It’s fair to say that working a five day week leaves you living for the weekend. More often than not I’m overly tired by the time I reach a day off, but I have to force myself to get out at the weekends, otherwise I would be tirelessly working to work, rather than working to live.
One of the upsides of getting away for a couple of days, whatever the activity, is staying in the van. It’s a little crazy how much enjoyment I get out of this. I’m not sure if it is reminiscent of the year spent living in the van, or whether this way of life just agrees with me. Either way, it’s good for me to get away and the van is a key element for that.
We made for familiar ground with a trip to Portland, and climbed at Battleship and Cheyne Weares. The polish at the end of the first day took the ‘shine’ out of what could have been a good days climbing. However the second day we were climbing sharp rock, and in doing so had a better day!
We couldn’t find a lower graded route that was free, it was a bank holiday, so we warmed up on a grade six and continued the day in the same fashion, hopping from one route to the next. The final route was a 6a+ that climbed the full height of the face, and although I needed to work out the final sequence on the headwall, was a sporting effort and a good outing.
Unfortunately in the build up to, and throughout the weekend I struggled to find the motivation for climbing. This year it’s fair to say I’ve climbed less than any other year to date and this is primarily down to a lack of motivation.
I’m not sure if it’s the lack of big climbing areas, mountains and multi pitch routes that is causing this drop. The motivation to drive six hours each way to climb a multi pitch route in the mountains is not appealing. Or it might be a looming loss of interest in the sport? Weirdly, I seem to be climbing well, even without climbing much, so it would be a shame for that to happen, especially as I have gotten so much out of climbing over the years.
Maybe it’s my eye on the horizon, seeking out future adventures that are not climbing related. A case of no goal, so no need to work towards anything. I’ve often enjoyed sport climbing and single pitch climbing for what they are, but ultimately it is to build up to something bigger, something in the Alps or one day further afield. Potentially, it’s this lack of future plans that has me deflated. Or perhaps I need to change the way I climb and work a route for a day or a weekend, rather than bouncing from route to route?
I’m pretty sure I’m not going to happen upon a hallelujah moment whilst writing this, but hopefully getting something down will be the first step to enjoying the sport once again. On a positive note, I did feel a lot better for being outside day after day, there is something liberating about being outside after a week of being trapped in a building for eight hours a day.
We have a few more weekends planned if the weather allows it throughout September, so hopefully one of those can help to reignite the spark and get me pumped for climbing again.