Having always been an advocate for climbing all the time as the best way to achieve Nirvana a recent 'quicksand effect' made me reconsider.
After learning to fall and stop giving such a shit about onsighting stuff I managed to blow Boat People (7c) and Dreams and Screams (E6 6b), both routes I had saved for a long time. At first I saw them as sacrifical lambs, allowing me to move forward with climbing, but, nothing really ever came of it. I decided a redpoint would help get me firing on all cylinders and decided to open an account with Never Get Out of the Boat (8a). In the first session I put together a rough sequence, second time around I got a few sequence tweaks and a few decent links but the top crux was very low percentage as I couldn't really hold the pinch. Third session; I got the top crux dialled but had to give the pinch absolute beans to get the move. I had a couple of redpoint burns and felt fit but would run out of power half way at an 'arms-length' slap.
The fourth time I went to get on the route the whole crag was running with water and NGOotB was soaking. The only thing steep enough to be dry was The Waiting Game (8a) so I got on it to get some power/maybe miraculously do an 8a in a session. After a good few goes at getting the moves sorted I went for a lead even though I felt screwed. Halfway along I heard a crunchy-pop from my knee and jumped straight off. I managed to via ferrata outta there ok, but, the next day I woke up and could barely walk. I've had a trio of knee injuries before and each time recovery was quicker, so I remained high spirited about the recovery rate of the quadraspaz. I did some fingerboarding instead and tweaked a finger. I went out partying instead and spent the next day with a stomach like Nepalese borders sending even the most diplomatic of foods (like soup) back the way it came.
My body was trying desperately to heal its many ailments, and as a result my immune system packed up and failed to repel Autumns annual epidemic; Freshers Flu.
Anyway, thursday came, I squared up to adversity and headed down The Diamond to send my project with Dunc C, Tommy C, Tom L and Matt S. The crag was cold and damp, the odds weren't necessarily stacked in my favour. After some initial slipping and sliding on big holds I made it to the first bolt whereby a fingery, knee-torqueing move enabled passage. I packed up and left the crag, alone.
The walk from the crag to the train station was sobering. I never like to leave the crag early, walk more than a few hundred metres or use public transport, and here I am doing all three. Something is wrong. Then it hit me, perhaps it's the fact that I have a finger injury, a knee injury, flu and a damp minge. I decided to stop pissin', turn around and throw my ideals to the wind. I decided to take a week off climbing. Let things mend. Let things settle. And I managed it seven days without touching rock. Well almost.