Saturday 29 June 2013

Injuries and Jack HP

I guess the reason I haven't posted much recently is that I didn't want write something when I didn't have much media to present.

Of course, it is quite hard to obtain media when you haven't done much of interest for the last few weeks.

I havent actually got much to say. I have done some stuff: some slacklining, some parties, some running etc. but nothing terribly interesting. I just want to break the silence, and do something creative for a little bit, so I figured the time is right.

I also want to clear some thoughts about something that happened a week or two ago now.

A month and a day ago, I tore some tissue in my shoulder while climbing inside at The Climbing Academy Bristol and I have only climbed 3 times since then. No blame to TCA, I was tired and tried to do an awkward move after 3 days on, and paid the price for it. I was supposed to be staying on in Bristol for another few days over the half term, but instead I drove home that evening - wincing every time I had to change gears - and even pulling over to buy some painkillers. I booked some physio the next day.

Since then, I have been icing, stretching, massaging and doing the exercises that I was given. And it has improved quite a lot, but it isn't there yet. Last week I was able to climb a craggy 6c on toprope with only minor twinges, and largely it is a case of 'working around' the injury, as opposed to sitting out altogether. Moves on a straight up wall seem to be all right, I can weight my feet and avoid pulling too hard on the arm, but overhangs are still somewhat of an unknown territory.

I was told by physio woman that muscular injuries tend to take about 6-8 weeks to heal completely, and I am about 4 weeks in right now. It's all a bit of a ballache really, but I'm glad that it has happened this summer  instead of any other, since plans were already based around staying in the uk for at least the first half.

I have spent a bit of time looking into other careers. Branding and advertising have interested me for a while, so I have been trying to learn Adobe Illustrator to add to my photoshop skillz. The other potential job would be to join my buddy Kyle up in Sheffield and do some Rope Access work. I'm not sure on the work potential up there, but he seems to make do, and it is ideally located for climbing access. Rope access is also pretty international, so travel would definitely be an option after the first couple of years. Not to mention some incredible work :  holiday : pay ratios once you hit the higher qualification levels.


In my introduction I alluded to something that happened a couple of weeks ago now. 

Jack Hutton-Potts, who was one of the first people that I climbed with, died off the coast of Gogath. He was one of my best mates and one of the first to take me on an outdoor trip when we went to Swanage with our mutual friend - Tim.

I remember feeling very overwhelmed by the two of them. A lot of brusque chat, a lot of energy and some loud singing along to 'Slow Cheetah' by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on the drive down to Swanage happened before we got to the coast. And, if truth be told, when we finally got to the top of Subliminal I had become a bit fed up with not getting a word in edgeways between the two of them.

My first time at Swanage, some 5 years ago now.
After that first trip I continued to climb with Jack on and off throughout uni, sometimes inside, sometimes outside. Craggy, TCA, SSP, Cheddar, Avon. It didnt really matter to him, as long as he could climb and natter away, the guy was happy. He always pushed me close to the edge of my comfort zone, whether that was in my grade, training or my patience - but I always performed better when he was around.

I really admire how he lived. Totally free, always doing what seemed best to him, whatever was on the agenda - he really threw himself at it full throttle. Whether that was climbing, cycling, showing off how much more he knew about birds than I did, or just living life. He had more energy than anyone I have ever know and I will miss climbing with him.

I'm sorry you left us early Jack, someday I'll raise a toast to you on the top of El Cap.

RIP buddy.