Thursday, 7 March 2013

A Pleasant Surprise

Not a bad bloody life! Crafnant valley and the classic Wonderwall bloc.
Here's a not-uncommon conversation that I've been having with people recently -
"Hey Mike, hows your climbing going?"
"Yeahhh *shrug* not too bad.... been doing a lot of indoor gumpf through working at the climbing wall, not been climbing outside enough, time/weather/transport/other commitments, whatever, don't really know what kinda shape I'm in" - etc. etc.

Now I'm sure thats not an uncommon exchange in recent weeks for most of us pitiful climbers, undoubtedly the worst effected social group effected by the current climate, with many of us suffering minor mental breakdowns through lack of cathartic climbing and general lack-of-purpose-in-life syndrome. So my current situation wasn't exactly filling me with hope for immanent climbing trips - Fontainebleau next week, Northumberland at Easter and Devon and Dorset in May - lots of new aspirations and unfinished business - the classic 8a Cider Soak at Ansteys Cove is calling for another siege, the undeniable allure of a sandbag makes the Yorkshireman 7b+ at Kyloe-in-the-Woods an exciting prospect, and Berezina and L'angle Parfait in Font need a good seeing to this time round! (see my video for those here ).

Cheeky french blow after sticking the crux-sloper on Special K (but just look at that glorious crimpy rail!)
So with some reasonable form on plastic but no way of gauging my performance on rock, a weekend bouldering trip back to my old stomping ground of Wales with some good old uni buddys was just what the doctor ordered! The company was exemplary, the weather was kind, the bouldering was exquisite! Kieran, Drew, Phil and myself took Crafnant's stunning dolerite boulder field by STORM, with send trains calling at all stations, some hard individual ticks and for me a personal highlight of snatching the first-ascent of the obvious righthand finish to the immaculate Wonderwall; crimping don't get much better than that!

The super tensiony match on Grasswind.
We then headed back to one of Kieran's local Shropshire crags, the soft sandstone of Nesscliffe, where we combined psyche with the Boosh That Boulder boys (; truly forming a force to be reckoned with, with inspiring power being brought out by all, especially Mark Riley who booshed some of his projects and got the first "re-ascent" of Kyloe-In 7c after I broke the crimp (oops!) and made it 'proper 7c', and proper wild at that!

So anyway, it seems that it isn't such a bad life after all, my earlier complaints of form were quite unnecessary and perhaps a tad self-pitying to say the least. It also seems that hard work at the wall results in hard climbing outside, so I've now got my hopes well and truly up for the forthcoming months - all set for some satisfying disappointments and with any luck, a few more pleasant surprises.

Setting up for the mega move on the now crimpless version of Kyloe-in, 7c
Here's a little list of my weekends highlights;

Ratt Roof         7a+  flash
Ratt Roof ss     7b
Cruella              7b   flash
Wonderwall      7b+
Grasswind         7b+  3rd go
Morning Glory 7c   First ascent

Special K          7c

Kyloe in     7c (pre & post-crimp)
Rigpa          7b+ flash
Did Nick Tick? 6c+ (desperate!)

Photography by Kieran King

Monday, 1 October 2012

Wow I'm a disgusting person!

I cant believe I haven't posted on here since my 2011 Majorca write-up, and here I am, freshly back from my Majorca 2012 trip, and finding that creative writing is like many other skills - if you don't do it, it becomes hard. Much like ROCK climbing - as in climbing on real actual proper rock. Like stone rock, not pulling on plastic holds like I've been for the last umpteen months! Which isn't to say that doesn't keep you in good shape. In fact with the combination of both indoor climbing and route-setting I've definitely noticed a bit of the old burl coming back in the shoulders, but my goodness do I feel out of touch with rock. Looking back through my UKC graphs I count 69 routes in the Logbook in 2012: that includes trad, sport AND bouldering!! 69?!  Compared to 2010's exploits of 245, there is only one word for that. Shocking. And crap. Thats 2 words, but that pretty much sums it up. Crap and shocking.

"But Mike, whats happened to you, I always thought you were an insufferably determined optimist?!" Well anonymous voice, yes I am! So lets take some positives from 2012...

Firstly, its not over yet. The winter is coming, and that excites me. I'm motivated to train again for the first time since my ankle-break, as well as having some great Winter venues around me including Brean Down for some hard sport, and some wicked little bouldering spots near by, not to mention I'm on the way to getting my driving license - 3-day Peak blitzes, here we come!!
Bit of a setting sesh at the Warehouse
Secondly, I've had an extremely productive year with my budding career at The Warehouse Climbing Centre in Gloucester; lots of instructing experience, coaching some future climbing prodiges and now taking over as chief route-setter, which I've become totally obsessed with (I close my eyes at night and see holds. Lots of holds).

The Majorcan Frying Pan! Where dreams become food.
 And last but most certainly not least, I've just got back from yet another awe-inspiring trip to Majorca - it just don't get no better than this! 9 days of climbing back to back. Now normally I'm a big advocate of the importance of rest, but in Majorca it just seems like that doesnt apply. Its not to say we didnt have some slightly more restful days, but I was still climbing 7's every day. Its really odd but, out there you just dont get tired! Our bodies were replenished by constant submersion in the sea and long lounges in the sun, we ate like Kings and Queens (I don't do things by half with camping food - we're talking morrocan feasts, tasty pakora and paella platters) and the salt-water also does wonders for the skin, cuts heal in a day or two and your tips maintain a pleasant soft-yet-tough feel to them. Plus the Majorcan limestone yields holds that are almost all skin friendly juggy pockets and finger jugs. ALMOST all of them...

The amazing and super steep Kill Bill 2 (very hard 7b+!) in the intimidating Tarantino Cave
... but not all of them. There are two moments that I have to let my ego loose to tell you about. Carlos Checa in the Snatch cave is a bouldery 8a that I had tried a couple of times last year and got nowhere on - a crimpy rail to a funky triple-mono hold (like you put your fingers in these  o 0 o  ) and a desperate snatch to a sharp but positive 2 finger pocket, gotta be font 7b+ just to there, before bouldering out the cave on big gibbon-moves on chunky pockets. Anyway, very chuffed indeed to get that ticked, and very keen indeed to try the Cala Barques testpiece Snatch 8a+ next year!

Its all about the knee bars baby!
And then the big one - the route, nay, the move, that has been on my mind ever since I saw Klem dreaming about it in Dosage II. "I think the brain is too slow", he said. It certainly seemed that way for me too, clinging onto two opposing crimps, feet bunched high, and those barrels, so, so, soooo         far         away!! And Klems maniacal screams in my imagination, "COME ON, GETSCHO!!" Jump.... Tickle.... Flail.... Splash!    Jump. Tickle. Flail. Splash!   JumpTickleFlailSplash! JumTicFlaSplash! But as the trip drew to its end, and even though the those barrels had slowly started coming closer to me, my brain was still too slow, and I found myself on the last day of the trip, and still I hadnt stuck it. Time against us, Cailean and I ran up to the Diablo with an hour and a half until our coach across the island, and yes the pressure was on! Perhaps it was something to do with the sangria and liquor-filled melon from the night before, but that day my brain was feeling pretty slow. My body wasn't though.

Flying through the 6c sequence up to the rest I felt elastic once again, got the crimps, jump.......... and tickle, and flail, and splash! My brain is too slow! Another attempt, I get to the crimps, and then I don't remember anything, except swinging from the biggest jug in the Mediterranean!! WAHOOO just doesn't cut it. Total euphoric ecstatic elation doesn't cut it. Words just can't capture that move, it truly is "poetry-in-motion".

Needless to say I fell off the hard 8a climbing at the top, but to be honest I couldn't care less. That's next years challenge. For now I am more than content with sticking that move, and happily amused with the idea that my brain isn't too slow, Klem, it just has no place on a dyno halfway up a cliff over the Mediterranean sea, where rational thought is quite simply not necessary. Let your brain wander and let your body do the thinking!




Tuesday, 24 January 2012

There and back again

So on the train on the way home from the airport I get a call from the boss telling me they hadn't managed to find cover for my shift, so, having not showered for a week, fingertips in tatters and on a few lousy hours sleep at the airport I drag myself to the first of many all-day shifts of climbing instruction. As I belay yet another youngster up 'the green route', I reflect on the abruptness of this sudden change; for the last 49 days my sole focus had been total leisurely pleasure; climbing for myself, that's a given, but also the whole lifestyle that goes with the travelling ethos; the coffee and smoke in the mornings, the lazy hammock-bound afternoons and the liquor-filled melons at night. And suddenly here I am in a dusty climbing wall, the golden pocketed limestone and silvery sandstone replaced by multi-coloured blobs of plastic on ply. I try and reassure myself that this day was always coming, that the lifestyle isn't sustainable, if I was always on travels then I wouldn't appreciate it as much as I did, and that it will soon come again. All true, but it still doesn't stop me yearning for more, so if you'll excuse me I'll just take a minute to do some serious reminiscing!

Her Majesty, Cova del Diablo
Ahhh Majorca... More than a few people have told me that it was my kinda place. And as sure as shit floats to the top, I was in love! It was my utopia, the promised land to which my long-awaited pilgrimage was destined. The deep water soloing there is off the awesome-scale! On my first day I made my way across the island to Porto Cristo and, following the sounds of power-screams and splashes, I headed straight for the majestically imposing amphitheatre of Cova del Diablo, dumping my 30kilos of baggage in a bush and meandering in on the wondrous low-level traverse of White Hopes, a 5+ featuring everything that all the mega-classics have (apart from stupidly overhanging rock), making the perfect introduction, warm-up and access to the cove. Wanting to take in the surroundings and find my dws feet a little (not atall because I was intimidated by the imposing scale and prowess of the Diablo...) I decided to stick with the low-level traversing and try my luck at Superwoman 7a+, and promptly taking my first few splashdowns of the trip.
Me on the crux dyno of Ejector seat

Great success!
Flashing ejector seat, courtesy of some superb German beta

The first few days of deep water soloing are where it shares the most aspects with trad; you feel exposed, its not so easy to climb relaxed, you're scared bollockless to fall off, and at the same time falling off is where it's at! A few days into the trip, and with the reassuring company of George to bolster my confidence, I started to get more into the deep water solo flow. Thats when it becomes more like sport climbing and bouldering, going at hard moves with gusto, with sustained pumpers like Bandito 7c, or low-crux boulder problems like Strangers in Paradise 7b+ (maybe font 7a+ish), an absolute gem in the Snatch cave at the magical bay of Cala Barques, with its handful of caves, each individual with their own styles and different atmospheres; the bouldery Snatch cave to the towering Tarantino cave, or over to the sociability of Sa Cova with its perfectly formed bogey-tufas and relaxed have-a-go feel.

The laidback lifestyle of Cala Barquez.
Yep, we're carving spoons.

Food fit for a king, including pan-made pizzas, onion bhajis,
and enough chocolate spread to give any normal man type II diabetes.
And it's not just the climbing at Cala Barques that makes it such an amazing place, it was also my home for the 3 blissful weeks I was in Majorca; a shady forest for my hammock overlooking the lapping waves of the Mediterranean and soft white sand of the beach peppered with sunbathers, slackliners, titties and todgers, waking up to some of the most magnificent sun and moon-rises I've ever witnessed, all in Majorcas perfect climate; 24 days of sunshine and 1 of rain (a powerful thunderstorm that saw 20 naked climbers all dashing for a mid-storm swim in the sea during the monsoon shower, awesome!). To leave this place was a real wrench, but leave I must; it was time to chase the cooler conditions of October in a little forest called Fontainebleau...

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Oh yes oh yes, I'm almost at climax!

Its almost time. On Monday 12th of September I set off on my nomadic climbing pilgrimage, first ranging the east coast of Majorca, then wandering the forests of Fontainebleau with my trusty hammock.

Been super busy with work the last couple of months but managed to sneak some good little trips in preparation;

A little 2 day trip to Dinas Rock in South Wales, a beautiful wooded gorge with some stunning rock architecture, amazing sport routes (the classic Berlin 7a+, which was my first route on real rock since before the ankle-break), particularly on the Main Wall and Lower Cave, and some brilliant bouldering on the bottom of Kennelgarth Wall, reminiscent of the wonderful Pantymwyn Gorge (also went there and got SPANKED on Thug Mentality, but as a wise man once said, the only true failure is a failure you don't learn anything from. I learned that if you keep failing on the last move, find a better way of doing it before you get too spent trying it from the start. Ah well, next time!).

                                              The bouldering at Kennelgarth Wall

Lower Cave - to get a sense of scale, the small left hand cave is actually about 10 metres high and 10 metres deep, with a handful of amazing-looking sport routes!

Really good online guide to Dinas Rock on here with some great pics and vids too!

Also had a great bouldering trip with the King! Me n Kieran went to visit Alberto and Lo-pez for some North Wales Bouldering action! After a morning of thrashing ourselves and making some good progress on the first couple of moves of Bus Stop (V9, but was pissing rain so the lip of the Jerrys Roof boulder was gopping) we proceeded to ruin ourselves further with an evening session at the Indy Wall, which has some brilliantly set problems (as always), with the Wad that is Alex Mason setting some wicked funky-tech problems to shoot down many a strong-man. It makes him feel better about being weak ;-)

Then, with our skin tender and arms spent, we dragged ourselves to the Pass once more with slightly tentative ambition, but through sheer determination Ki and I both managed to bag The Sting (a very cool lone problem with some thin and frustating moves at V9, tick!) and then Room to Swing a Katz, the hardest V6 I've ever done, with an obscenely tensiony move, awesome! As a note, the first ascentionist of this problem, Mark Katz, is a real inspiration. So often I hear grumbles from short people about not being able to reach or saying that tall people have it easy. Mark's minimal stature hasn't stopped him crushing some ridiculously hard problems and big moves; he just embraces the dynamic movement. Watch him doing rockatrocity on amateur hardcore to get an idea of his beastyness (available on vimeo if you haven't seen it). You may not be able to get taller, but you can always get dynamic. But thats off on a bit of a tangent.

Anyway, that little update brings me to the present; I'm working regularly at the wall so managing to get lots of little indoor training sessions in - feeling primed and ready to rock! My absolute sympathies to everyone stuck at work or starting back at uni this September while I'm off galavanting on the continent, but this trip is a long overdue, so forgive me for feeling just the tiniest bit smug...

Adios amigos!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Its been a while!

For the last 10 weeks I've not really had anything of interest to report; slow and steady healing with intermittent bursts of training, a handful of wild nights out and an ongoing battle against the evil that is boredom! But its been a valuable experience in many ways. The first few steps I walked brought such a feeling of liberation comparable to natural highs like the elation of finishing your last exam or the first time you have sex! But anyway, one of the things that has kept me sane and maintained my psyche for climbing is the endorphin pumping training sessions.

I am now a total advocate of brief but intense periods of training with adequate rests in between; say 2 weeks of '2 days on 1 day off' before a week of rest, and when you return to training your body's adaptations have had a chance to manifest and you can train at a higher intensity once again. I have no idea if this is the most physically efficient way to structure training, but I at least found that it allowed my motivation to be maintained throughout the 10 weeks; I relished the week off, but by the end of the rest-week I was craving training once again, even without having climbing to give me a measurable reward.

But the time has now come... I went to the climbing wall with the intention of taking it nice n steady with a bit of top-roping, but the ankle felt so solid that in my first session back I ended up flashing a 7a and just dropping a 7b flash on the last move, and again failing on the last move of a 7c last week. My levels of power have been hard to gauge; I've been doing some moves in the bouldering room that I don't think I could have done before, one big dynamic move in particular, jumping between two first-joint 2-finger pockets to hold a wild cut-loose!! It felt gnarly, but I'm not sure, my proprioception might be a bit out. But regardless, things are looking promising for my return to proper climbing, which will probably be some point in July.

Until then I'll continue with the training and top-roping until my ankle is totally bomber and ready to start taking some sweet lobs! So to make up for my lack of big sends and for my disappointingly stagnant logbook (the last route I did was on the 3rd of April!) here is a link to a little training video I've been making to keep the psyche going and get used to this new editing software. It will probably end up being an intro to the Majorca/Font film I'm gona be making; lots of DWS, lots of bouldering; lots of climbing with no strings attached. But for now... just training. Hope you enjoy it :-)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

There's something about Mikey

Captains Log: 26 days since the incident of which we do not speak, and things are starting to get freaky. The owl in the corner is starting to look like an elephant, and Lord knows what the frogs have been planning, but there's definitely a badger in the ointment.

Nah, I'm not really going mad, but the abrupt change I'm experiencing from being super active and psyched to having a sedentary lifestyle thrust upon me is taking some adjustment. I'm still psyched though. My saving grace is my positive attitude and willingness to just accept the situation and get on with it, so I've been keeping myself busy and as physically active as I can for now. Just moving around on crutches is quite physically intensive; I worked out on google maps that I did about 4 miles around cirencester the other day! Triceps and shoulders are gona get strong out of necessity, great for mantles come Fontainbleau. I've also got the campus board and fingerboard up and running (think I'm gona have a session after I finish writing this) so I will get stronger than before my injury, at least my core, arm power and finger strength will be, for when I return to climbing in August. I say that I will with conviction because I foresee motivation being an important and quite challenging thing to maintain through recovery, so I endeavour to remain steadfast in my attitude towards training.

Aside from the physical, I've also set out to develop myself in other ways. I've started learning piano, got a great little song coming on, and just enjoying playing around with it really. I've also started feeling a real affinity with wood,  which has stemmed from carving my fingerboard, to putting up shelves, building the campus board and making my own home-made mahogany rungs which are a joy to hold! And I'm now carving a coffee table out of a great chunk of solid tree stump, which is testing my patience and problem solving abilities, but teaching me a lot about the nature of wood in the process.

I don't know whether it's to do with my body working really hard on healing, or being more sedentary and lacking the same kind of stimulation, but at the moment I'm sleeping a hell of a lot! I normally go to bed around 2am, and having nothing to set my alarm for I've been sleeping straight through until 12, and often going back to sleep until 1/2/3 in the afternoon... This doesn't feel unhealthy, I've been doing some research and found this. Maybe it partly explains why my body responds to training so well; because I looove sleep!

The waking life of animal organisms is a dynamic, destructive time because the organisms' complex proteins are torn down and exhausted as they are used for activities including locating and ingesting preformed organic molecules to meet the immediate energy needs of the wakened state and to provide the building block proteins which fuel the repair and growth dynamics that occur during sleep.

Slow wave sleep is the dynamic, constructive time of physical healing and growth for animal organisms, a recuperative stage where the mind/body system rebuilds itself after a hard day surviving in the world. Substances ingested during the awake period are synthesized into the complex proteins of living tissue; growth hormones are secreted to assist with the healing of muscles and repairing general wear and tear in tissues; glial cells (neurones in the brain) are refreshed with sugars to restore the brain with energy; the immune system is boosted.

Truly the importance of being idle! So intuitively I've started sleeping more to assist with my healing, awesome! Or maybe I'm just lazy and have nothing to get up for. But regardless, along with eating a load of bone-friendly stuff and quitting caffeine (one of the many evil 'bone robbers') I think the healing process is coming along nicely. My physiotherapy starts on Monday 9th of May, so I'll be able to start working towards more movement in my ankle and strengthening my left leg which is visibly wasting away! And awesome news, once my surgical wound is healed up I'll be able to start swimming again to keep my fitness up. Psyched for some free and uninhibited movement!

Come on Time, get a move on!!

I like this tune

Monday, 11 April 2011


Oh boy oh boy, the last few days have been a real rollercoaster; usually my favorite theme park ride, but these emotionally based ones don't give quite the same kind of thrill do they!
Part of the reason I'm writing this post is a personal process to externalize some stuff and wallow in some misery, but I imagine it might also be an interesting read for others.

So there I was, Thursday the 7th of April, feeling fitter and stronger and on the whole just better than I ever have been, confidence booming, my ego verging on obesity, and with 'The Trip', which has made living on the breadline for the last 5 months bearable, approaching so immanently I could smell the wine and sangria! 12 days in Fontainebleau with the Peckmeister and my old crushing partner Kieran, who I haven't had the pleasure of climbing with for too long now, followed by a further 12 in El Chorro with font-power and the fabled 'flow' (see Mason's recent post) and with the all-day fitness that I've been developing over the last few months. Can you sense the anticipation? It was tangible!

I'm at my dads to earn some spending money for The Trip (which I was quite looking forward to btw) and after a few days without climbing my muscles have acquired the hunger; you know when they just feel like they need to squeeeeze something! I'm at Gloucester climbing wall with a couple of Stroudy climbing friends and I'm feeling elastic, electric, flowing and free! I flambe my way (no not a sugary glazing, in this context I can and will use it for the act of being flamboyant) up a few warm up routes, on one of these finding no less than 6 no hands rests up 12 meters of vertical (not because I needed to, just because I could). As I bounce my way up a 7a+ that was set to flow true by none other than Steve McClure I hear my belayer and my friend below commenting on my languid style and the nature and quality of my movement and technique, and I have yet another injection of ego and a burst of excitement about how successful The Trip is setting up to be.

I don't remember why or how I fell off. I assume a foot slip or something; I was hanging on a jug in the 10 meter high roof and was mid-clip when the unexpected plummet began, and it didn't end until I was flat on the floor. Hurtling through the air I had time for thoughts to clarify; they were something along the lines of "goodness, there shouldn't be THIS much slack out" and then a flash of "this is serious!". Cat-like as I may be, physics be physics, and gravity gravity. I crumpled well on landing, but leaning slightly so my left leg took most of the impact, smashing through an inch of mdf which also helped to absorb the shock, thankfully leaving my spine in tact. It's a strange panic when you hurt yourself; first instinct is to get up and walk around, perhaps to establish to yourself that you're ok. I try to get up immediately, heavily winded, and feel my left ankle is stiff and painful, but otherwise I'm unscathed. I gasp that I'm ok to my belayer, who I realize is in shock; frozen and stammering. Over the next few minutes while we wait for the ambulance I reassure her that I'm fine and that it doesn't feel serious, but she's distraught with guilt and just repeating that she has never dropped anyone before in her life. First time for everything eh. We chat idly with the chubby male paramedic until the 2 smokin hot female paramedics arrive with the wheelchair, and after witnessing some cringeworthy flirting from my friend Remmy I smoothly charm my way downstairs and off to the hospital. Yes that's definitely how it was!

Laughing gas is a brilliant drug! There I was hyperventilating away and hysterical over my devastation while the rest of the waiting room sat there miserably with what appeared to be nothing wrong; the irony of which only added to the hysterics of my rushy altered state, until mean old nursey McPhee said I wasn't in enough pain to warrant laughing gas. Bravado gets you nowhere! The X-ray showed a couple of suspected fractures in my ankle so I was popped in a cast and sent on my way, prospects of walking, let alone climbing out the window for the near future, and my much-anticipated Trip well and truly down't shitter.

Needless to say I have had a lot of frustration to vent, and have spent a lot of time staring pensively into space recently. But I'm well on my way to coming to terms with it. Everyone has been very sympathetic. I don't mind this, although I don't like people making a fuss. I know people mean well, but I find little solace in some of the cliches that they offer, as applicable as they may be to my situation, they just seem hard to stomach sometimes. No, not everything happens for a reason. This did not happen for a reason. I'll endeavor to maintain my optimistic outlook and make the most of a shitty situation, but no divine power influenced this for the greater good. It is unfortunate chance that 2 minor and common events; a lapse in concentration and a foot-slip, both coincided to produce a disproportionately serious result.

I will do what I can to prevent this experience having too much of a negative effect on my future climbing. I'm going to train hard for my physical maintenance over the recovery period, and I feel I am mentally robust enough and have processed the experience well enough to cope with the psychological implications. I'm no more likely to be dropped in future than I was before this incident. I will certainly be a devout and attentive belayer in future. I will probably be more verbal and open about the trust between climber and belayer for my personal reassurance, but that can only be a good thing. I don't hold resentment towards the girl who dropped me, even though I had only just met her and it would be easy to pass blame and judgement, it's not in my nature, and it is unfortunate for her as well as me that the outcome of her distraction was as it was. Approaching these issues with mindfulness and detachment feels important to me, so they don't play over in my mind and become mental blocks in future.

Of all the cliches however, I have definitely benefited from some. The silver linings; my self-development in ways that I would otherwise neglect due to my obsession for climbing; woodwork, reading, music, cooking etc as well as continuing to train hard on the fingerboard I'm carving (I would never prioritize training over climbing even though I know it can give greater improvements in strength, but now I am forced to do so).
Also looking for the light at the end of the tunnel; I will still be able to go on a wild climbing trip once I'm recovered. The girl who was belaying has offered to pay for my flights to be transferred so I will now be going for a month or more to visit Majorca for DWS, Albaraccin and Font for bouldering and apparently there's some good sport climbing in France and Spain worth checking out...
Thirdly, I have taken refuge in remembering that it is always darkest before dawn. I'd say this has been one of the most distressing events of my life. My feathers aren't easily ruffled and I rarely get stressed about things, so I'm sadistically enjoying a bit of wallowing and strong emotion, safe in the knowledge that it will pass soon enough with a bit of adjusting.
Then I look at the lessons to learn. There is not much I can take from the event itself; just the importance of attentive belaying. But from the experience of being injured I can learn empathy. I have never really been injured before. It sucks. And for someone who is so used to being agile and mobile it is a real eye opener to appreciate those who have difficulty moving or dependancy on others. It really sucks.
And finally... Life Goes On.

Good splurge. Good effort if you got all the way through that!