I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
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Thursday, 28 January 2010

No Sense like Nonsense, by Stevie Sensi Haston

Thinking about training gives me a pain in the neck, doing it takes the headache away. Writing about training for climbing has earned me money, but it some how doesn’t make much sense, after all if I really knew what I was talking about I’d have done the hardest routes. So I’am getting money for old rope, good job I got a load of old knackered rope. Training for climbing should be, so obviously simple that even a dumb climber can understand it, but they can’t. That’s why of-course most of them can’t climb. So really, you must train to be able to be understood by dumb climbers. Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere, some pie charts, three little bears, and a load of touchie feely nonsense, charge a lot of money, and everybody wins. What ever you do, don’t tell them it’s about hard work, they wont like that. And don’t tell them, they are too lazy with hardly any hope at all. They defiantly wont like that either. Don’t tell them that most of the stuff that’s written is nonsense and overly complicated, because they want to believe in some mysterious art form like Zen karate, the Way of the climber, the Guru Fontshaker. Really being a trainer is about molly coddling your client and there I fail badly. Just pull on the stone, turn your body, reach the next hold, and kinda repeat. It would help of-course if your fingers are strong dude, I mean duh!

One of my friends was watching a group of novices climbing, or not climbing as the case was, they weren’t doing very well. My friend turned to the guide who was patiently belaying these atrocious novices and told him that they were, ‘a very untalented bunch of no hopers’. The guide turned around with infinite patience, smiled and said, ’they are blind, they are all blind’. My friend then tried to crawl into one of her own orifices, a feat almost as hard as the one she had been witnessing. Anyway the guide was just saying turn a bit, outside edge a bit, reach a bit,, you know the usual. There isn’t anything else to climbing you know. What about all the ‘new training stuff’, the punters ask. What new stuff I reply? 20 years ago Wolfgang Gullich did Action Direct, it took him a long time, because although strong, he probably only trained half of the year or less. In those days we were, if it’s not presumptuous to say, inventing, or reinventing parts of the sport. Nowadays we have full time climbers who know all the tricks, and a ready made sport, and guess what, they still take time to do Action Direct. Not long granted but still. We are supposed to be 3 grades further on from the grade of AD, which means that we should have a climber capable of onsighting it. But we haven’t reached that stage have we? We don’t even seem close do we? What’s going on? Don’t ask me, I’am just the janitor. In Britain they have E12s. Do they really? Man just imagine E12, do you explode when you look at it? Does this route have Ebola coated holds? Is that Anthrax in your chalk bag? If you can redpoint E12 you should be able to onsight E9! I think before this happens people will have to train a bit more! Good climbers today climb very well, it is hard for me to see them climbing better. It’s like a runner running a few years ago, how can thy run better, they can’t. They can only run faster, and for longer, or faster and longer. Climbing is more complicated than running, but do you understand that being stronger will give you more time, more time to think, more time to do. It’s funny, sometimes I climb well for no particular reason, it’s just a special day, and I smile cos I know it’s a freebee, a gift from the gods. Generally I climb better for a more prosaic reason, because I am stronger, people call it power endurance nowadays, and next year they will call it something else. It doesn’t matter what you call it. Just get it, and use it, on some good dead hard routes before you die. You can’t get it by reading about it, and you can’t buy it, you have to earn it! After all, ’there are none so blind as they who will not see’.