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A Girl Who Climbs

A blog of bouldering

Being Injured Sucks

Currently I’m unable to climb or play roller derby due to a series of unfortunate events, some of which are my own fault. I know rest and recovery are important, but being injured really, really sucks!

 

The initial problem for me was sore feet from bad fitting skates and then cramming my sore feet into climbing shoes every week. This killed my toes and eventually made it nearly impossible to put any pressure through the climbing shoes to stand on holds, it just felt like I was standing in a very small fire. Since I couldn’t really climb, I carried on skating and tried toe-padding, plasters, and different lacing techniques to help ease the pain. Sadly, it still resulted in me loosing toenails.

I finally ordered new skates but since they would take about 3 weeks to arrive and my feet were still too sore for climbing, I carried on playing roller derby…

 

During this whole sore feet/loosing toe nails episode my partner (A Boy Who Climbs) hurt his lat/arm when bouldering. We thought it would be okay after a couple of weeks or rest but it was mending very slowly. The same week I took a hit to the face during roller derby practice. The hit made me dizzy and gave me headaches for a couple of days afterwards, so I had to take some time off skating too. When I did get back on skates last week I got hit on the head again at the very end of the game. I’m fine and haven’t suffered from any headaches or other head injury symptoms, but since it’s two head injuries in a short succession it means 3 weeks of no contact or gameplay as a safety precaution for concussion.

 

So that’s what has been happening over these last few months. Hopefully everything will be back to normal in a couple of weeks. Marcus’ injury is much better and we’re both really excited to climb again, plus my new skates have arrived and they feel very comfortable!

 

In the grand scheme of things, it’s much better to be safe and rest any aches and pains properly. It’s really sad not being able to enjoy the sports you love, but why risk not being able to enjoy them ever again for the sake of a few weeks recovery.

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No Handed Climbing | Johnny Dawes

I learnt more from watching this video than just how to climb without using hands. There are no rules, no restrictions on how you should train, what grade you should climb, or how you should climb it. If you have a clear desire to climb a problem or route, you’ll do it. You’ll send it eventually because it’s what you really want to do, with or without using hands.

If you’re feeling a little stuck or looking for some inspiration, watch and/or read about Johnny Dawes. I particularly like the little helicopter visual for foot placement.

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Climber Vests & TShirts | Etsy Shop

Since setting up the Etsy Shop with the climbing cards, a few people suggested putting the designs onto t-shirts. I asked a few climbers what they looked for in terms of tops, and most females wanted vests whilst most males just wanted darker colours, so I’ve done both. If you follow me on any of the social media stuff you’re more than likely fed up of seeing them. Sorry if I have flooded you with them, I just get excited!

I’ll leave a link to the shop here, please head over and have a look and let me know what you think. I’m open to constructive criticism or ideas.

Thanks 🙂

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Beginner Tips | Bouldering

Last night I went bouldering with some friends who had never tried it before, and they were asking me for some tips and tricks. So here is some of the advice I gave and think they found useful:

– Be brave! Go as high as you feel comfortable, then go a little higher

– Your legs are like springs, they can push you up the walls so use them too, don’t just rely on your arms

– Turn your feet and use the inside or outside edges instead of always going toe first, this will get you closer to the wall

– Try a problem on every wall angle as it will require different body movement, and help you find what you like and what to work on

It made me realise the amount of fun you can have when you just climb anything and don’t worry about ticking off problems. It was so lovely watching people progress quickly and build their confidence up on the walls. It kind of made me fall in love with climbing all over again and appreciate how odd but special the sport is. Also, I’ve got some new climbing buddies which is always nice!

What tips do you give to people who have just started climbing?

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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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