My body finds itself in Belgium. My mind finds itself in a state of readiness to battle. It’s been what feels like a long time coming but I’m finally on the brow of the hill looking down into the battle field. I don’t wish to make it sound epic, but it really is. The last weeks have seen a silence permeate the blogosphere and in reality I had my head in the books trying to cram every last bit of statistic knowledge into each nook and cranny of my brain. This reached it’s zenith on the 13th and 14th when I went and tested my onsight statistic skills against the examination of 2008. I won’t find out whether I reached the glorious heights of success or the depths of failure until December, so in the mean time I’m going to find another battle. My search has thus far led me to Belgium which isn’t so much the first battle ground but the final feast before adorning my body with armour and riding off into the mist.
A quick itinerary looks something like this; I’ll be arriving in font later today and spending 3 days trying to re-find my long lost rock skills. I’ve not been feeling all that good on the rocks recently. My body doesn’t feel young, lithe, and ninja. It feels rough and heavy which is why I need to re-find my skills and I think the forest is a prime place to do so. I’m hoping for a dry weekend with lots of climbing, which should also have a bi-product of prepping my skin for a stint on rock. My current wood skin needs to be shed so I can grow into my rock skin. After 3 days in Font I’ll be heading down to Switzerland to enter the true battlefield. My body is strong at the moment, I’m fairly certain of that, but whether or not my skills are enough is something that I will find out in battle. I certainly won’t fail from lack of trying, lack of perseverance, or lack of desire.

I had an inspiring talk with a good friend of mine the other day and it had a wonderful effect on me of something akin to a laser being refocused to exert maximum power onto a small spot. I feel like my mind has been sharpened and the mind is truly the most powerful muscle we have. I was asking about trying to lose some of my bulk for my trip to Switzerland and he replied “you can’t lose 4kg from your body, but you can lose it in your mind”. When you believe in something and you feel good on the inside, I think the climbing flows naturally into a good state. I don’t want to get all Ron Kauk, but utilising the full power of your mind is probably something that not everyone manages to do, myself included. I’ll certainly be trying hard to remain conscious of this throughout my trip. Utilising the full power of your body is probably more important in the final analysis, but I think these two things definitely go hand in hand. When you are in a good mental state you always find yourself in a good crushing state.

I don’t have anything in particular in England drawing me back so I don’t know how long this trip will go on for. I think it will go on until I complete the things I want to do. The list isn’t long, but completing it would be a great achievement for me. And the beauty of climbing is always in personal achievement. I’m really looking forward to feeling very, very cold upon arrival at the rocks. I’m looking forward to wearing thermals. I’m looking forward to long days fuelled by chocolate and coffee. I’m looking forward to falling asleep from exhaustion. I can’t wait.