“Failure is the road to Success…”
I always say this at the start of each post, but WOW it’s been a while since I wrote anything here! Lots to catch up on and lots of new videos to post 😀
Here’s a great video my friend Adrien Godet at Mouvement Productions made of me going about a days climbing in London:
My competition performance and indoor climbing have been slowly improving over the last year! I came first in a few of the monthly competitions held by the new Vauxwall Bouldering Centre (though I wasn’t allowed to win any prizes, as I work there lol), and am getting better and better at climbing well consistently, which I think is the most important skill a competition climber can have. I realised a while ago that being able to climb hard problems does not make a good competitor; I had a great day a while ago when I felt especially strong and managed to flash a V10 Dan Varian had put up in Vauxwall as part of the “perma-set”, so was definitely having a good day!
However, I noticed that even on my best climbing days, when I can flash really hard problems, I’m still incredibly inconsistent and will still fumble the occasional V2! The result is that there are plenty of people who wouldn’t be able to flash V10 who always beat me in competitions, because even on their worst climbing days, they will never fall off anything below V8 and end up with a far higher total score! I’m putting it down to experience, and hoping that so long as I carry on focusing on climbing confidently and precisely, I’ll get better at focusing and not slipping off the easy climbs!
Climbing outdoors more and more often is helping a lot with my indoor climbing too, as the more relaxed and cautious approach I try to take to climbing outdoors is starting to become more present in my indoor climbing too. The biggest lesson I have learned so far in climbing is that a bit of patience can go a long way sometimes. I posted a while ago about grappling with my failure on Karma (8A) in Fontainebleau, after having battled with it relentlessly for days and wearing through all my skin, eventually leaving empty and sore handed and very very miserable at what felt like a wasted trip.
I returned a few months afterwards with my friend Ben Berisha, this time with another goal in mind: Miserichord, the stunning highball arete just up the hill from Karma. However, I knew this time to have a far more relaxed approach, and to drastically limit the amount of attempts I gave each problem in comparison to how I had attacked Karma a few months before. On our first day I took a couple of pads and left Ben trying Beatle Juice while I went and had a look at Miserichord.
I was ecstatic that my main project of the trip got done after only a couple of hours work, and even more excited that my new approach had worked: I tried the moves from the ground for about 45 minutes or so, then when I was confident I could do it, I rested for a full hour, returned with Ben and a few more pads, and it went first time!
Throughout the rest of the trip I continued with my new approach, sometimes with great success, sometimes with no success at all, but getting less hung up on individual problems gave me so much more time to enjoy Fontainebleau properly.
Here are the videos from the other days I was there, including some of the worst top outs ever seen and Vengence Du Triceps, the hardest V3 in the world!
I also went on a trip to Yorkshire recently to have a go at High Fidelity, a V13 highball at Caley Roadside, armed with detailed beta from fellow Blurr clothing ambassadors Dan Turner and Matt Birch. I got completely shutdown and then left early due to the changing weather, but tried my best to be OK with my failure. I try to keep in mind with climbing that every failure makes you a bit stronger and gets you closer to your goals, and that a bad days climbing is FAR better than no climbing at all. And I managed to tick a few other great climbs around the area, so I didn’t leave totally disappointed!
I have also been lucky recently to get some more sponsorship! A big Thank You to Mad Rock for sending me plenty of pairs of their award winning Shark rock shoes, as well as a harness, bouldering mat and a load of clothes to keep me warm during the winter from their partnered clothing company Nihil! I’ll be off to try the Southern Sandstone bouldering tomorrow, and a video will be following shortly :D.
Wish me luck!