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How good is this weather!!

22 Apr 2010

Since getting back from Sicily and finding out that I was 4 weeks further on than I thought my body has felt less invincible, or rather my mental had to do a small adjustment.

In Sicily I was going with what felt right and what routes were available at the crag.  I knew falling might not be a good thing and I’m certain it’s not now.  I’ve taken the approach of continuing leading as long as possible.  Firstly I think I’ll feel like I’ve completely given in if I top rope from now on and secondly I’m putting off the dreadful idea of a body harness as long as possible (when leading sounds rather awkward with racking gear etc).  Thirdly I’ve got this idea that by leading I’ll control how much stress I put on my body as I’m only going for things I’m certain I won’t fall on.  This is my logic, which may well not be logical – every pregnant woman is different!!

So all this has led to trad climbing only.  Bouldering is out (although I did manage a whole easy circuit at the Works last week – but I’m probably stretching it a bit).  And then ‘easy’ sport climbing in this country isn’t easy and not quite as enjoyable as abroad.

Wrinkle Slab Bamford Wrinkle Slab VS, Bamford

Elaine and I did a great day at Bamford and did lots of VSs and HVSs I’d never done.  Sometimes I have a sensation that I need to make the most of every second at the crag as they’ll be a time when I can’t go.  Nic had to almost tear me off the crag in Sicily (knowing I'd pay for it the next day with tiredness).  So at Bamford we had 30 minutes left and I couldn’t resist the temptation of Auricle, a super E2.  There’s something challenging about knowing you can’t fall off, so I’m careful to make every movement perfect.  It takes a stretchy mini overlap – probably the limit of what my tummy muscles can take at the moment.  I felt really chuffed to do it!

Then we went to Eastby (near Skipton), Cookrise’s most definitely poorer brother.  Probably a one star crag.  Nice, but not brilliant.  I decided to lead the VSs as the harder routes seemed quite bold... until the VS’s started to become bold and I was more or less soloing...

Eastby Pillar Rib VS Pillar Rib VS, Eastby

The other good day was at Chee Tor.  After the hilarities of Bob having to wade into the river to recover Mia’s lost jelly shoe, I launched onto Meditation, a spectacular E1.  Chee Tor looks so rubbish and scrappy from afar, but when you get going it’s amazing.  I led another E1 and seconded a filthy E2 and an amazing E3, which my book says I’ve led before, but I couldn’t remember anything of it.

Meditation Chee Tor Meditation E1, Chee Tor

It’s great climbing with no ambition; actually training and focussing on pushing yourself all the time is really quite tiring (mentally more than anything).  It’s quite refreshing for me to climb simply for the exercise and enjoyment of moving on rock.

I don’t know when my next time at the crag will be... I’ve got a rather exhausting time ahead of me:  this weekend I’m running a learn to lead course, then I’m doing a two week tour around the country with Lucy Creamer doing the BMC Rock Essentials.  All this with a wedding north of Fort William in the middle!  Help!  Slowing down doesn’t seem to be happening for me... yet!

Expansion programme

08 Apr 2010

No, this is not some kind of new training programme.  It’s what’s happening to my tummy.  If you are already on my email list you’ll already know that there is someone growing in there.  Otherwise this will be a big surprise.

And when I had the first scan two weeks ago and found out I was an extra 4 weeks further on, my rather slow winter’s training progress at the Foundry made rather more sense.  I was pregnant for a huge chunk of it and didn’t know it.  Being pregnant altogether wasn’t a surprise, but perhaps the speed at which it happened was.  And now Nic and I are going to be parents!

So this might put the pieces of the jigsaw together of why my winter training never culminated in any big milestone ascents on any of my numerous holidays to Slovenia, Spain or Sicily.  Or even negate the possibility that my life had taken on an incredible jet set lifestyle.  It’s just I was making the most of the time now...

I am now almost 4.5 months into it and feeling very well, thank you.  I’ve probably pushed things a bit far climbing wise but no ill effects are present.  I certainly made the most of my trip to Sicily, knowing this will be my last climbing trip in some time.  I led many 7a+s and 7as but didn’t want to push it any further.  Still I was more than happy with this.  I’ve not moved onto top roping just yet as I would prefer to lead as long as possible before I succumb to a body harness (which is probably a month off..) and saying goodbye to the sharp end (no idea when this will be yet).

Meanwhile there’s been quite a bit of activity sorting out my work.  And I’m pleased to present my takeover team.

Takeover team

I plan to continue work as normal until the end of May and then we’ll have to see how I do in June as I'll probably be quite large then.  Since the new person will be arriving in September my holidays in France and Turkey are seeing some changes.  Lucy Creamer will be stepping in for France and Rob Napier for Turkey.  You can read about them on the pages.  Corinne and Steve are working as normal.  As for Turkey we’ll only be running one week now instead of two.

I will still be running the Rock Action course in July but taking a back seat.  I’m really pleased to announce that James MacHaffie, top climber and experienced instructor will be taking a lead role with Jules Barrett.

So, there is the bombshell.

If you are interested in doing some coaching just get in contact as I will be working beyond May but more indoors or for shorter time periods.  And of course I'll be back working and climbing properly as soon as I can.

It’s a beautiful Spring day today, perhaps the first I’ve seen and I’m looking forward to some grit trad over the weekend.  Can’t wait...