Back at work on Monday morning and it's been a hell of a weekend! On Saturday Kat & I did a coaching day with Adrian Berry (author of the Sport+ and Trad+ books). We warmed up on the Plantation boulders and then headed up to the crag for Namenlos and the Unconquerables. Kat did Right Unconquerable in excellent form, moving really well between well-planned gear placements which gave me a good example to follow on Left Unconquerable. Then it was over to Telli for my first E3 since May 2005. It took over an hour and a half to climb, most of which was spent on the halfway break whilst I repeatedly psyched up for and bottled the top moves. I seriously owe Kat loads of love for her patience whilst she belayed. The final move was almost anti-climatic when it finally came together (different foot placement) but I think that the learning process all took place on that ledge halfway up the crag. Kat then finished off by climbing Goliath's Groove which ticked another daemon for her. Yay!
Here's Adrian's feedback: "Steve - Your performance on Left Unconquerable was great - clip and go - your gear is fine, but you must work on moving above it - this comes from being more comfortable falling. There's no easy way around this - I know because I have EXACTLY the same issue. You won't ever be cured, I find getting on really hard routes helps because you can't afford to think about it - it just happens! You will do London Wall one day - but you need to make real mental progress - it's safe but a bit scary! As it is, you'd get half-way up the final crack and stop to try and place gear and totally blow it! You need to fall, lots. If you can't make yourself go and do this, then maybe we could have a day or half day just falling off? We could go to Higger Tor and spend a few hours just taking longer and longer falls - you either get over this very quickly or you won't - don't expect to slower get better - you won't, the flip side is you could get your head in gear in a matter of days!"
I don't think I could have put it better myself. Let's see whether I need to take Adrian up on his offer of taking longer and longer falls or whether I can make myself do it.
And then Sunday was my first triathlon consisting of a 400m pool swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run around Driffield. The results haven't been posted to the website so I still don't know how I got on but I'm looking forward to finding out. It felt good, and that's the main thing, that and a short run tonight to try and recover :-)