Saturday, 21 January 2012

The future is unwritten...

So 2011 is out and having reflected upon the good and bad of the last year, I think I now need to start setting achievable goals for 2012, whilst also outlining things I can do to achieve them. Having read Mason and Morse's blogs it seems to be a good idea to look back and analyse the past year and use that to set next year's goals and area's for improvement.

In preparation, I have been doing a bit of research and trying to work out key areas to train that may give me the edge when I get onto the rock next year. I have begun a love-affair with sustained, sometimes bold routes up vertical walls, and so I obviously need to be fit, but there are a few subtle things that I can train that require (a) less effort and (b) could make a bigger difference whilst saving the effects of training for when I am in dire need of a plateau-breaker. 

The first of my sneaky tricks is to get good frog flexibility! Being able to get my CoG (and my semi) as close to the rock as possible will likely make a bigger difference than extra fitness, especially when pumped! 

The second is to do some drills (sounds boring as feck eh? But it seems a lot of other sports and the military use them to good effect). This is to focus on the fact that once you (I) get pumped, quite often technique, sequence deciphering, gear placement, and aggressive mindsets go out the window quicker than you can say "Take!". By drilling myself good movement skills in a normal situation and then build it into stressful situations, I will hopefully reinforce smooth movement, efficient sequence deciphering, and the ability to place good gear, allowing better focus, that's the theory anyway...

Thirdly, climb with Al Mason more, because despite him being hairy and smelly, I have done all my E4 on-sights with him either belaying or at the crag, and most of my hard boulders with him... I can learn a lot from him and he pushes me. Maybe I just fancy him...

2012 GOALS:

 Climbing Goals
  • Onsight some classic, solid E4s. E.g. Ressurection, Moon Walk, Sugar Cane Country, Great Wall (Both!), Star Wars, Bloody Sunday, True Grip, Roc-Nest Monster, Break On Through, etc.
  • Ground-up an E5 that inspires me. E.g. Rimsky Korsakov/Mur y meirwon/Pembroke E5?
  • Redpoint 7b. E.g. Red Meat, Ceuse 7b, Bloodsports?
  • Onsight more 7a's and some 7a+'s. E.g. Axle Attack, Calimero, Ceuse 7a/+'s.
  • Send powerful V6 and technical V7. E.g. Chummer's Wall, Lipstick, Perrin's Crack SDS.
  • Get more comfortable yet again on sustained, pumpy ground, especially with a trad rack and/or runouts. This will basically be a case of putting in effort whilst training, but more importantly getting on bigger sport numbers and simply getting on pumpy trad routes!
  • Have a good day at the Cromlech! Have a day doing classics, then get on Foil and try it onsight/ground-up. It's not a route I'm super bothered about so it should breakdown the 'Cromlech barrier'. Just do Memory Lane. Then start getting on the harder routes.
  • Remain motivated and injury-free.
  • Go on some sweeeet trips. Got a fair bit lined up once I'm free from uni; Pabbay or Ceuse in June, Pembroke or Lakes in July, maybe Les Alpes in August?
  • Get some winter climbing done! 

Life Goals
  • Pass my degree!!! - Pretty important this one, don't want to waste all that money!
  • Enjoy the last 6 months of Uni life.
  • Get a job that I can save loads of money with for Autumn/Winter 2012/13.
  • Try and be the nicest, happiest, most positive person I can.
  • Learn to drive, pass my test and get some wheels.
  • Save as much of my last loans as possible!

So is there any vague plan I hear you ask! Yes! Trip-wise, I won't be going anywhere sunny at Easter as I have revision for finals to do. However, I am hoping to go to places like Kilnsey and Malham for short hits in the spring. Then, June will be exciting with either a trad expedition to Pabbay in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. OR a sun-tastic sport trip to Ceuse in Spain. Hopefully, and almost certainly if I go to Ceuse, I'd like to go to Pembroke for 2-3 weeks in July, really get my teeth into the climbing there and do some inspiring routes! Then, dependant on money, I will either head to the Alps with Bubbles, or continue to crag in the UK whilst finding a bleeding job for the winter! Preferably in North Wales so I can live with Jess...

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