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On the road to recovery

Perhaps what is harder than Rock Climbing, is choosing the first article for your blog. Part of the problem is that I left it too late. I had stories of breaking personal best records, achieving great things at work or in my personal life, setting new goals and other wonderful stories of success. However, I decided to dedicate the time to add to my professional blog instead. In the meantime though, I lost my chance to boast about all the success I have had in my personal life. That is till now…
But now, I have no stories of success. In fact, I have no wonderful or inspiring stories to tell. What I do have, is the story of my struggle with my climbing-related injury.
A little over two months ago, I managed to complete my third grade 24 project at an indoor climbing gym. For those reading in Europe, the Australian 24 is your 7a+/E5/7B and those in America, it is 5.12a. I was so excited that I even wanted to write something about it in my blog (instead of this article). I had a great sense of achievement, the sky was blue, the sun was shining, and I could see rainbows and unicorns. That was until one morning I woke up with pain in my left shoulder much like one caused by a pinched nerve. That was the start of my 8-10 weeks battle with what appeared to be inflammation around my C7. I had feelings of numbness in my fingers, pins and needles, muscle spasms, muscle weakness and just about anything else you can imagine. Needless to say, Doctors’ orders (yes, I saw two GPs and a Physio) were to avoid all physical activity including riding my 1-month-old baby BMW S1000RR (more on that in another article).
After what seemed to be an eternity, I went back to a rock climbing gym last week. I jumped on an 18 – lead – and fell. I then tried to top rope a 21. Failed. A 20. Failed. A 19, barely made it. I have had four sessions since and I just managed to clean a 21 lead. This – for those not rock climbing – is similar to doing a 100m run in 12 seconds before you are injured, and then in 18 seconds after your injury. The drop in performance is very significant and the journey to be back at your personal best, torturous.
As rock climbing to me is what meditation, or travel, or a nice long hot bath, is to others, I will not give up on it now. I will head back to the gym, twice or three times a week, and should all planets align, I will be back at my own personal best in two to three months.
Moral of the story? No matter how hard the road ahead, no matter how bad the setbacks, do not stop moving forward.