I love a bit of pink and purple action I do.
So it's a strange time at the moment. When I bashed my leg two months ago and I got it x-rayed at Macc A&E, I was a bit lax with hand hygiene and picked up some norovirus or equivalent, which to put it conservatively, was the worst thing in the history of fucking bullshit. So night 1 was hobbling out of The Roaches with the biggest leg impact I've taken, night 2 was turning myself inside out, and days 3-5 were existing on ~600 calories average while trying to heal that leg. Can you guess where my immune system went?? No, me neither.
The leg healed really well. Slow and steady and seemingly strong (more on that later).
My insides?? Not so much. Ever since the virus, I've had bouts of nausea every two weeks, lasting many hours, enough to stop me sleeping, stop me eating, and wipe me out for a couple of days. The origin point seems obvious, but the actual problem is unknown - and still being investigated. My diet is much better and I'm taking various natural supplements to help. This has put a dampener on things from my state of mind to my grander climbing plans. However in-between these bouts, after I recover my strength, I'm discovering that my strength is, well, surprisingly okay.
Take the last couple of weekends. Sunday day time I got out for the first time in 2 months and did this:
Really good fun. Tiny sloping ripples, extended moves, and a precarious feel. Nice day out. Proper mint connies and all that. That evening I feel happy, eat plenty of chicken and a light green salad, and soon started feeling nauseous out of the blue. Neck two anti-nausea tablets, crawl into bed, and finally pass out at 2am (early by bout standards). Couldn't do fuck all for 2-3 days. Rest of the week feel gurgly and bloated having started taking strong pro-biotics (bad timing).
Friday I don one of my highly motivational death metal vests (Cattle Decapitation), go to the gym feeling weak, and bust out a PB of 80kg x 2 benchpress (can usually only manage one). Saturday I swap to another vest (Napalm Death), brave a freezing cold Ratho, do my hardest indoor lead ever and get very close on an equally hard one. Sunday I am keep the ND vest on as I am still awaiting a fresh vest (Behemoth), go to the gym again, 3rd day on and not having done proper deadlifting for nearly 3 months, warm up, equal my 160kg and death-growl my way to a 170kg PB (see, the leg is okay). Hopefully if / when the next bout hits, I will be able to take some heart in this.
Back to Saturday and purple routes. I was chatting to Big Bob as usual and he pointed out a new Purple 7b on the Justice Wall. "Saved it for weeks, but blew it"...."Totally sustained"..."Fighting all the way in the middle"...."No rests at all"...."Will be a good top-roping training route". Robert and I are sort of vaguely equal in our climbing. What he lacks in strength, bravery, and strong vests, he makes up for in height, tallness, reach, and, errr, ummm, okay stamina, too much stamina. Generally if it's too pumpy for him then it's waaaaay too pumpy for me, but that's okay, having done all of my "onsightable" routes at the Mighty R (the other Mighty R, huh), I'm just after pulling a bit harder on things I won't get up, but will have a good fight however far I get.
Initially, this goes to plan. My first proper route is another Purple 7b, but this time on the New Comp Wall, a pure power-to-weight section that is my anti-style - particularly when it's a 7b ladder of incuts and pinches and no jugs in sight. However instead of getting shut down halfway up, I somehow end up one bolt from the chain and have to jump off as I can do the moves but not the clips. Not bad.
Sticking with the theme, it's on to Justice Wall Purple. I do like doing the earlier sections of harder routes here as they give a good cranky fight compared to easier full length stamina plods - good to mix in both. My aim is to get to the 2/3 height main lip, as I reckon I will be fine on the fingery lower section, while the steep middle section has decent enough holds to keep going but will burn me out totally, and it will all be good training / fun. Initially it all seems to work: The start is cranky and crimpy enough to offer little respite. Going into the middle section, Robert's warning comes true - all the decent holds are tucked around or beneath volumes ensuring they rapidly disappear as footholds, leaving volume smears and sketchy moves. I'm nearly off on some reachy moves part way but sporadic falling practise gives me the confidence to just go for it, and I stay attached - even at the lip. Aren't I supposed to be dangling on the rope, nursing my forearms already?? Apparently not - even when another tricky crossover to a sloping rail nearly spits me off again, but the frictional condition is a silver lining to the freezing cold and my paws drape along it. Another on/off move sees me, increasingly surprised, at a good edge shakeout, far further up than I should be, I can barely hear Lauren's distant encouragement below. I've been fighting for a while now so keep doing it, vigorous arm flicks and hyperventilating lead into another I-should-have-dropped-this reach to micro-jugs and then somehow the finish. My lungs are still hurting on the drive back.
In the grand scheme of things, while I feel occasionally fucking rotten, and indoor climbing is irrelevant toss, this does show some potential...
Oh and the pink part of the equation?? I've done quite a few pinks down at TCA. They are great problems with plenty of techniness and always make training fun. Possibly a bit too much fun as the weirdo knacky slopey ones always tend to lure me away from the pure power training a lard-arse like me should be doing. Including the squeezy egyptian volume sloper tickle problem on the new comp wall. One weak and queasy Sunday it felt entirely unfeasible, a few days later I unlocked it (and several others) fairly determinedly, mostly helped by Fultonious shouting "SAUSAGE" at me as I snatched for the shapely finishing hold (more like a croissant shape to be honest but if Ally has got pink sausage on the mind who am I to argue).