Chalk!!

Blogging again after 15 months … whew!

How can I catch up in one sentence? Let’s try …

There was chalk, there was Rafi, there was the idea for a climbing club for everyone (regardless of their ability to do any other particular thing), and all of this had a backdrop of the Foundry’s tall and knobby walls, with a hint of the glorious outdoors.

I’m going to be disciplined and only inflict, say, 20 photos from the last year. Well, I can try. Here is a determined Clare, with up-for-it crew of Nick, Robin and Helen.

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And here’s a couple of pictures from Rafi’s first climb, back in March 2015:

.There will be a passing mention of climbing techniques – but you could explore that further from the Climbing for All workshops page https://www.thebmc.co.uk/climbing-for-all-workshops-instructing-disabled-people-in-rock-climbing for instance.

*Please don’t stop reading if your interest is recovery from brain injury. Recovery (like this blog) doesn’t have to end after 6 months, or 2 years. I realised I was blogging about LIVING not recovery because life is JUST DO IT and not WAIT AND SEE. Whether or not you are “recovering” from anything, you can maximise your fun, happiness and involvement. Er, yes, I mean go climbing.

Life sometimes comes up with a wonderful moment that you always remember. One of these moments was CHALK. It was Christmas 2014, and Clare had been climbing for 10 months. A present was posted through our door … from the Whittakers. Hey, that’s nice of them!

Square. Actually, cuboid, if you’re being picky. A shape that says, ummm, biscuits probably. Or maybe a festive cake, as Clare is known to hanker for cake after climbing. The pleasure of unwrapping …

And it is a gorgeous chalk bag!! Kingfisher blue, with orange trim. A bag to adore. And a block of magnesium carbonate, i.e. climbing chalk, to crumble into the bag. This was the most memorable present of Christmas 2014.

The next climb, January 2015, was awesome. The chalk era had started.

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It was still the pre-climbing-Rafi era. Before March 2015 we had barely met Rafi, though he’d slogged along the same path through hospital months and residential rehab months, just eight months later than Clare. Clare’s and Rafi’s paths crossed again at an ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) clinic. Sports swap! Clare went to Rafi’s racerunning club and Rafi tried climbing.

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And so did another friend try climbing. A parapente harness worked well. Pics from that next time. And pics from Clare’s transition from full body harness onto a standard harness plus chest harness combo. New techniques …

New ways to support people in their climbing.

Eleven more students from Nick’s and Helen’s schools went climbing.  After Nick’s fundraising ultra marathon last summer, we are all talking about how we can scale up this whole inclusive climbing venture …

HOW WE CAN DO IT and HOW WE WILL DO IT!

Next time, as well as more climbing and cakes and new developments, I’m going to write about the Climbing for All course at the Foundry! And our application to the Charity Commission to help us become (…trendy work alert…) SUSTAINABLE!

PostScript:

Helen: I’ll look after your phone, Robin.

Robin: No, I’m taking it.

Helen: It’ll fall out your pocket.

Robin: No it won’t.

Robin: Selfie from the top of the Slab, yay!

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