Climbing strong at the Climbing Works

Friday was a mixed day. I had a supervision with 2/3 of my supervision team before meeting up with some of my friends for coffee. As always, supervision left me in a mess of different feelings. I really appreciate the constructive criticism that I receive on my writing and ideas. However, it is always hard to hear criticism as what it is – criticism of my writing – not of me. The fact that my writing is never finished and there is always more work to do can also be hard to hear. In this supervision I had a number of issues with the chapter that will need to be addressed within the already very tight word count. There were other problems which me and my supervisors discussed and produced some solutions for, but on the whole, I felt like I had gone through a wringer. I think I was also very tired. I’ve been writing non-stop for since May and have revised 4 chapters of my thesis in that time. So, after the supervision, I had a bit of a cry and was convinced by colleagues to take the rest of the day off.

I met up with my friends over coffee and got to catch up with one who has moved away, got pregnant and every time that I see her she is getting even bigger and more glowing. It was a lovely break and then I went home, collapsed on the sofa and watched BBC4’s series agony & ecstasy – a year with the English National Ballet on YouTube. I used to dance and I miss it occasionally. Right now, I miss it a lot. Anyway, I loved watching the rehearsal time and the development of choreography. One of my favourite pieces at the moment is Aniel by Ballet BC. It’s so whimsical and makes me smile every time I watch the rehearsal. I’d love to see a full length version of the piece, but I can’t find one online anywhere.

Anyway, my OH and I went to the Climbing Works in the evening. I wasn’t expecting much from myself considering the emotionally draining day that I’d had, on top of a very exhausting 2 weeks. I completely surprised myself! I climbed strong and topped a couple of problems that I’d been trying on the black circuit without any problems. I was reading sequences well and enjoying the physical movement. I wonder if it was because I’d watched some dance and remembered the enjoyment that I got from movement? I also tried to be pleased if I progressed on individual moves rather than completing actual problems. The fact that I did both mean that it was a really good session.

The Works was very quiet as well. The regulars were there, (including us) and some newbies as well. We could choose to climb the problems that we wanted without any waiting and didn’t have to worry about falling off onto people. I helped some newer climbers on a purple spottie problem. They couldn’t read the sequence very well, so I gave some suggestions on how to move their body around to help with the sequence and also how to read problems from the ground. I also showed another climber some tricks on one of the blacks that I flashed last sunday. The best part of the evening (well 2nd best) was watching some climbers get their groove on with the music. It was both hilarious and awesome to see people enjoy moving both on the wall and off of it. I may have done some grooving myself.

The best moment of the session came while I was climbing. One of the newbies who I was helping went up to my OH and asked if we were family. He said yes, and the newbie asked, ‘is she your mum?’ My OH said no, she’s my girlfriend. My friend who was climbing at this moment found the whole conversation so hysterical that he promptly fell off the problem and legged it to tell the rest of the group. I’m now being referred to as ‘mum’. Slightly creepy.

We then went for curry (it’s the Friday ritual).

Climbing holds at the Climbing Works. Photo: CanadianKate

Some Stats:


  • Topped 2 more black problems
  • Repeated some yellows
  • Worked moves on yellows

Core work:

  • 5×10 crunches
  • 3×20″ planks
  • 6×3 Spidermen
  • Stretches