The gym where we climb (here) regularly takes down and adds new routes. The bouldering wall gets this treatment far more often - there are almost always new routes on that section - but the top roping wall recently got a big revision and several new routes as well. While it's good, they currently don't have a lot of routes at my skill level to try. I have been sending 5.8s pretty regularly (usually not with great footwork and sometimes relying on the rope a bit more than I should) but 5.9s are still way out of my ability range.
At this point there's only one 5.8 that I haven't gotten at all - this damn green route (actually a 5.8+, meaning it's a little harder than a normal 5.8) that has a "complicated" move where you have to balance between two walls and push off the holds to get to the next set of holds instead of hold onto them (that probably makes no sense at all). I put "complicated" in quotes because the average climber could get it with their eyes closed and one hand tied behind their back. It's just complicated for me, The Newb.
Me (in blue) belaying Kimberly (on the wall) as she attempts to climb the crack - getting up the wall using only the crack.
There's one other 5.8 that I got with cheating, where I used a foothold that wasn't mine. I have NO idea how to get that one without cheating, though. I need to watch Kimberly or Jenna climb it clean to figure out what to do with my feet, because what I think I need to do...I can't. It'd involve getting my foot up by my head and I'm not that flexible yet. Or ever. I'm hoping there's a foothold or move I missed somewhere so I can get it without cheating.
But after those two 5.8s are done, then I can either keep climbing 5.8s that I've already gotten and perfect techniques and moves, or I can move on to 5.9s and just.....not make it up to the top ever. Well. Eventually, probably. But it's a huge leap from 5.8s to 5.9s (and an even bigger leap from 5.9s to 5.10s, which is the stage Kimberly is at). Jenna just recently started working on 5.9s and it's hard even for her, and she's been going much longer than I have been - and going twice a week, which is a huge advantage. I'll probably work my way around the wall, re-doing routes that I've already completed, and try to get them cleanly. The only reason I don't like doing that is because HELLO? What if I don't get it again? Massively demoralizing. Last week I tried a 5.7 (FIVE SEVEN!) and failed miserably because I had a deep cut on one of my fingertips that was located exactly where I needed to exert pressure to complete a move and I just couldn't get it. Even though I knew it was because of my finger, it still comes off as BLAH BLAH BLAH EXCUSES EXCUSES and you just want to crawl under a rock. Artificial rock, in this case.
Kimberly attempting to tie-in like a velociraptor would. Seriously. That's actually what's going on here.
Jenna wondering what the hell Kimberly is doing.
I really, really (really!) need to increase the number of times I'm getting out and climbing. Right now, I can usually get out once a week, but since Chris works the other nights of the week and I work Sundays, I usually can't make it on the second day that Jenna and Kimber go. The weeks when I've been able to go twice have been fantastic, and the second day you just plain start out at a higher level than you did the first day, since you're still wired for it from the first day. Going once a week is like going back a half-step each time. One step forward, half step back. Progress, but slooooooooow progress.
It'd probably also help to start some other exercise program and watch what I eat. I'm the queen of carbs (which are fine, just not in the form I eat them....cookies. cake. ice cream) and sugar. I completed a two-week clean eating challenge recently, and while I didn't get crazy bursts of energy like I was hoping, I did notice a huge difference in my gut. It was much happier. Doing that on the semi-regular along with just being more active in general would be hugely beneficial for my climbing life.
Jenna getting her harness and shoes off after a long night of climbing.
And, you know, probably life in general.