In order to try and capitalize on my final day in the wood, we headed out somewhat earlier to have a whole day at the rocks. I guess my logic was that more time at the rocks woudl translate into getting more done. It was very flawed logic, as I spent ages warming up and doing nothing, then decided to have a go on Jack’s Broken Heart, in order to finish it off. My fingers were aching a lot whilst warming up, and my skin was on fire, but I figured it would be a one go affair. I’d pretty much done it the other day but dabbed the boulder beneath it at the end, so I knew I could do it, but needed one go to seal the deal. We went over, I cleaned the holds, chalked up, and set off. I knew it was going to hurt my skin, but I’d told myself to fight through it. Before I set off I reminded myself of all the beasts in the world crushing hard blocs, trying desperately to grab on to any piece of inspiration I could. I got to the crux, which is seating the heelhook well, and my body was stronger than my mind. Both hands just let go from the pain in my fingertips. I couldn’t push through… it was too much. With that, I knew I wasn’t going to do it and accepted the fact. I felt pretty lame, because I was having to walk away (again) from something that was clearly within my ability, but that I’d failed to do. It’s not a nice feeling to be honest but one that I can deal with. It’s hardly the end of the world. I just didn’t to stop climbing though… I felt like trying more stuff, but I knew I couldn’t deal with any sort of sharp hold. With that in mind, I headed over to Voigas. Last year, I’d failed to do the first move after many, many goes. As I wrote previously, I knew I was in better shape this year, but obviously not climbing well, so I didn’t know what to expect. Within a few goes I’d done the first move without a problem, and it was so unexpected that when I went for the jump move to the finishing jug my foot popped off! Unbelievable. That sums up my climbing this year in Magic Wood. Amateur. Feet should never fall off 1cm sized holds. It’s lame. Anyway, I knew it was on, so I set the camera up and starting trying again. A few goes later I latched the first move again, set up for the jump, leaped, but managed to miss the finger sized crack/jug! I just floated past it and my fingers simply missed completely. More punter behaviour! I was rather shocked that I’d managed to jump and not get my fingers in the hold, to the point that I would have bet that I would not drop that move. I’m glad I didn’t. After this, I started trying again, but with the pouring rain and the disappearance of the sun the first hold very quickly turned into a big black greaseball and I couldn’t hold on. I accepted the fact that I’d just puntered this problem and I packed up. I was once again disappointed in myself for not being able to execute when it was called for. The whole idea of a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters sprang to mind… Clearly given enough goes on a problem I will certainly succeed in the end, but my ability to execute well on a given go is very poor. This is why I’m a punter at rock climbing.

I then started thinking about why this occurred in the hope of finding the solution and then implementing it. Although I didn’t find a clear solution (apart from simply becoming a better climber – which is not a solution in itself), I did find some answers when reading Lorenzo’s blog. Basically, I went to Magic Wood this year because it was hugely convenient to do so. Neil had an apartment, there would be food, a hot shower, and rock climbing. It’s an attractive proposal, but as most of you know, my heart was in Branson, under Radja. Desire is the motivating factor for me, and I desire that boulder problem so much, but there is nothing i desire in Magic Wood. There are a couple of things that I wanted to clean up, but nothing that I was madly psyched for. Once again I didn’t feel happy when I was completing boulder problems… and this was because there was nothing I truly desired. Why did I go? I suppose it was a mistake in some ways. I should have stayed at branson, slept in the dirt, eaten stale bread, crapped in the woods, washed in the river, and put all my energy into Radja. Failure from that wouldn’t have been bad, it would have been a joy because I’d have been chasing a dream. It’s a shame I didn’t realise all this three weeks ago, but it’s great that I’ve realised it all now. Whilst driving from Magic Wood to font I was listening to some Jay-Z (who is really great) and I heard this song lyric which tied in wonderfully with what I was thinking;

“But I will not lose, for even in defeat
There’s a valuable lesson learned, so it evens it up for me”

- Blueprint 2