Slalom – Enjoying my pastimes when they are also my job!

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People often make the choice not to turn their hobbies into your work, for fear of losing the love.

For me, I just keep challenging myself and trying to get better at stuff.  Doing it as a job, just makes me better at the sport when it comes to higher levels of performance.  Days spent out with clients on Idwal slabs or East Face Tryfan all contribute to getting my eye in with gear placements, quick/fast ropework, and trusting my feet even in big boots or floppy comfy shoes.  So when I get on harder routes, I can worry about fighting the pump rather than faffing with nuts and cams.

With skiing, it’s exactly the same.  Whilst a client is following me down a blue run doing parallel turns, I always try to make my stance and balance as perfect as possible, this all contributes to the accuracy required, and the same movement patterns I use at much higher levels of skiing.

In terms of challenging myself, this Autumn I’ve tried my first few days of Slalom racing.  It is highly technical, fast, thrilling and a lot of fun.  I’ve taken a bit of a beating from missing gates with my pole and taking them to the face, chest, shoulders and thighs… but that’s all very motivational to make me get it right!   Here’s a short snippet.

http://youtu.be/OTCdCK4M_t4

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North Wales Coastal Path – Bounty

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Fortune definitely favours the brave.  We headed out for a walk today despite the massive rain showers that were pounding North Wales and were hugely well rewarded.

Field Mushrooms

Agaricus Campestris

We headed along between Penmaenmawr and Abergwyngregan, and came across a ring of mushrooms under a Scots Pine, clearly symbiotic with it.  I still can’t identify the large pale gilled fungus.  I think it’s lactarius something or other, and I’m pretty confident it’s not edible, so will be composting that one.

We picked a few of them, and left others.  Just enough for dinner, the rest can obviously go on acting as the fruit bodies of the organism to spread and grow stronger for future.

They were not our only bounty on this short trip…

Should make a fantastic house decoration when painted black.

Should make a fantastic house decoration when painted black.