Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Mist Is Rising…


This last month or so has definitely been a challenge. Training plans for the Eiger and the para-climbing have had to be adjusted and readjusted whilst you know the clock is still ticking. I’ve not experienced such a prolonged period of MS fatigue before.  Each day you’re hoping that normal service will resume and sometimes it feels as though, yes e’re ok, but then suddenly you hit empty and there is no pushing through it.  Thankfully the mist has started to rise and we’re back on track, or at least moving forwards!

A trip to the lakes certainly helped, combing celebrations for a good friend’s birthday and some rather damp bouldering was just what the doctor ordered.  Although my frustration levels of not being able to do a number of the problems was evident – why is it they all seemed to rely on my weak side powering through and could I find a way through, no. 1-0 to the boulder problem! A walk up to the pudding stone, a short if not windy play on the boulder and then a walk back round the head of the valley was a good test to see how the walking faired. 1-0 to Al . Easter and trip to the north of Scotland is planned and hopefully catching up with friends and a wee bit of cragging.  Fingers crossed, the training is back on track.


On a different note during these last few weeks I’ve been thinking about risks and the level in which we are happy to take.  Some folk may think we take unusually high risks as climbers but to me it’s a calculated risk, one we have thought through and willing to take.

I know I stepped back from leading harder routes as I didn’t trust my body.  Would the leg spasm, would I be stuck trying to do a move which relied on my weak side, would my vision go blurry just when you needed to focus  or that  horrible issue that no one wants to talk about– would my bladder behave!  The risk seemed to outweigh my courage, hence stepping back.  Learning that its ok to fail is hard, I’ve never liked to lose or be defeated by something and I still struggle with that today.   These past 2 years I’ve been on a different treatment for the MS which I feel has had a huge difference but brings its own risk.  The longer you’re on it and in my case, post the 2 year mark the risk rises from 1:1000 to 1:100 of developing a progressive brain disease.  Do you continue with the treatment which you feel allows you to do the things you love or do you come off it and hope that MS will not progress?  Is 1:100 a risk too far?

Thinking about the Eiger, the risk doesn’t feel quite as scary at the moment, although as we get closer I’m sure that may change…