I remember the day that it felt like magic and I flowed across rock, no fear, with joy. Afterwards I fell, crushing my solid foundations, destroying the mental and physical strength I’d just begun to develop.

Instead of building a solid foundation again I rushed forward to try and *catch up* to get *somewhere* *anywhere* that wasn’t where I was stuck.

Cracked toes, neck injury, dislocated fingers, months and weeks off climbing and I would run back straight afterwards to the gym, the wall, the rock, ignoring the pain or the mental difficulties, forcing myself to fall and jump and pull hard.

Somehow I made progress, I began to feel comfortable again began moving through the grades, began to feel more comfortable taking falls and then I got injured again.

I had to take the two months off before going to el chorro because I injured a finger tendon. I arrived in El Chorro for a two week climbing trip, psyched and driven.

Instead of spending the first week building up my grade and taking falls I took a back seat as we were climbing in a three, when the third left I decided to start projecting a climb on top rope, working out the hardest moves I’d ever climbed.

The last week was spent doing this (alternating with resting whilst belaying my climbing partner) until my last day came. After not leading a whole lot for the whole trip I got on the hardest route I had ever climbed and tried to push it. Unsurprisingly the world tumbled around me, the weak foundation crumbled and I failed. Too long spent looking forward instead of enjoying where I was, too much hoping and not enough stopping and looking around.

I was more than upset, I was decimated. I spent the night wondering whether I should just give up climbing altogether, whether I should quit my job in the climbing wall and the city and get a job in an office somewhere and pretend I didn’t care, thankfully I am more prone to melodramatic statements than I am to melodramatic acts and instead I decided to think a little longer!

I have to wash my foundations away, strip away the scrappy scaffolding and start again. Somehow find out where I *am* and enjoy if for a while before I start moving forward again.

And now a courtesy *normal* trip report…el chorro was hot and cold, wet and dry. the rock was stunning, Makindromo was breathtaking, the finca was full of smokers and the showers were cold, the train station cafe was like an episode of Eastenders only with tasty tortilla and tea, if I go again I will change only a few things.


waiting…still waiting

March 21, 2012

I sat in the car, the sun was shining on my face, I didn’t want to think forward and psyche myself out.

I haven’t gotten my confidence back since my fall…I’m working on it but it’s nano steps.

But the car journey, the tea sheltered under bothan reminded me why I love climbing.

The immediacy of reality, how cold the wind is, how warm the sun is, people talking in the distance, the feeling of breathing in and out, all of the now.
Add in beauty, beautiful rock, searching for beautiful movement.

It was cold and I wanted to lead a route,my climbing partners reminded me of baby steps so I was set up with a top rope just in case I needed it and a lead rope and a rack.

I didn’t sag, I didn’t stop, I *could* have lead it.

But all the same…when I can see my foot placement but not feel it because it is so cold I am grateful for my friends who stopped an easy climb becoming something I freaked out on.