I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
No reproduction on other media without the photographer's permission.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Work ethic and Sport and life, by Stevie Haston.

To get fit, you have to work. To understand, you must have knowledge. To reap, you must sow. To climb, you must at least start. At the mention of training, or hard work, you can see climbers and most people running for the hills.

"I see it in your eyes
The same fear that would take the heart of me
A day will come when the courage of men fails
But it is not this day…" Aragon in Lord of the Rings telling you to start your workout.

 Cactus leaves for the animals.

I did my usual big workout yesterday, the one that doesn't work. Strangely it works for me. It would break most people. Lots of things break me, but my work outs don't, they make me strong, they prepare me. So between all the sets of pull ups, I was doing the odd stretch and listening to a Lady Yogi, talking about her daily 4 hours of Yoga! She's a super good girl, and does really good stuff. But 4 hours, it made me cringe with laziness. It broke me! She gets up early, and has a few classes of water, and does her Yoga. Laurence my companion for all those years used to do the same some days. 

The myth of Sisyphus is just a myth.

My personal journey at the moment is an hours yoga on average, followed by an hour of breathing. Oh and I have given up coffee, probably the hardest thing of all! Is it working? Yes, I am calmer, after four days of headaches from having no coffee, it became OK.
So why? Lots of reasons, I want a fresh start on my body and mind, I want to be in control of my person, and of course I want to use my body as my own personal space ship for exploring joy, and whats left of the Planet, and my life.
I often used to train for 3 months, or four months, the time of a winter in North Wales, or roughly 90 to 120 days. Pilates promises you a good result in 10 weeks. If you do yoga every morning for 30 to 40 days you see something. I will try to keep things going because I like what is happening. You must educate your self, you must improve, you must have joy. The cost I think is about 100 days. A bargain really. 
Is an hour of yoga hard? Not really. Is giving up coffee hard? Yes it is, for me more so than for most I would imagine. What else is hard? Being ignorant of a full life, being led through the nose by a deceitful media, and government, having false idols. Not having joy. Long live joy, do your breathing in the morning. And grasp the nettle, cease the day, clip those chains and break those chains that bind you to false newspapers and idiots.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Ali is dead, long live Ali, by Stevie also ran Haston.

Ali had to go, but clearly now that he has gone, why is he still here in my head. Because I suspect for me, he was the personification of male beauty and strength, strength not just of the body, but of his convictions.
He failed the first induction test to the army of the despicable disorientated States of America, in its totally absurd war of Empire, and Munitions selling. How did he fail it? He scored 78 on the intelligence test, a very easy thing for him to do, because he was as sharp and quick as a spinning nickel in the sun. The USA lowered its standard a couple of notches to include his percentile a bit later, when they were running out of cannon fodder so Ali quickly found him self in hot water. He most famously said, "I aint got no quarrel with them Vietcong, no Vietcong ever caller me Nigger!" Ali there after became more politicised, as he was hounded by the American government and authorities. He converted to Islam, and was a conscientious objector,  but they still stripped him of his title and did the worst pounding of this man that Ali ever took. The Army, the government and the establishment all went after Ali  and he went on the run, but they couldn't shut his mouth, his big beautiful, intelligent mouth.  He fought the establishment and American racism very well and for a long time, I for one am grateful for his words and fights both in and out of the ring. He wasn't a perfect man, as many symbols have a touch of tarnish, here and there, but people interested in a more rounded and in-depth look at this big man will have plenty of opportunity over the next week. Ali suffered from Parkinson's disease which was caused by the huge head trauma he suffered, possible in the terrible fight which was dubbed Dope on a rope, where his stratergy was to let his opponent get exhausted by using him as a punchbag. In 2005 Ali converted from Islam to Sufism which is the more spiritual side of Islam. There is nothing much more for me to say apart from watch one, or 10, of his fights, watch the films made about him, thank him for his quips, like "float like a butterfly sting like a bee." 

At times Ali seemed to have 8 arms and was a slippery customer, even Presidents in the end could not take him on. A great counterpuncher, a showman, an entertainer, a fighter for the rights of the black man in America, Muhammad Ali, the man formally know as Casius Clay a slave name which he renounced.

 Early morning jog, boxing Hoody on, in honour of Ali. He was probably the first sporting guy I listened to, he was funny, clever, cheeky, he got me training, skipping rope... 

there you go, if only Ali had done a little climbing we might have the odd brilliant quip to laugh or smile about our sport. 

The real prince is dead. 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Letting go, by Stevie Hanging on Haston.

Breath and let go….

Letting things go is easier said than done. As a climber of some success, I often wish I could let go a bit more. I won't say I can't let go, but it's hard and in that struggle to let go of my aspirations and limits, I  sometimes get psychologically pumped.

 The Y pose, theres water on the tiles it makes it slippery.

My head is a bit too full at the moment, and I will reel my neck in, and stop doing so much. I gave up coffee a week ago, doesn't sound like much, does it? For me it's at least 8c. And what is worse, although I always want to do 8c, why, oh why would I want to give up coffee?

 The Pigeon was let go, he never looked back, he never said thank you, fair winds and good sailing..

Breathing is interesting to me, as an amateur Free Diver it's of obvious importance. Coffee was screwing my breath holding capabilities, so it has had to take a long holiday. Breathing is very important for everything, particularly climbing, but few people believe me. But just listen to Ondra and Sharma Power screaming, and you might understand the force of Breath.

 The evil eye, because I want to do another route, just let go and do it….

 never talk to some one while they are making the knot, do not distract the knot, the knot must never let go.

Where do you go to my lovely, when your alone in your head, what are the thoughts that surround you when your alone in your bed?

The dog does his Yoga with me most mornings.

Climbing has never been simple for me, nothing is very simple for me, breathing is even difficult for me, that's why I loved Mountain running, and Altitude climbing, because then your breath has an ultimate master,  who he must perforce give in to. But I want to Master my breath, it will help me in my next route of many colours and contortions, and will help me get a bit better at diving. The dog by the way is not that good at yoga, he has three poses. Downward Dog obviously, Licking his Dick, obviously, and Scratching the flea. But he watches me breath, concerned if I am doing Breath of Fire. His worst habit is licking my face when I am lying down trying to relax! 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Gifts from above, by Stevie below par Haston.

 Part of my job is giving advice to people and companies, whether they listen is a different thing. Whether I listen is also a different thing. Listening is a very odd thing. With people that I work for, the amount of listening seems to depend on how much they pay me! It's a funny thing one, but the more my advice costs the more people seem to listen-it's weird and simple. You people are lucky and get stuff off my bog for nothing, and in consequence don't listen that much.

this photo is blurred but look at my foot and the size of the shoe, you don't have to do this, I do!

Climbing shoes are the contact between you and the rock, in some ways you can say they keep you on. Fingers are the same, they keep you attached to the rock. Fingers need training, specific training! Climbing shoes need fitting, specific fitting!

good chalk, especially when conditions are not good, or slimy hold due to humidity rob you.

I have been climbing around longer than chalk, and chalk varies, the above is some of the best, the very best, it's not cheap, I only use it for church on sundays-the church of hard rock. It's expensive, but it is excellent. It's very odd that people don't understand good gear. A good pair of boots won't do shit for you unless they fit, they will make you cruise if they fit really well. Anyway that's my sermon from the mount. I'll just get back to my Yoga. Yoga works for me, but this time it is taking its time, but now it is starting to kick in, I am happy with it. Strangely as I am practising one of my other sports Free diving, the importance of Yoga is much more obvious in that sport. Calmness is a pre requisite of free diving, and I am not the calmest. So although its obvious to everybody that Yoga is essential with breath control why is the Yoga / climbing link so hard for people to understand?

Furia a Scarpa work of art, it helps me get above myself.

Getting the best out of yourself is hard work. Get working.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Alas poor Yorick, by Stevie Haston.

Its summer, and the dead court jester who was democracy is deader than dead.

There are riots in France and police violence that puts to shame stuff that happens in dictatorships. Does anybody care, not really. There a referendum coming about whether the UK should stay in the EU when in reality we don't even know what the EU does or who controls it!

 There have been a lot of people loosing their jobs in UK papers, does anybody care?

With out a free press you will just be treated like mushrooms, "kept in the dark, and fed bullshit". But do you care?

Four guys died in a helicopter crash in France this week. They were so called Gendarmes "police", in France the rescue service for walkers and climbers and every one is the best in the world. I care about this one, these guys died in our service , most defiantly I care. Thank you very much for your service. 

the diet has started, Alas poor Stevie I knew him well, but a large part of him must go. 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Temporary like Achilles. by Stevie Sisyphus Haston

these are all photos from the year 2012, when I thought I was weak and fat!

Ill just reprint it, and add a touch of comment.

So, I am still massively weak, but its getting better. Summer is here and its bad for small holds etc, don't care anyway, cos the plan is the plan, stick to the plan, man!

Firstly clearly I am not weak, but weaker than I had been a couple of years before! It's summer again, and I will stick to the plan-adifferent plan but a plan, none the less.

One arm on a comfy mono thread, and then extend, at the moment its rubbish hope to have made a bit of progress in a few months and after cutting off my legs, brain and other non useful bits.

I can't close the one arm now or do any thing extra on it! So, big fail!

          Kick, and lever it out a bit. I consulted a  friend who said I could loose 7 kgs, I am inclined to believe him, although he may be mad! If he is right and my calculations are right, Ground Zero Gravity Day will come in 8 weeks, factor in Sods Law, Murphys Law, and Zandradoxx disease, an in two months I will do a reasonable route. May the force be with you, more fun and success. 

The idea of extending into a crouched one arm lever on a mono has receeded into legend sadly. The weight issue that I talked about in 2012 was probably right I could have lost 7 kgs and would have literally flew up some of the hardest routes. My age was 55! Now that I look back it looks good 8 out of 10.

Failed attempt, pull up +80KG on campus rung.

I was weak, but not by other peoples terms. They were my terms. And it was still a FAIL!

Pyramid up, pyramid down, pull a stack of plates, rock the rhomboids, shock the spinal erectors….

I should have kept thee up, they were doing me good, this weight and that angle would now rupture a disk!

The summer is here, and I will clean my new project and start work, on it. Yoga has not been missed, not once. Cardio has a small place in my project, but breathing will be taken care of by swimming and diving, and correct breathing and mental focus will help a lot. So today aged 59 I am a sad seedless, but I am still alive Achilles is well dead!

Friday, 20 May 2016

The core of climbing, by Stevie the worm Haston.

A Mono fin, probably one of the most useful but least accessible core training tools.

The period of repose after my little success on my last project Bernd, is really at an end. I milked this rest, I have used it to recoup, carb up and drink. Its been great, I can't lie, just doing lovely routes under 8a feels like slugging around in a feather bed. Before I start spouting on, think fingers, before fingers a bit of a brain to place yourself, and not be so scared you fill your trousers with poo. There is a roll call of honour, but for me the it's more a lottery especially as I still like different kinds of climbing. I have to say, even if my trumpet might explode, that I do have a couple of trump cards. I have very high flexibility, and my brain apparatus knows much of what is necessary. I have a couple of areas that go up and down, notably my weight which affects everything else exponentially. But if you want my weakness, it's  crimp strength, and core. Of the two core is safest to train, crimp strength is a potential an end of sport nightmare. However core goes on forever.  So enter the Mono fin, core, core, core. I am a shit free diver, and undoubtedly I will be a shit and ugly mono fin merman, but it will hopefully give me the core of a dolphin. For correct Mono finning you have to bend between the scapulas, I normally bend low down, which gives me back ache. I am hoping to shift the pain, and share the joy of a stronger more supple back.  More fun and and success. It also goes with my philosophy of controlling my breath.  Lets see, new tricks for old dogs.