This month we find Big G feeling the strain of the modern boulderer’s life. Can he claw his way back from this pit of despair; will he find salvation in the hills…?
My God the escape to bouldering is steeped in stress!
Arse-kicked by one’s superiors; there is more humiliation than glory in this feckless slavery to which we're bound. Midges, cold, heat, stupid wind-borne mats, bust fingers and gull-pecked butties. And stuff that’s too hard.
Perhaps we should all simply try harder? Yes that's it; another winter in the gym and....we'll still be...like we are! Having days of ground-breaking dysfunction whilst cooler people continue on their relatively effortless paths.
Is new kit the answer? Will tighter boots make us less fat? A thicker mat make us more brave?
Oh...and on top of all this, we envelope ourselves in a digital mist; before even locating the next damn boulder we've watched a video of some waif-guru piss the impossible. (And a word of warning-no matter how un-competitive we may strive to be; there is always some son of a bitch out there to beat us at our own game.) Then, we find said boulder and...well...how long can one ‘work’ on a problem before conceding its impossibility - that one is simply posing; decorating the difficulties with a fumbling presence.
Today's media crush of endless ‘harder things - done in more exotic places - by happier people’, squeezes us ever smaller, until we are extruded into denser, sadder little souls who can't seem to get off the ground any more, even as the sea of liquefied sheep-shit gently pours over the tops of our shoes, sending feet to an unfresh hell. It is enough to make grown adults weep into their oversized chalk-bags.
...Then it rains.
And...well... that's the whole thing knackered really, and we're just there, getting wetter and weaker by the second.
But hey...at least that boulder over there looks a bit like a fish! See it?
No; closer inspection reveals the perfect shape of a whale. Perhaps it is a whale!
I hesitate to give the Grid Reference of 625638 in case the thing glides off to make the whole of Nant Ffrancon its watery kingdom, calmly cruising the depths as we agonise in the shallows.
Don't be fooled by its lack of movement or song. Sit with it a while. Commune. Look into its great eye, reach out and touch the rough texture of its skin and soon your troubles will be dissolved in the rain's soft caress.
My God the stress has gone.
Oh Whale.....you saved us!
Bend with the breeze,