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Introducing Gertrude…

There she is. My new beauty!  I’ve forgotten the pleasure it is to own my ones own vehicle! Took her on her maiden voyage to Swanage for the Easter weekend, and my smile grew as the mile rolled on under her! Yes she’s old and yes she a little nicked and dented, but she a smooth roller and she’s mine. Bring on the summer!

She got us there – ‘us’ being myself and a concoction of randomly thrown together new and old friends at the last minute.  Now we had to make the party happen.  Always makes me nervous when I introduce friends, always stupidly worry they won’t get along.  There was most certainly no need to worry this weekend!  The jokes erupted moments after the side door slammed and we pulled out of Camden and they just did not stop.  It was hard even concentrate on the climbs at times for the banter!

Really felt like we welcomed in the start of the summer, early.  Friday started cold and wet, by Sunday the sun tried braking out but we had a ground frost Sunday night. Monday however: Suns out, Guns out! Sun tans included!

Climbing, now didn’t one learn and thing or two about one’s psyche this weekend!  Happy to cruise up grades that in my head are warm ups, but the closer I get to my on-sight grade the harder it was for me to believe I was capable of doing it. Moreover, if i were to watch someone else climb a hard route even if I knew to them to be stronger and better to me, I would happily go up after and pull out the bag whatever was needed to get to those chains.  If, however, I went first all my confidence; in route reading, skill, strength and technique just evaporated.

Saturday and Sunday I enjoy the company of an incredibly good climber, who was cruising all the routes.  I was very willing to try any route he did and was able to do any of the moves he did with barely a shadow of a concern for my ability. Come Monday, I’m picking out my own routes, at the first hint of a complexity or power doubt came knocking.  I was not trusting myself or my technique, suddenly I worried about silly falls, over gripping, heavy breathing, the lot.

Don’t get it, it’s defiantly a mental thing and it’s probably a milage thing. Playing around at the 6a thru 6c range for so long, I’ve got used to what those routes expect of me. Now I’m trying to up the game, things now are feeling uneasy, unfamiliar and hard. Is milage the key now, should I just stat doing every 7a under the sun until they feel like the new 6a’s or is there a deeper thing to address!