My hardcore rest was not enough and today I woke up with seriously bad shoulders. I don’ know what I’ve done, but it feels like a combination of wrestling with Bigfoot and trying to hold an iron cross for 60 seconds. I can only compare it to the last time I had major issues with my rotator cuff. I don’t know what has brought it back, but both shoulders were very sore today. I was unsure if it would be good to climbing on them and try to loosen them up, or to have another rest day. Unfortunately my energy for climbing was too great, and after watching the incredible men’s 100m final I left for the rocks. Conditions seemed good and I was happy to be at the rocks again after yesterday’s ceaseless downpour. I just wanted to do a bit of moving on rock, assess how my shoulders really felt, whether they needed rest or a bit of stretching. I’ve fallen into a bad habit of warming up by campussing around on holds and just doing 5 minutes of deadhangs. This is not something I wish to continue as I really don’t think it’s a good idea, but it seems to be doing the job at the moment. I think it stemmed from the fact that some days there just isn’t enough dry rock to warm up properly, except now I do it even when there is plenty of dry rock around. I wanted to have a quick go on Jacks Broken Heart, 8A+, which I spent a day failing on last year. I just wanted to re-familiarise myself with it and make sure I knew what to do on each move so I could climb it efficiently. Today was successful in just that respect. I met a nice local guy called Today who had good info on the problem so I did all the moves, then did it in two overlapping halves, then packed up and left. I only had 3 or 4 goes, but that was enough for me, because I didn’t want a proper day out climbing, I just needed a micro session. But it wasn’t all smiles… because as I was unpacking my stuff I dropped my ipod, which bounced about 6ft down the hill then down 10ft into a big hole. I thought it was either lost or definitely broken, but after moving some rocks, then finding another entrance into the pit, I recovered it. I was thinking about how I gave Sara shit for breaking my old ipod by dropping it off a table, and here I was, having carelessly dropped my ipod down the hill and then into a huge hole. I was hugely relieved to find that it turned back on and actually played from the disk! RESULT!

However, the highlight of today was watching Usain Bolt win the 100m race, by quite a margin, and it marked a new era in 100m. I sent my friend a text earlier in the day stating that Bolt would run 9.6x and I think most of the world probably shared this thought. The style in which he did it was something I’ve never witnessed. He was jogging towards the end with his hands in the air, and he still smashed his record. I have no doubt that when he decides to actually finish running he will probably break the 9.6s barrier. He is so far above everybody else in the world that it made me start thinking about the limit of human performance. He is probably one in a billion, someone who is incredibly gifted, both genetically, psychologically, and in the training he receives. The sprinting world has never seen anything like it, but now that it has witnessed his domination, it has set the new level. He has single handedly raised the bar in his sport. I’m sure this happens in other sports too, and Michael Phelps is another example. His domination is truly incredible. Impossible is nothing to that guy. But what would happen if this happened in climbing? Climbing is not like many, many, many other sports in that it has very little that is actually measureable. Grades are an attempt to quantify difficulty, but they fall short in so many ways. What happens when the climbing world is witness to the 1 in a billion individual who is perfect in every way for rock climbing? It isn’t difficult to imagine what might happen if that individual is outside the climbing scene. The bitchy, negative old climbing world order would simply refuse to believe what they were hearing. This has already happened in my opinion, and probably several times. Perhaps we have never seen the 1 in a billion individual, but we have seen exceptionally gifted individuals torn down by the ideas of the old climbing world order, people without the ability to open their minds to just what is achievable. We probably can’t imagine what that 1 in a billion individual would be capable of doing in terms of rock climbing, because we can’t see so far beyond what has already been achieved. Will this old mentality in rock climbing ever be changed, will climbers one day stop trying to pull people back down and instead encourage them forward? I really hope so. Johnny G, if by some miracle of God you read this blog, then I hope you continue to advance rock climbing in your own way. I also hope God grants me another miracle by sending the world’s top climbers to the lakes to try some of his “holdless” test pieces.

I feel frustrated because I have so much energy that I can’t put into climbing. I don’t know if this needs explaining, but basically, climbing isn’t something that accommodates all the energy that I want to give it, due to physical constraints, and that is both sad and annoying for me. It could certainly take a lot more energy than I give it, but it couldn’t take it all. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, and just a physical limitation for me in climbing, but I’m not sure about that yet. It’s just a thought…