Monday, June 28, 2010

More Psyched Than a Badger on Crack

 Image: (C) Matt Pycroft Media - All Rights Reserved. For more great shots from the comp, check out or Matt's facebook page

Today I feel a bit numb (a bit beaten up actually). Following a few weeks of trying to train with a duff elbow and after an abysmal result at the City Bloc comp. This weekend brought me to Sheff and the British Bouldering Championships, along with it came some luck.

What a wall! Built for the World Cup next weekend, it's basically in a big circus marquee and is so high I actually thought twice about making one or two moves during the day - certainly added that 4th dimension to problems!

After qualifying with a bit of leeway in 1st place, the finals were a fight. Problem 1 went down with a flash, however problem 2 was a different story. Every time I went to use the crucial toehook, my hand would start to slime off. I didn't even manage to get the bonus. By this stage, Gaz and Jon P. (possibly the nicest man in climbing) were ahead and I thought it was all over. I'd been preparing for just this situation though following the demoralising semi's at CWIF. I'd been spending time visualising problems going horribly wrong and then having to regain composure whilst back in Isolation. It really paid off so I managed to come out for number 3 psyched again.

This was one of the defining moments of competing for me so far, pulling through the start, I reached the pinch above the volume and the crowd suddenly seemed to go mad. It then dawned on me that possibly no-one had done the problem - there was only one way I was going to let this end. Another flash in the bag. Funniest comment I've ever heard from a commentator, apparently inspired by my face at the time (first time anyone's been inspired by that) - it forms the title of this post.... Number four, tagged the bonus hold 2nd attempt and it was in the bag. Very close - but threw up a few weaknesses I can work on over the next while.

No idea what to make of things really, feel a bit gutted for Ned as having competed in Eindhoven on Friday and driven back from Holland, he was on less than top form and was hurting. Now, rest and try to sort out a new team strip for next weekend as I may or may not have accidentally burnt a hole in the one I had (and the kitchen table) trying to iron on a logo... oops!

Once again, living for the weekend.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My body broken

Had the ultrasound scan on my elbow this morning after suspecting torn ligaments from a bit of a crash landing at the comp on Saturday. Thankfully nothing obviously torn, just a bit bruised most likely. Was well worried though - thought it was the end of the grand-plan for this year.

Will train tonight and see how it is before deciding on whether or not to go to the City Bloc comp this weekend. Fingers crossed....

Meanwhile, news item on UKC -

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Manchester City - Nil, Pikey - Won

Quiet few weeks for me bar the odd day at Kilnsey as I've been trying to shake a finger injury - properly beasted it this weekend and it held out though, so think I'm outta the woods.

Saturday was a 6am start from home to get to Manchester for the opening of the new Rockover climbing centre and their inaugural comp.  Cool wall, like a bigger version of ClimbNewcastle in an  equally dodgy neighbourhood.

The big battle of the day was with the temps, must have been 35 degrees in there - absolutely draining! Qualifiers went pretty poorly, dropping a few things I just shouldn't have so was pretty disappointed with it. Thankfully, I got into the final in 3rd place and by the time the finals had come round a small amount of energy had returned. Strategy for the final: "Flash everything chum, 'cos you don't have enough in you for any more go's!!"

After nearly making a balls of the 1st problem and narrowly getting the flash, numbers 2, 3 and 4 went down ok. The pressure was really on for number 5 as I knew that if I flashed it, top spot was probably mine....
The flash was not to be however and after missing a sequence, a few attempts led to touching the final hold. The ensuing fall however, left me wondering had I broken my arm - lovely crack as I landed, probably the worst fall I've had indoors. All I could do now was sit and wait for Gaz to finish.

Gaz flashed to the same point as me but didn't manage to latch the top hold either and with his slip on an earlier problem, 1st place and the massive cheque was mine! Still can't believe it. Being unable to move my head this morning due to the whiplash I gave myself is making it a bit more real however.

All in all, really class day - the British team are a properly sound bunch and am really looking forward to doing a bit more with them. Thanks also to Tom/Rockover climbing wall for a really good comp - brave people hosting that on your very first day open.