were in a suspended bubble – that must have been half time.

Nic and Vanessa Northumberland

Nic and Vanessa enjoying life after fish and chips in Seahouses

The rest of life had to continue as normal.  Alongside cleaning carpets, work had to be done too.

The big news is that I am going to be a provider for the new Coach Award Scheme.  Finally it’s here.  Coaches will now be able to pass a qualification, which shows something for the work and experience that has been gained over the last few years.  Currently Foundation and Development Coach Awards are available.  Performance coach will be coming soon next year.

I went to an induction in Manchester 4 days after moving house.  Martin Chester from Plas y brenin has project managed it into submission and he led an inspiring 2 days.  I am confident that the structure of the courses for the awards will lead to very well rounded coaches.  Coaches will have to show competence in three areas:

  1. Safety (first aid, child protection, climbing wall award or equivalent)
  2. What to coach (BMC Fundamentals courses etc)
  3. How to coach (this is the bit that’s really going to polish up UK climbing coaching – our actual coaching skills including observation, feedback and skill acquisition).

You can find out more at Mountain Training and the courses I am offering here.

Coach Award Scheme induction

I the meantime, that thing that gives me sanity...  what was that?  Oh yes, climbing!!  It’s a shame; it was all the way back in mid July that I redpointed Powerplant (8a).  At that point I was convinced I would climb 8a+ or at least some more routes this year. 

After August's super training month, September onwards involved 5 weeks of very little climbing, just no time with the house move.  But just as a window of time opened up again 2 weeks ago, I got a text asking if I wanted to go to Malham.  The thought of Raven Tor and tackling Chimes again completely unprepared left with little motivation.  Malham was a great offer.  Life gets sorted out in 2 hour car journey there and back.  The view from the crag is the best and the climbing is amazing.  That’s what I wanted!  I jumped on Zoolook (8a) and was immediately hooked.  This is probably the best route I’ve been on all year.  When a classic is really a classic, there’s nothing better.  I ventured up another time and almost did the crucial link (mucked up by a difficult clip as I was on toprope) and I knew that if I had gone up yesterday I would have had a chance of a redpoint.  But then it rained.  Steve and I commiserated at the Foundry this Tuesday as we kind of knew that this year’s Malham season might well be over.  Gutted.

Now I’m in limbo land.  Mentally I just don’t feel prepared for Chimes at all.  Zoolook is very unlikely.  So new inspiration is needed.

I might have found it yesterday afternoon.  I was out at Stanage with my French friend Corinne and her Team Kyou course, which she’s running with young people in the Peak this week (mostly spent at the Climbing Works – rain... you are not giving foreign visitors a good impression of our country... again).

Camillie Green Traverse

Camille almost doing the Green Traverse last night- she fell around 3 times at the end! Arggh!

There are a couple of old boulder projects of mine hanging around, skeletons that need a good dust.  It might be time to think differently, forget the routes for a while, toughen up my skin and get back on that fingerboard.  Getting strong again might be around the corner. 

And as for that game of football, I am really hoping the players are just too tired now and they will sit down and go to the pub so that I can take a rest.  We might just be nearing that time, I do hope so.

Stanage autumn sun

Stanage yesterday evening.  Sometimes the rain seems worth it; to get a view like this is all the more rewarding