The title made far more sense when we used to buy chalk powder in blocks rather than little muslin bags but you get the idea!
Yesterday I had an evening at Scugdale up in the North Yorkshire Moors, which despite being 20 miles away is my closest and favourite crag. On the face of it things didn’t go incredibly well it was midgetastic, humid and I wasn’t climbing particularly well. I backed off three climbs during the session BUT looking at my session objectively it was a total success!
I spent yesterday at the seaside in Whitby with my family and despite not doing much, except eating very expensive fish and chips and sitting on the beach, when I got home I was knackered! It was 5pm, the sun was shining and as the forecast is bad for the next few days I started to think that I should drag my lazy arse off the sofa and go climb… By 6.15pm I finally got my kit together and drove to the crag. I had a lovely drive over and then walked up the steep but short path up to the crag, where despite being midged to death quickly got my boots and chalk bag on and got going.
I warmed up on a V.S which I abandoned as I didn’t feel comfortable and found an easier way to the top. Then the session was a mixture of soloing easy climbs I hadn’t done and V.S’s I had. Despite backing off a few of the higher V.S’s I enjoyed the constant movement and focus that soloing brings and I guess despite the mixed success probably did about seven climbs in just over an hour, non all that classic but mostly enjoyable. The midges finally got too much so beat a hasty retreat and drove back along the tiny country lane towards a fantastic sunset that you could only see from an elevated position.
The main positive points for yesterday’s session are as follows: I got off my arse, I didn’t give up despite the midgey and humid conditions, I did some climbs I haven’t done before, I listened to my inner voice high up on a few routes and made an objective decision to back off a few times. I also enjoyed the lovely surroundings and talked to some nice people and returned to my car in one piece – So I figure that constitutes as a success!
How often do we go climbing only for it not to go as planned? It isn’t uncommon to get frustrated with our progression (or lack of), and the consequence can be reduced confidence and worse a reduction of activity. Gaining objective feedback not just from others but from ourselves can be vital in maintaining and increasing motivation. After each session it might be worth thinking about what you learned, what you struggled with and what you did well this can then help you identify areas you need to build on. Just think that every time you get to the crag and climb we’ve achieved a goal, everything else is an added bonus!