Weekly Updates - October 2010
And that pun is almost worthy of the King of the Cheesy (ie: rubbish) Pun, Brian*, who returns to The Works this Monday after having a lovely month-long holiday in lots of niceplaces. Whilst this is (in the main), good news, it does mean that I will hand back the main blog-writing duties to Bri. (Click HERE for the pun!)
Apologies to all my loyal fans out there, but normal, slightly dull, unopinionated, and useful blog service is about to be resumed. I've enjoyed my brief foray into regular blogging, and have seized the opportunity to make sure I upset and insult as many people as possible, which I have been very successful with! However, the people in the white coats are here for me now, so I must bid you all adieu. Obviously, if I get a bee in my bonnet about anything else in the near future, expect more rantings!
*You must remember Brian! That bloke down the Works who nobody understands....what's he saying?!?
Just recently I have noticed just how many people are 'training' at The Works. Not just climbing and having fun, but training. It's a serious business - weight belts, pulley systems, stamina circuits, board sessions, body tension exercises, ring work, finger boarding, endless pull-ups, miserable expression, etc, etc.
Now I'm a cynical old grump at the best of times, but even I have had to train for climbing at various points in the past. However, the periods where I have trained have been with a specific goal in mind - in my case being fit enough to set problems at international bouldering competitions, or just before I go away on a big climbing trip so I can do as much climbing as possible.
And this is what training is for. Find a specific goal that is difficult for you to achieve, and then train your body and mind in order to have a better chance of success. Whether you're about to go on a big, expensive climbing trip, or you have entered a climbing competition, or you'd like to climb you're first Font 7c+, or you fancy doing one of those 'route' things with a big number that will make you feel happy for approximately 2 days, training is the way that these things might be acheived.
But don't loose sight of the bigger picture. Training should have focus and purpose, and if you're doing it properly, it can't be sustained for long periods of time. Hard training for a few months to peak for your goal is how its done. The rest of the time you're allowed to go climbing for FUN, with your friends, and have a good time - maybe even break out into a smile once in a while...!
Proper training isn't fashionably cool - it is extremely hard work, and requires a level of dedication that most people only think they have. So next time you think you'll have a campus session, or do a million pull-ups just for a spot of 'training', ask yourself what you're doing it for. If you don't have specific goals, or any proper structure in your training, then just go and have a climb because it will do you much more good.
If you really want to know how to train properly, there's a million and one places to find out information (and most of them are rubbish). However, if you'd like some coaching for your climbing goals, The Works can help you out. And if you need more inspiration, then check these guys out.
Nice one, boys! At last Leo Houlding and Jase Pickles have finished their project on El Capitan in Yosemite. The Prophet is the newest free route on the wall, and sounds from ElCapReport that the boys only just made it in time. Click on the link for a great write up and report on the route from Tom Evans.
The Prophet has taken these two chancers 10 years to get done, and has been a true labour of love for both Leo and Jason. Pickles infamously 'dropped' the spicy first pitch a few years back and took a nasty fall onto a ledge that trashed his hip so badly that he still moans about it today (what a whinger!). Joking apart, massive respect to the boys - that dedication makes the reward so much sweeter.
(And now you've dispatched the route, Jase, I reckon you're 'grounded' for the rest of your life!)
This ones for you.....
Back to more mundane matters, Jimmy and the extractor boys have been in this morning and sorted out our dust extractors, so the atmosphere will be nice and clean when you come down to the Works to try the new Green and Yellow Spotty circuits which have been set over the last day or so. Greens are easy (set by Sam and Matt), Yellow Spotties are a bit harder (set by me and the Enigma). Enjoy.
Now lets just hope Leo gets back to the UK in time for his Lecture in Worcester on Saturday, 'cos my Mum and Dad have got tickets, and they'll be well miffed if he doesn't turn up. They've spent the last 38 years suffering from 'climber disappointment' so lets hope Springer makes it back in time!
We've been open nearly four years now, and we are as busy as ever. With hundreds of climbers using our facilities every day, 363 days of the year, things get worn out rather quickly. Today, our main man Dave the plumber is hard at work with the thankless and rather fragrant job of sorting out the pipes in the mens khazi, and generally sorting our plumbing out so that our toilet facilities no longer smell like a toilet......! Lets hope it works, but if anyone can do it, Daves the man.
We've just removed another couple of circuits this morning. The easy Green circuit has now gone, as has the Yellow Spotty circuit. But don't panic, we are resetting the green circuit now with some lovely new holds from Lapis and Bleaustone to augment our existing green grips. The full 40 problems will be finished by Wednesday. The yellow spotty circuit will be reset on Thursday by myself and the Enigma (identity concealed for safety purposes). Once this has been done, I reckon we will have reset pretty much every single problem in the wall within the last 2 months - not so bad when you have 435 problems on your walls at any one moment.
...so its a good job there is another new circuit that we have set today. This time you have 41 purple problems graded Font 5 to 6a+ to throw yourselves at. That should make the wet weekend the weather forecasters are predicting a bit more bearable!
Brian mentioned something to somebody about the Reel Rock Tour that the Works is hosting, but I can't be bothered to try and big it up now - to many other things on. However, click on the link, and get your tickets bought 'cos it will be amazing. Kick off is at 8.30pm on Sunday 7th November. There will be some films of some people doing stuff. EXTREME!
58 minutes to get rid of 25 pairs of shoes - massive thanks to Scarpa from all of our lucky customers who just got a free pair of shoes. All the drivers from Lahndahn who are currently breaking the speed limit on the M1 in the hope of free shoes can do a U-turn at Watford Gap if you were just coming for the freebies - they've all gone. Or keep going, take junction 33 and come and visit us at the Works. The climbing's worth the trip anyway!
The lovely people at Scarpa have had a bit of a clear-out of their ex-demo stock of climbing shoes. SOOOOOO, here's the deal. If you want a pair of FREE climbing shoes, no strings attached, we have a load of them at The Works that you can have, gratis, for nowt.
All you have to do is get yourself down to the Works as soon as you can, and see if we have anything left. Below is a list of what's up for grabs as of 10 past 3 on Thursday afternoon. One pair per person, no getting another 4 pairs for your mates (if you want a pair, come and get them yourself, you lazy so-and-so's!), when they are gone, they are gone. No phoning up to reserve a pair - thats not how it works. If you live in Lahndahn (London) and you desperately want a pair of size 39.5 Scarpa Stix slippers 'cos they don't make them any more and they were the best slipper ever made, then its going to be a long and probably fruitless drive north - sorry about this, but we have to have some perks for living up North!
One pair of Scarpa Stix Slippers in each of these sizes - 35, 37.5, 38.5, 39 (2 pairs of these!), 40 (2 pairs of these), 40.5, 43
Rockettes in 38 and 41 (plus one shoe in size 40, if anybody knows a one legged climber with a size 6 foot)
Booooooosters in 38, 40 (2 pairs), 41, 42, 43 (2 pairs), 43.5, 44
So, thats 20 pairs of free shoes up for grabs. They are ex-demo, so they have been worn before, and have the size written on the outside in marker pen, but they are all in brilliant condition (some more-so than others. A few pairs look brand spanking new!)
So, if you're feeling lucky, come and get some free shoes. Be quick - I'd imagine that they will all be gone within the next few hours, but don't 'phone to see if we still have your size, 'cos we're trying to run a busy climbing wall here, and we won't waste our time checking for you. After all, it's a FREEBIE - let's not take the p"$*
Pop in, ask the reception staff to see what we have left, and FILL YOUR BOOTS, its as easy as that. Remember - one pair per person please. And massive thanks to Scarpa, who have been massively generous with stock they could certainly have sold off rather than given to us for nothing. If you do feel guilty about receiving something for nothing (strange, but some people might) please feel free to donate a fiver to the charity of your choice, or the Mountain Rescue if you can't make up your mind (they are always much more gentle with injured climbers wearing Scarpa's!)
Continuing our current mission of replace all the circuits in the Works, this week our attention will turn ton the removal of the old Brown circuit, which will get replaced by a lovely new circuit of Purple Revolution holds. We are also waiting for a delivery of some new Green holds from our friends at Bleaustone and Lapis - as soon as these have arrived on the ageing donkey used by the Slovenia couriers they will go up in the new Green circuit (should be sometime next week)!
Now I'm off to make some new volumes for the first round of the Bouldering League - its on Friday 12th November so put it in your diaries. It's going to be amazing!