All change…

Over the past six months life has be rather hectic. I’ve been completing an internship in London as a start to my professional career. Internships are notoriously under paid and this isn’t helped by the outrageous expense of living in London. I was fortunate that mine was actually paid as a lot are not. This has meant that I have had to work two jobs and be super careful with my money just to get by. Admittedly the second job was at VauxWall climbing centre. It is awesome and provided a nice change to being in the office all day, but this combined with training on the days when not working in the evenings will eventually wear any person out and that is how I feel right now. Burnt out!!!

At the back of my mind for the last few months has been the niggling issue of what I am going to do after my internship ends. It is just not financially viable to live in London without a consistent wage and I was mindful that I would just burn through a lot of my spare cash renting in London hoping a job would turn up. The decision to leave or stay was a tricky one. Luckily I have managed get a new job in the area I want to work and in an amazing place in the world. London is fun and I’ve met so many awesome people here, there is so much going on you can find something new and exciting to do everyday of the week, but it’s just too expensive and the lack of the country side / mountains just means it really isn’t the place for me! It has shown me how much a love climbing an being in the outdoors and how much I miss it living here something I was keen to get back when starting a new job. The new job means another HUGE change in life again but these are super exciting along with me super scary! I am going to be moving out to Chamonix in France towards the end of May to start my new job and new life. I feel super fortunate that I have managed to find a job doing what I want to do in a place in the world that I want to live and am so excited for it to start along with being pretty scared as it’s a huge change. In the mean time I have a rather large list of things that need sorting out before the big move. It almost seems endless but I’m sure I’ve given myself enough time to sort it all out…… hopefully!

So what do the next few months hold? Well there is going to be a lot of sorting out of stuff ready for the big move but I also hope that I can managed to get a trip away somewhere for a week or two. Maybe Fontainebleau or Spain I’m not sure yet. Some sunshine and a break would be nice. Guess I better dig out those skis and learn how to wield and ice axe as well, but most of all i am super excited about going!!!

Blokfest, CWIF & Injuries

It has been a very busy last few weeks for me. Not only has there been a load of competitions going but it has also been the last few of my internship in London and I have been busy trying to decide what I am going to do next. All very hectic times. Unfortunately this level of busyness has not really had a positive influence on my climbing and or training. I have managed to keep up with my training schedule but have seemed to have just lost motivation and my diet has definitely suffered mainly down to the pure lack of time. Anyway back to the comps and more on that later.

The final round of the Blokfest series was the weekend before last at Mile End climbing wall in east London. I felt excited to compete and try and maintain my overall position in the series. Having never been to Mile End before I made sure I got there early to have a good look around, check out the walls and have a good look at the problems. After looking around I felt psyched to get on with the comp and as the clock struck 1pm the comp started. I felt like I started well flashing some of the harder slab problems that were really easily droppable, but then I dropped a couple of problems that I felt I shouldn’t have. I carried on doing some of the problems before it hit me that I’d completely run out of energy and just had nothing left! Annoying as once I munched down a banana I flew up the problems I’d just dropped. Very irritating but something to learn from for next time!

For the finals I was taking photos. I got an awesome view from on top of one of the boulder which I think helped create the amazing angles and photos that I managed to capture. I am really pleased with them I feel like my photography skills are progressing which is awesome. This was added to by fellow Mad Rock team mate Louis Parkinson doing really well in the final. Louis finished up in 2nd place on the podium after an awesome effort on the last problem that started with a massive campus move. I finished 12th overall in the Blokfest series which I am really happy with especially as this was my first season doing lots of competitions. Time to look forward to next year get strong and improve on this result. Check some of the photos below and the full photoset using the link.

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Blokfest Mile End full image set

Next up was the CWIF (climbing works international festival) event. I was so excited for this as it was amazing fun last year and a great weekend. This year we had organised a Mad Rock team to go and compete that included myself, Louis Parkinson, Michelle Wardle and Dougie Swanson-Low. I booked on for the PM session and got the train with Louis up to Sheffield from London on the morning. We arrived around 11am which gave us time to have a bit of breakfast and coffee and thoroughly check out the problems. Our session was due to start at 2pm which meant that there was quite a bit of time to kill. I really wanted to just get started!!!!! When 2pm hit I was eager to get started, maybe to eager! I jumped on the first few problems and then promptly feel off a couple of them. I just felt like I had no strength and couldn’t pull. It was really weird though looking back on it this was probably due to the lack of food I’d eaten on the day, the past weeks fail at eating a proper diet and the stressful week I had before. I love cooking and making tasty food but it is something that I just seem to forget about when life gets hectic. This is something I really need to focus on when life gets hectic again! The comp went from bad to worse and I am really not happy with my performance, I feel like I’ve let myself down but I guess you have days like this. I think I put to much pressure on myself and was expecting a much better performance. My best performances have been going into comps with no expectations and just having fun. This is something that I am going to look to take forwards to future events. Annoyingly to make it slightly worse I managed to injure my flexor on my ring finger as well just pinching two holds of one of the problems so all the psych to get back to full strength will have to wait until the injury fixes. Rather irritating!!! I’m going to be delving into the finger injures section of Dave Macleod’s new book for sure!!!

The rest of the event was awesome and it was inspiring to see just how strong Alex Megos is. Some superhuman gravity defying feats of strength in the finals. Motivation is high to get back to training again and get over this injury. I seem to be quite susceptible to finger injuries so working out a plan to minimise this and maintain an overall balance in my body is going to be the aim looking forwards. I know I am very one sided in my climbing and need to make myself more rounded to improve. I’m glad I have recognised this now and am excited to start working on different aspects and hopefully see improvements! Anyway enough on that I’ll leave you with a photo of fellow Mad Rock athlete Louis Parkings crushing mens problems 1 in the CWIF semi finals.

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So what is next? Well I was planning on going on a trip somewhere over the next month or so possibly Font or Spain but I guess that will just have to wait until I see how my injury progresses. Finger crossed it isn’t that bad and heals up reasonably quickly!