Before heading to Southeast Asia, spending three months back home was an absolute godsend. I didn’t realise it at the time but I was really in need of some home truths and my people. It was a very strange feeling to not feel at home in your own country for a while, but I settled down and started to feel better about what I was doing and where I was in fact going.
I had lost a lot of my motivation for harder climbing and I didn’t really put in much effort before going home. Only occasionally ticking a hard route and then doing a bunch of easier ones just to fill in time and climb. I didn’t really feel like I was improving at all, but I was at least at a consistent level that I still enjoyed myself.
My time with my mates really got me focussed again and I really enjoyed the training I was doing and the climbing was really motivating as well. They even got me on a project I had wanted to start for years, which I did ok on, the few times I tried it in the Australian Summer.
A couple of close friends sat me down and talked to me about a few things that I was trying to resolve in myself and they really helped get me back on the path of least resistance. For that I am eternally grateful and appreciate all of your feedback, input and support.
I arrived in Bangkok with a brand new vision of how I was going to spend my time on rock and had some solid goals to kick but most importantly I was going to have fun doing it. Karine and I were heading off to Thakhek in Laos for two weeks of climbing with a group of friends and we were all very excited to be catching up. I had my eyes on the prize and continued to remind myself to have as much fun as possible.
I had five routes that I wanted to send, they were all 7a’s (23) and all very different styles. Switzerland, The Sound Of Music, Whiplash ,Sintersizer and Nid Noi, Nid Toi. I just went with the flow and we ended up at the crags where my routes were and I got on them. It was all about just going through my process. Work the route, get it dialled and then red-point it.
We headed to The Hangover Sector and I got on Switzerland, worked it and send it. All done in a morning…….I was stoked. 🙂 The next morning I belayed Derek while he worked a route and then I had a shot and flashed it….stoked again. Tom was getting on Sintersizer. He said “C’mon mate give it a go, I need my draws back!” After a little coaxing I tied in and pulled on. 21 metres of steepness and I had ticked the route. I was so pleased and excited I yelled with joy.
I didn’t get on the fifth route, but I had more fun climbing in the two weeks in Thakhek than I had in quite sometime away from home. I guess the whole point is don’t forget to have a monumental amount of fun when you’re out there doing what you do. It can all get a bit serious sometimes and we forget why we are all hanging out together in the first place. It’s all about connections. Connecting with people, connecting the dots, connecting with mother nature, connecting with here and now.