Time has past since my last blog, (blaa blaaaaa blaaa.)  Honestly, I have been doing the same things I always do.  Climb outside on “PJ’s (projects),” train hard in the gym, and going outside again to try a PJ, or just some easier problems.  Each has its benefits and cons.  Everyone knows how important it is to achieve goals at your limit.  As great as that is you sacrifice a lot just climbing on projects and not putting in the time to stay strong.  So what can you do to keep yourself on form?  Have a gym sesh.  Not that exciting. Then after a tune up in the gym it’s back to the PJ’s or something else.  Maybe some easier problems that will boost your motivation?  And then once you are psyched again, back to the PJ.  And that is what I’ve been doing since the summer temps left.  I’ve been 2 months in this cycle and finally I’ve something to show for it.  Midnight Express V14.  Not world class this day in age but for all the time I put into that problem it does feel good to finish it.

I started working on M.E. September ’10.  I was going strong until a basketball injury stopped me for the fall season.  I drifted away from M.E. until the late winter/early spring ’11.  I had gotten over the injury and was making progress.  At that point I was sharing my time between Midnight and another V14 called Echale.  I devoted a solid month to work on both.  I finished Echale and felt like I was going to finish M.E. too. Then a few days later I got food poisoning.  A huge set back and when I got back to shape (about 2 weeks later) the weather was a bit too steamy and warm for M.E. And on top of that, I a trip to climb in South Africa just around the corner.  Having the trip coming up and the weather turning, I decided to give up on Midnight and train hard in the gym for my trip with the idea that next fall, I would go all in.  

And now I’m here at the end of fall and I’ve just finished my goal.  The point being is that no matter how much time you put into something the most important thing in my opinion is to finish.  There are exceptions but you cant give up.  I’ve put many many days into M.E. and some may say too many.  I’ve climbed other boulders of the same grade much quicker.  I guess one could say I’m a bit stubborn.  Even with all the ups and downs working on M.E. I knew that if I stuck with it I would come out victorious in the end.  I’ve always taken this approach to working through the grades.  I could have given up one or two seasons ago but I couldn’t have that.  That’s my style; do what you can and get done what you desire.  

Above: All four photos are of Phil on Midnight Express


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