|Photo: Josh Rawson|
So we're 10 days into my ankle injuries and I've got to be mostly happy with the progress so far. The left ankle is still painful side-to-side, but is pretty bomber straight down. This is lucky, as the right one is quite a bit worse, and I've been dependent on the left one to hop about. I should still be resting I think, as pretty much any movement makes it absolutely knack.
Whenever you get any kind of injury, you get the same old questions whizzing around your head: when should you start strengthening it? Will it ever be back to perfect? Will I ever be able to fall on it again?
|Booerang Wall (E7 6c) Photo: Rob Greenwood|
That last one is a big deal for me at the moment. Quite a few of the lines I really want to do and that I was very close to being able to do, involve potential or certain groundfalls. There's no way these ankles are going to be taking that kind of force prior to summer and conditions gopping out, so it might be my chance over with those routes for some time. That's quite sad.
There is a positive in this though - and it's a big one. I feel like this injury was inevitable. I've been absolutely winging it at these really mad routes for more than a year now. I've probably taken close to a dozen groundfalls in less than a year - that's ridiculous. Some of them were totally worth it, others less so, but I need a very clear plan on what my ambitions are. This new kind of "Ropeball", where you're using ropes and pads to push the limits of falling, is going to have a bit of a painful toothing process.
There's a conflict between the rat that eats away at you all the time, telling you to get training, get on your projects; and the careful consideration needed for long-term fulfilling goal-setting. I'm not after having the same experience 20 times. If I headpoint a handful of new E8s in an area, I'm not about continuing doing that forever. Maybe try something harder, maybe try a half-highball one, one with brick-hard moves etc.
Experiences should be new. My recent trip to Scotland was exactly what I'm after. New setting, new people, new climbing, new rock. I took a gamble that didn't pay off, but the experience of trying that has unexpectedly lit a fire in me to try more things like that. It's always been about majesty in nature for me, the moment where you feel humble, at the mercy of the gods, naked on the stone. That raw emotion is way stronger when you're in foreign lands in a foreign route. That is it.