I tossed my second used up wire brush in my backpack before stepping back to admire the latest scrubbed addition to my now 15 metre long bouldering wall. Although I didn't quite get today's two metre span finished, my wire brush had become a wooden handle - nary a bristle was left - and I had not brought a spare, I was still feeling pretty pleased with progress. I never scrub more than about 15 or 20 minutes at a time, but, it's amazing how much progress you can make if you just steadily plug away at something. There must be a metaphor for life here.
Looking along a scrubbed section of wall
When I first found this wall, while wandering about looking for a promising bouldering area near to the house, the extent of the scrubbing required was a little daunting. I've developed climbing routes before, and have seen not just days but weeks sucked away as you scrub moss, clean cracks, build trails, pry off loose blocks, place bolts, and do all the things that ensure that your routes won't simply disappear after being climbed once but will become routes that are enjoyed by many people for many years. In truth, route developing is time, gear and sometimes health consuming, so I was a little leery about developing a new bouldering area when I would only be in the area for the next few months. But, I wanted to climb without having to drive half an hour or more each way, and if that meant spending some time scrubbing, dusting and prying, I would do it.
Doug drilling bolt placements
In a strange twist where most of the population is eating crap and not moving more than is absolutely necessary to get themselves from the food bin to the toilet to expel the crap they just ate, there is a small, but rabidly vocal, segment of the population who seems compelled to spout the mantra of "Know pain, know gain" as if being successful at any athletic endeavour requires an endless series of crushing workouts and a "100% clean" (WTF does that even mean?) diet. There may be a superhuman few who can keep this up without breaking their bodies, but most of us would do well to remember that "dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but by persistence (Ovid)."
Doug looking small above Kanangra Walls
created by slow, steady erosion
We are what we do, and, if we work steadily at any goal, whether it be climbing a grade or two harder, removing processed food from our diets, running a marathon, or getting a double body weight back squat, we should simply get started and continue working, slowly, steadily, until we get there. And now, I've got a new wire brush, so it's time to go scrub a little.
Doug having fun on Eskimo Nell,