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A Girl Who Climbs

A blog of bouldering

RE: Last post ‘New Stuff Soon’

As an avid climber, I find it frustrating that there are hardly any decent climbing related greeting cards in the world, so I’m here to try and fill that niche in the market.

Mostly they’re bad puns from climber friends who have very kindly let me pinch their words and force them into drawings. I hand draw each design before adding colour digitally, printing, trimming down, and mounting by hand. A lot of love goes into each one and I’m hoping they will brighten another climber’s day.

You can find all the current designs for sale here on Etsy

Any feedback or ideas are welcome, just pop it in the comments 😊

 

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New Stuff Soon | ‘Nice Rack’

I’ve been looking for a fun way to give back to the climbing community for a while now, since bouldering is much more than just a hobby to me now. The sport has given me so much in the form of friends, confidence, and this blog!

When I posted this drawing the other day it got such a lovely response, which was nice since I had so much making it, and it got the cams cogs turning in my head…

Nice Rack AGWC

 

So, watch this space!

An exciting new venture is coming to A Girl Who Climbs soon

 

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POV Bouldering | Short Video

Something different today!

I took my little ISAW camera with me to BeBoulder the other week and did some filming. It resulted in this short video with some fun, POV climbing. The idea was to show what it’s actually like to climb as most of the time whenever you post a video of yourself or someone else climbing, it doesn’t look as far, hard, or impressive as it really is!

Let me know what you think in comments as I’m planning on doing some more 🙂

 

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Knowing When to Rest

Whether it’s taking 10 minutes for some mindfulness and head space to get through the day, making sure to foam roller after training, or enjoying a bath, I’m all about self-care. But what I’m really, really bad at is stopping when I have an injury. We’ve all been there, you ‘kind of’ hurt yourself but carry on anyway because you’re having too much fun. I know I’m not the only one! Between climbing and roller derby I’ve picked up a few niggles which just wouldn’t go away because I didn’t give them the time to heal properly, and this resulted in prolonged pain plus feeling of regression.

 

So how do you know when to stop and/or rest? Deep down you know. Your body knows when it wants you to take a time out, it’s just making sure that you listen. Resting can be hard when you’re doing well with training and don’t want to lose momentum, but sometimes you must make yourself do it. Now I think, would I rather cut my session short/take a week off resting and come back feeling good, or continue and end up in more pain and possibly having to take a whole month or more off?

 

Since you only get one body it makes sense to look after it and strive to climb another day!

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Persistence Pays Off

It’s been a while!

I guess the reason I haven’t posted is because I felt like I was in a climbing limbo. It can be so frustrating being at a stage were problems are either a breeze or way too hard, even more so as this will differ with each gym you climb at. The thing with climbing and bouldering is, there is no flat standard. They are such free sports in the sense that there is no hold, crux, or problem the same. It’s not like another discipline with a basic skill set that you can practice repeatedly. For example, I think it would be tough for everyone to go to their local wall and practice the same heel hook, whereas anyone can grab a football and practice keepie-ups/kick ups. It’s not so straight forward. So, unless you can pinpoint and mimic exactly what you’re struggling with, it’s hard to train it. This isn’t a complaint! In fact, it’s one of the reasons I think bouldering is so compelling as it makes you challenge yourself.

I’ve always said that I’m not a natural climber and it’s something that I’m constantly working on in one way or another. Back in January I broke my (very long) gym sabbatical in hopes of generally improving myself in a kind of blanket training, and I’m happy to report after 3 months it’s starting to pay off. Despite it being a long, hard, slog, going to the gym twice a week has 100% upped my climbing game and helped nudge me through the limbo and even a grade boundary.

 

So, persistence pays off. If you’re struggling please don’t give up, train hard and it will work out in the end.

 

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Happy International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day 2017

Here’s to the role models both past and present who strive for gender equality in all aspects of life across this crazy world.

Today is a day to globally celebrate the lovely females in our lives, support each other’s achievements and continue the work for gender equality. Today is not a day to put men down or to have people haughtily ask the question, ‘when is it International Men’s Day then?’ There is an International Men’s Day, and it’s celebrated November 19th focusing on all the important issues for males like health, discrimination and once again finding equality.

 

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, what I really want to do is to say how awesome it is that we have so many inspirational female climbers. Lynn Hill, Alex Puccio and Shauna Coxsey to name but a few. Women excelling, working hard and essentially paving the way for future climbers. I feel lucky to be involved in a hobby which, despite being male dominant, has a great female community.  From female climbing groups at the local crags and gyms to The Women’s Climbing Symposium, it’s nice to see and feel that presence ever growing. Plus, wonderful campaigns like This Girl Can are also there to help us cheer each other on.

 

On a side note, joining roller derby has genuinely made me feel more confident and empowered, and I am 100% positive that comes from it being a female dominated sport. Yet despite it having such a strong woman base, there is a place for anyone and everyone. I strongly suggest you check out your local team and give it a shot!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZoXyIxqFRcTGV

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Craig y Longridge

Late January I headed out to Craig y Longridge with some friends for the first outdoor adventure of the year. Known as the stomping ground of Ian Vickers and Gaz Parry, Longridge is 100m of 20-degree overhanging quarried grit which makes it the place to get strong.

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Lovely Longridge

The Longridge crag backs on to Green Bank Park which was once all owned by the same landowner. However, after some resident complaints about climbers, liability worries and threats of filling in the crag, local climbers and the BMC stepped in. After a few long years they managed to settle a deal meaning Craig y Longridge is owned by climbers and the BMC. Yet since the homes are so close to the rock there are a few rules to keep the peace: no music, no dogs, and no climbing before 10am or after sunset. You can read more about the history here.

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The famous wooden ladder

It was easy to drive and parking was no problem, in fact you can park right outside the venue in the laybys. As you can imagine January in the UK is bitterly cold and this Sunday was no exception. Due to the nature of the rock it’s perfect for traversing and of course there are loads of problems from low to high grades there too, making it a great venue for different climbing abilities. We didn’t stay too long and I didn’t climb anything as it was just far too cold for me, but it was still nice being there as I could help with spotting people as they tried a few climbs.

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I’m really excited to head back in the warmer months, especially as I feel like I’m starting to grind through the plateau now which has given me some more confidence in my abilities.

Expect another Craig y Longridge post (with climbing) soon!

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Writers Block

I’m having a bad/long stint of writer’s block. I don’t want to just put up a post because it’s due, I want the post to be informative, useful and thought out. I would love to say it’s because I’ve been climbing so much I just haven’t had time, but sadly it’s the opposite!

I’m still about and posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and as soon as I have something worthwhile to share, the blog will be back to normal.

 

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All The Training, All The Gains

Ignore what I said last week, I’m all about the training now.

I re-joined the gym at the start of January (with the rest of the world) and I’m happy to report I’m still going twice a week and surprisingly really enjoying it. Why did I join the gym after giving it up for bouldering? In all honesty it’s to help me improve at roller derby, and subsequently bouldering. Plus I’ve discovered that I’m the type of person that needs to be in the right environment to be productive, whether that’s in an office to do work or in the gym to work out. I can do it if I have a reason and I’m in the right place.

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Having a goal to aim towards also helps to keep me focused, so when I saw this video for a beginner oriented campusboard drill, I knew this is what I needed in my climbing life. This is perfect to help with dynamic power and contact strength, and I really like how informative the video is, plus it’s genuinely one of the best campusboard training videos for beginners that I’ve watched.

http://www.epictv.com/media/podcast/campusboard-session-for-softies–a-beginner-oriented-campusboard-drill/605684

Naturally there will be pictures and videos over on my Twitter, Facebook & Instagram account to do with all of the above, because if you don’t document it for the world to see did it even happen?

I would love to know  your training goals for the year, leave them in the comment!

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