Yeah I know. It's been five months since I posted on my blog. I guess it might be how some agoraphobics got started. You're sick in bed for a week and suddenly, very quickly, the idea of going outside is just too scary to consider. So too with the blog posting. I'm not the only one either it seems. I think blogging is on the way out, personally. I posted about that earlier. Blogging was then, Facebook is now, and something else or a variant will be 'later'.
BITD, I never had to even try to produce when it came to climbing. My psyche was overflowing and all spare time -- especially at work ;) was devoted to writing, thinking, planning, discussing all things climbing. The qurank web forum, this Upskill blog, online guides, 8a.nu, theCrag.com, multiple Facebook pages. There was a lot to do! I never really questioned why I was doing all this. Why? Pfft! Why not? It was primarily about engaging with other climbers, and I loved it.
So what happened? Well, work happened. Proper work. After Sam and I got back from our year trip around the world, I had the opportunity to join a small but rapidly expanding company pretty much at the ground floor. Previous jobs I've had in big firms lauded the specialist. You know, the .NET coding expert. The Project Manager. I never really was a specialist, and so honestly never really believed I had much value in a work environment. Then this job came along with a small firm. And hell, specialisation was not needed - not in a small company. The company needed someone who could just jump in and do everything. And I did. Within a handful of months, I was managing the company.
Massive hours? Yep. Massive challenge? Heck yes. Massive feeling of accomplishment? Certainly. Why work so hard? Good question. Well, the way I see it, the harder you work, the more you should get paid. So working really hard is a means to an end and that end is increased freedom. The freedom to take long holidays and go climbing. The freedom to do what you want to do because you can afford to. But some things fall by the wayside. Suddenly, the time needed to recreate online completely evaporated. I stopped going to qurank. I disabled the Upskill Climbing Facebook page. Stopped blogging. The only non-work activities were training (just enough to maintain, not improve) and a bit of weekend climbing, and putting up new routes.
The six weeks I just spent in the Red River Gorge was the first actual holiday since taking on my mad new work role. It was pretty crazy going from 60-80 hour weeks to the backwoods of Kentucky. The weeks in the lead-up to the trip I did minimal training and figured I'd get fit over there. Well, it worked out pretty well. I ended up bagging five 13a/7c+/28s - two of these onsight and the others second go. In the heady world of Ondra's and Ashima's that's nothin'. But for me, that's really good. I've only ever done one 28 onsight previously.
I also did 17 7b/25s and 7b+/26s and 13 of those were onsights. All in all, 109 pitches of extremely enjoyable climbing - nearly all onsighting. I did almost no projecting. Got on some great harder routes like Kaleidoscope (13c/8a+/30) and Golden Boy (13b/8a/29) but only gave a few tries before moving on. That's always been the case for me in a new area. It's hard to limit yourself to one route when there are so many classics nearby begging to be climbed.
What's the point of this story? I like stories.
I guess the point of the story is to say sorry, yeah, haven't been blogging. But I'm still hammering away. I'm putting my collared shirt on and walking back into work, ready to kill it there, but also aiming high with my own climbing - nothing's changed there. It's a balancing act, and I'm still learning.
|One of the onsights that got away - Zen and the Art of Masturbation 5.12d/7c/27, The Gallery, Red River Gorge, KY, USA.|