Since returning from font I’ve fallen straight back into a regime of training. This in itself is strange for me because I usually have a bit of down time after a long climbing trip, but this time I started training after being back home for 2 days. I would like to put it down to a renewed sense of urgency to improve, because I was taken up in a hot air balloon and I glimpsed what was beyond the horizon, but now I’m back on Earth and feel like I need to sprint like crazy to get there.

There is only one problem amidst this psyche to improve, it’s the fact that climbing alone in my garage can be uncomfortably boring. I’m not enjoying these sessions spent deadhanging, or spent repeating my hardest problems with ease. I don’t have a sense of satisfaction from it all. Dobbin mentioned to me that he never built his own board for the sole reason that a lack of motivation for training alone would hinder him from using it. At least this is what I understood him to be saying. However, I don’t have that same issue. I know it’s boring, I know it’s not fun, but I still make that journey from my room to the garage. I still put the hours of training in. It might not be fun but this desire to improve has become some dark beast within me that I almost have no control over. At what point will it become fruitful, at what point will I be happy with my level? This question has also been plaguing me somewhat. As I’ve written previously, my next major goal is to do an 8B+, but then what? I’ll be in the same position I am today. Those n+1 steps don’t ever stop, they just keep you pushing like a carrot on a stick. Sometimes I even feel great solidarity with the ass. I know that following an 8B+ I will have a desire to seek out 8C. It all sounds so ridiculous when I voice these thoughts, but I’m not afraid of doing so, or of sounding ridiculous for that matter. But there will come a point when I can’t push any further. What happens then? In some ways I think I might be finished with climbing when that happens, but that’s a sad thought in itself. Perhaps then it will be time to pour my energy into something else. It sounds altogether odd to write such a thing, and it remains to be seen if such a thing will happen. These are only crazy thoughts of a man locked in a garage. Perhaps the quest for 8C will continue for ever. I know the quest for 8B+ won’t last forever, as I know I’m not a million miles away at the moment. In fact, if I had a bit more money I would probably head out to Branson sometime in the next few months for an extended trip of the area.

I do have to say that my training is evolving though. A new awareness of movement has been gifted upon me and I’m trying to use it to analyse my shortcomings and turn them into strengths. It was all based on a good conversation about what “technique” actually is that I had with Adam, and it has certainly helped me to understand a few things.
I’ve also been working on the film from font and it’s going to be much longer than expected. I wanted to make it 20-30 minutes so it won’t be boring, but the climbing footage alone exceeds that so I’m guessing it will be more in the vicinity of an hour. I hope to have it done within 4 weeks and I’ll announce it to the world in a narcissistic moment of glory when it is ready.

Oscar Wilde said “Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.” and in my particular case the variables are the hours of training that I need to put in for my desired end result. Success is never a fluke, it’s always the culmination of the many steps that came before it. Those conditions are summarised well by Confucius, who wrote “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do”.  So, another day in the garage awaits…