They tell you your life will change. You get the knowing jokes from the card carrying dads that you don't quite get. "When'll you be auctioning off yer rack then?". All that. But it can't be that bad, right? You just assume you'll find a way round it. It'll be different for you.
Five months in, Ben's just come through a particularly stormy patch. His four month jabs seemed to coincide with the classic four month sleep regression and then about four weeks of colds that culminated in a bad cough that threatened to affect his breathing and precipitated a night in hospital for him and Mum. At exactly five months to the second he was back in the same building where he was born. Things seem to be subsiding now, only I've just been down with his same virus, caught at a low ebb of sleep loss and Dad-worry.
They were right, those card carrying Dads. It's not different for me.
I always knew this winter would be a much more paired-down time for my climbing, but I was confident I'd still get something done: a bit of training on weeknight evenings and the odd weekend day out. I'd chalked up three problems on the west coast that I really wanted to do and if I did two of them and tried the third I'd consider it a success. Well, it's nearly March and I've not been anywhere near any of them yet and there's no sign that things will change. A part of me despairs; mourns the loss of what I was and what I had. To be a climber, and that simplest comodity: time.
And so, adaptation. I've just had to shift my frame of reference. What's available instead? While my heart will always be with the red sandstone of the west I've put that to bed for now and have been making discoveries on the grey schists and granites of the east, compiling a list of unfound or unloved boulders within a 30 minute drive of home and slowly cleaning and climbing my way through them. It's a slow process, this development, when you only get a few hours on occasional weeks but it's keeping me focused and inspired to keep trying. There's something special about exploring your local patch, getting to know it better and better on each visit.
|Sleep Thief, 6Cish|
|One of several works in progress...|