I remember when I first met him. It was at the Edge comp, and he was 16. I burnt him off. I managed to keep doing so for perhaps as much as a year after that. But he pushed me. I had to try really hard to keep in front, and then suddenly, he was ahead. We were friends by then though, and I considered him my protege. I was pleased, and I bathed in the reflected glory that he brought back. All he had to do was accompany me to the nineties hotspots which I remained obsessed with, and try to stay awake on belay duty.
I am of course talking about Leicester's answer to Fred Dibnah - the three times British Champ Nedwin Van Der Freewilly. The point of this misty eyed reverie was that he seems to have made another leap forwards of late. He's gone from being good to in another ballpark good. I'm psyched for him. He flashed who needs ready brek on Saturday, and Tetris, then took a few goes to do Columns. I was impressed. Then he nearly did that thing of Dan's round the corner. All this whilst injured!
Ned's always maintained that he is a behemoth in the weight stakes, and he certainly is heavier than some of the stick thin teenagers we see flinging themselves between crimps, but that's because he's a solid clod of milky white muscle. I've gone really hefty since xmas, and seemingly no amount of being good is helping. That said, I am being good, but I could be better. Life's too short to deny yourself everything, but with Switzerland at the end of the week, I could just do with dropping a few pounds. Wonder how heavy i was last year? it doesn't say on the blog either.
Anyway, this all struck me after meeting Ned and Ben Thompson (ripped face) at Tetris along with just about everyone else in the western world. With Mushin wet it was a bit mobbed. Although a cold day, the sun was out and it felt greasy. Didn't stop Ned flashing it though, and Ben doing it and Columns too. Watching Neddy on Columns made me appreciate how good he's gone. I don't think he comprehends the many ways you can fail which I can think of. I mean, I look at something and think that looks hard, I can't comprehend of how to do this bit or that bit or whatever, whereas I think he looks at things and thinks - that looks ok, and can just do it. Little shit. This was how it was with me and the alphane moon last year - I'd watched the videos, knew I could pull on those holds, and so I approached it thinking I could do it. And do it i did. Self Belief is an under rated component in success. I'm not saying that if you believe you can do anything you can do it, just that approach things with winning in mind, and if they are realistic you WILL succeed.
Tetris is a good looking rock climb. Would benefit from being overcast though. I do it in the full sun, but compared to going back on it to showboat later on - it feels a different kettle of fish when the sun has set. And what a sunset! I have no concept of how to do Columns. I just can't compute the motion required.