I wrote the following Blog about 2 weeks ago but for some reason didnt get around to publishing it but the very sad news today of the death of Patrick Edlinger at the age of 52 only confirmed what I had already been thinking. I am not a morbid person nor prone to morbid thoughts but it is a fact that we are not long on this earth and if we are not careful life can pass us by very quickly. I didnt know Patrick well but met him on many occasions in the late 80s at competitions and on the crags in the south of France. He was passionate about his climbing, technically brilliant, elegant to watch and inspired a way of climbing that was adopted by many. His climbing achievements are second to none but more than this prove he understood the value of life and of how fortunate he was to have found something he felt so passionate about. Although most of us would love to have pushed the limits of climbing like Patrick ,at the end of the day its not how hard you climb that matters, but how hard you try. I am sure Patrick gave his all as did others of my generation no longer with us such as Wolfgang Gullich, Kurt Albert and John Bacher to name but a few. They were all an inspiration and are sorely missed.
The following was written 2 weeks ago.
If you follow me on Twitter you will know that Ive been climbing a lot lately and that Ive found a new motivation for climbing that has been lacking the past 6 years. It all happened on a day out in the Yorkshire Dales whilst walking with my wife. It was a lovely day and after visiting the Hockney gallery in Bradfords Salts Mill we drove up to the pretty village of Malham for a walk to Gordale Scar and over the tops to Malham Cove. It was great to see Gordale after so many years away but I was surprised that although there were hordes of tourists there were no climbers. After pointing out the amazing routes to my wife we headed over to Malham. I cant remember the last time I was there but I pretty much gave up sport climbing around 1997 so it was a long time ago. Even to its regulars Malham never fails to make an impression but after 15 years away and after 6 years of almost no climbing it made an even bigger impression that usual. A lot of hard new routes have been done since I was last there, mostly by Steve McClure and although there were only a handful of climbers at the crag one of these was Jordan Buys who was working Steve McClures amazing looking 9a Rainshadow. I have to say that it was very inspiring and walking away from the crag I felt a tinge of regret for the years I had been away from climbing and more specifically sport climbing. However, with the feelings of regret came a new motivation to climb again and to try and get fit. Although 46 isnt that old by todays standards I still feel I am incredibly fortunate, apart from a few minor niggles, to have such good health and that my body weight is the same now as it was 20 years ago. My grandfather once told me that young men see visions and old men dreams. I used to be the former and although I am not yet the latter its fast approaching. Time really does seem to be relative and goes faster the older you get which is why you have to seize it with both hands and not waste it, especially if you are lucky enough to have good health. This is not always as easy as it sounds since nothing is possible without the motivation to do it and motivation can be a fickle friend, but if you have it you owe it to yourself to use it. As the old adage goes, use it or lose it.