At the weekend I took my biggest ever fall. I was climbing at the Roaches (UK) on an imposing roof climb called The Sloth, HVS 5a.
Before the climb I was nervous. I hate roof climbs with a passion, probably because they are not my strong point. Saying this, I have always wanted to do the route as it is an awe inspiring line. Jordan and Ian had both led the route and made it look easy. Rather than second it, I buckled to the (imagined) pressure to lead it.
Approaching the roof I wasn’t feeling particularly confident and I should have listened to my instincts. Moving through the roof I quickly became ‘pumped’ and messed about moving up and down the roof failing to commit to the top moves.
As I made my final attempt to get up to the hold that would allow me to move out and over the roof my ‘guns’ failed me and I came tumbling off the rock. I then fell about 20 feet and gracelessly came to a stop upside down.
Fortunately I was unscathed apart from a minor graze on my right arm but I think that was more due to luck. In my typically nonchalant attitude I wasn’t wearing a helmet and apparently swung nervously close to a large chunk of rock! Since the fall I have received strong encouragement from the members of the club to wear a helmet and I think I shall succumb to their wisdom. However much helmets annoy me, and however many times they get in the way whilst I am climbing I think it may be better than a splattered head!
As well as learning that a helmet might be a good idea (at least on hard climbs), I really learnt that I need to recruit more muscles. I think I have got to the stage where my natural strength isn’t enough and I need to get fit. I might even have to do that dreaded thing called training!
Anyone got any training tips for someone who hates gyms and running and isn’t very motivated by indoor climbing?