Recently I had this experience during my two week trip to Oliana, Spain in late February. Again, two weeks may seem like a long time but for me, having spent the last year and a half with the freedom of going anywhere at anytime, two weeks felt like nothing.
|Oliana, Spain. Photo: Wiz Fineron|
This line was Mind Control and after waiting in line I finally had my chance to check it out and see what it was all about. I thought I should at least try the moves before making any kind of decision. It took some time to check it all out but come on, its 50 of the metres! That's a lot. After my first go on it, I thought it was going to be easy. There's no hard moves and a few good rest jugs between sections so what can possibly make it hard right?... The worry of whether I was going to get it done or not in time wasnt there as I was certain that it would only take a matter of tries. Its just jug hauling.... How hard can it be? :P This optimistic thinking soon wore off as I discovered the true meaning of pump. After about 40 metres of pure resistance climbing I quickly lost control of my elbows and the term 'chicken winging' was strongly in practice.
|Wiz Fineron falling from 49.5 of 50m on Mind Control. Photo: Rob Greenwood|
|Not a bad line!!! Wiz Fineron staring down the top section of Mind Control. Photo: Rob Greenwood|
I had only two days left and with my first three attempts on Fish Eye the previous days not going so well I was struggling with psyche. The route itself didnt feel so bad (definitely easier than Mind Control) but the past few days had just been extremely still and warm and I was finding it really hard to relax on the rest jugs. When the skin is so soft and sweaty you have to hold on so much tighter which on short routes sometimes you can get away with, but on these pure endurance routes being able to rest and relax on holds is very important. On my second to last day the conditions weren't any better so I decided not to get on it at all and instead just have fun and climb some of the slightly easier routes.
|Wiz Fineron high up on Fish Eye. Photo: Alex Haslehurst|
The last day was great, we rocked up at the crag with cooler temperatures and a strong breeze. The psyche came rushing back and I just couldn't resist one last go. I knew exactly what to do, I just had to put it all together. With no expectations I went for one last try. I felt great the entire way up, resting was easy and what I thought was going to be really hard at the top felt so good I even forgot to clip the last couple of draws. I clipped the chains and that was it, a great end to a great trip!
For me, this trip was about spending time with some great people, having a good time and learning to not let pressure and self doubt get into my head. With only two weeks, it was a new experience for me and I wasnt sure what was going to happen. I came away from this trip having sent two significant climbs (for me), experienced a new area, with amazing people, and had a lot of fun and laughs. So whether its two days, two weeks or even two months, its all in the head and anything is possible. You just have to approach it in the right way and that always includes a big smile. Why do it if your not having fun right...?
Get out there and have fun!
A huge shout out to my main man Alex Hasleherst as well as 'Team
Sheffield' for making it such a great holiday and we should definitely
do it again!! You all know who you are so thank you very much.
Get out there and have fun!
|Another great whipper shot! Photo: Ally Smith|
|The team... well most of it!!|