Wow, It sure has been a long time since my last blog, so long in fact that I cant even remember what I wrote about. The reason for the absence has been simply that I have not really done anything worth bloging about, until this weekend.
During the last few weeks I have mostly been working, looking after my girlfriend who has recently had major knee surgery, and training my endurance for a few hours every day. I have become a lot fitter and within the next month, I hope to feel ready to attempt one of my 2008 projects.
This weekend I have been in London, at the opening party for The Arch climbing wall. The wall is located in one of the railway arches near London bridge, a truly amazing location. I was asked to set some new boulder problems as well as give a multimedia presentation and run a masterclass session.
I didn't want to leave Emily on her own for too long so caught a train down south on Friday evening with my return planned for Sunday afternoon. After arriving at the wall and and meeting the owner, Fred, I headed to Fred's house for some sleep, to be ready for the early start and manic day ahead.
After setting 11 new problems and eating an incredible sandwich (a whole roast dinner, lamb, roast potato, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrot, etc, etc in a bread roll) I started my final preps for my presentation. I had decided to lecture on my milestones and motivations, with the aim of inspiring the audience and explaining why and how I have done the things I have. I wanted to make sure the key points were fresh in my mind in the hope of giving a smooth, pain free talk.
15 min before I was due to start, I was as ready as I would ever be and it was time for a last min soundcheck before setting up the show. The next two hours are a bit of a blur, and I wont bore you with the technical details but in short, 3 laptops, 2 projectors, some back converting to old file formats and some very rushed last min editing saw me finally ready and stood in front of a very patient audience.
I find it difficult to judge how my talks are going whilst I am actually giving them, but aplause, and laughs in all the right places are usualy good signs. As my talk came to the end, the room burst into applause that went on, and on, and on, and on. I smiled.
The feedback I got after was fantastic and really made my day. The quote of the night came from Neil Gresham,
"Good effort that was awesome, F***ing awesome. Really inspirational, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!"
After chatting to friends, both old and new, and watching alcohol induced climbing comps get closer and closer towards broken bones, the night came to an end and I fell into my very welcome bed.
Another early start allowed me to get in some training before my masterclass. I made my way round the problems at The Arch and found them all really enjoyable, with some great, intricate sequences. My clients arrived and we all got to work. After 2 hours, I was shattered, and my clients seemed pretty tired as well. Hopefully they will be able to put all they have learnt into practice, because after all, practice makes perfect. To use a very cheesy, and slightly worrying analogy, I have planted the seeds, they need to make them grow.
I returned home to a fantastic "real" roast dinner (not in a sandwich) which hit every spot known to man. Tomorrow morning I go back to work untill friday which whilst not ideal is a necesity at the moment due to the large chunk of money that dissappears from my bank ever month, more comonly known as a mortgage.
After I come off shift, it is straight to Manchester Climbing Center to take part in the 24 hour Seven Summit Challenge. Ill let you know how it goes but I think its safe to say I will be needing to catch up on some sleep.
Until next time...