Sunday, 30 January 2011

Motivated for Winter (again)

Yesterday Johann and I had a lazy start up to Aonach Mor with the plan to climb Stirling Bridge, a Steve Kennedy route I've been keen to try for a long time. When we walked in the weather was crap but slowly it cleared while I was climbing and it turned out to be a stunning day. As it turned out the conditions for getting gear wasn't perfect and I never judged the kit I would need very well so we lowered off a few battered wires, next time though. I was expecting to be pissed of but wasn't at all, was enjoyable climbing, good laugh and a great view...............

On Stirling Bridge VI/VII

Johann heading to the cornice at the top of Easy Gully

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year, Old Lessons

A new year and it's time for a new start. I've been struggling a bit with my depression again recently, thankfully I've learned to cope with it better than I did when I first got it with the epilepsy. Also the ankle injury getting worse by the day aint helping much so I've been trying to find a way to refine my approach to life which of course basically ,for me, means my climbing. Up till recently the lessons I took from Mark Twight have stood me in good stead but the solid foundation I built using his ruthless approach to climbing (and life) has begun to crumble a bit under the weight of certain aspects of my life so I needed to find something to reinforce them. In my search I've tried reading all sorts of sport psychology stuff and realised it's all bollocks, it took me back to when seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist after becoming epileptic and after months of trying they told me I was beyond help?? This I took as a good thing though as it meant I knew it was only me who could help myself and I wasn't dependent on anyone else, thankfully.My search for new inspiration found me reading a lot of philosophy etc and some of it was good but nothing stood out that made the difference that Kiss or Kill did. My search for a new approach was upped a gear recently after failing on the Cathedral once again and watching Andy Turner making it look piss easy!

Packing up, dejected after my 7th defeat on the Cathedral, Pic-Steve Gordon

I found what I was looking for completely by chance a few weeks ago. My Dad had a book about decisive days in history, one of which contained a section about Japanese warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu. I had tried to avoid reading much Eastern philosophy etc as it felt a bit clich├ęd but reading this chapter has helped me immensely!! This guy had a theory that basically ran on the premise of " There are 7 emotions, Joy, Anger, Anxiety, Adoration, Grief, Fear and Hate, if a man doesn't give way to these he can be called patient, I am not as strong as I should be but I have long known and practised patience". Ever since reading this I have tried to put it into practise at every opportunity, anytime I have felt any of the above emotions I have attempted to control them on a deeper level than I have ever done before, hopefully with a bit of training I'll become more adept at applying this philosophy to my everyday life. I know I wont stop having these feelings but having better control over them should help me, I hope............