Apologies for the gap in blogging. There are a variety of reasons but the main thing is my left knee, which blew up in April and I've been able to do nothing climbing-wise since. After a 10 week wait I finally got it medically examined and the surgeon has booked me in for surgery within a week. It's looking like a tear in the meniscus cartilage something I had surgery on 11 years ago. The good news is that, that time I recovered within 6 weeks to travel out to Alaska on my first trip there and climb an amazing new route on Mount Hunter.
The challenge is obviously going to be the physio afterwards and this pic shows a little of what needs to be done. Even though Ive had perfectly reasonable movement you can see the amount of muscle wastage in my left thigh compared with my right (both are tensed in this pic). Just this morning I read a little sports history piece in the Times which illustrates how battling with injuries is such a large part of so many sports performers lives. It covered the 1992 Olympics of the British 400m runner Derek Redmond. Redmond had had to pull out of the previous Olympics just 90 seconds before the start of his heat due to an Achilles injury. In 1991 Redmond was part of the British team that beat the "unbeatable" Americans in the 4 x 400m relay in the World Championships. A real medal contender in 1992 Redmond was the fastest first round qualifier but in the semi final his hamstring pulled and he dropped to the floor in the back straight. His final 250m where he forced himself to finish with the help of his father is one of those famous moments of Olympic spirit (The film is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-MRoIDXeuY&feature=related ).
What I didn't know was leading up to the 1992 Olympics Redmond had had eight different operations on his various injuries. The mind boggles at the perseverance and dedication to keep getting up from those set-backs and explains why he was so distraught in 1992 when it all fell apart. In my case I'm obviously hoping for a happier ending!