Friday, 7 December 2012

Back on Track By Karen Varga

This past year has been an extremely difficult time for me.  Besides the obvious physical hurdles I've faced, it's the mental side that I'm really talking about here. November 2011 I was in PB shape, about to embark on a 3 month climbing-centric trip. I had succeeded in being selected for the senior GB climbing team and I felt ready and excited to participate in some World Cup comps in Europe.  And within the blink of an eye (and a sickening crack of the knee) it all came to a grinding halt.

As the months have passed and my routes on 8a have been dropping off, it has been a massive challenge to keep myself from feeling totally disheartened and despondent.  My strength and fitness have fallen away, along with my presence in the climbing scene, and it feels as though all my hard work and dedication has gone to waste.

But one can’t wallow in a pit of despair forever, and although I wasn’t able to climb, I was able to do some fingerboarding and campusing.  I’ve built a little frame in my garage with my two fingerboards mounted on, but it didn’t take long before the grips became too comfortable, even after adding weights, and I was seeking ways to make it more challenging.  Courtesy of Metolious, I added pairs of screw-ons which really gave my fingers a good work out.  After 6 weeks my fingers were stronger than ever and I was hanging off grips, with added weights, that initially I couldn’t even get established on.

Injuries come and injuries go, some take longer than others, and some take longer than they should.  But I believe if you keep your mind strong and thoughts free, nothing is impossible.  This year was not my year, but who knows what next year will bring.

I would like to say a massive thanks to my sponsors, Evolv and Metolious, for sticking with me despite my injury and the discouraging prognosis for getting back climbing again.  I may not have ticked any significant routes this year, but next year I’ll try to do you proud.

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