Bouldering soon becomes a way of life and begins to occupy a vast amount of your time. Seeing the gains in strength and ability becomes addictive, as does "crushing" a problem that you initially consider to be impossible. The progressive nature of the sport is what has kept me hooked, and blood, sweat and tears have been spilled along my path to improve. Meeting really cool and like-minded people is one of the bonuses of being involved in a seemingly individual pastime.
During my first 2 to 3 years of bouldering I never really started to progress any further than the V4 region. This was rather frustrating for me although I continued to pour my efforts into getting better. Progress was impeded during this time due to various external factors like starting a new career path, buying a house etc. The last year and a half or so has been the most encouraging for me as I have been able to concentrate more time on climbing and focus my efforts.
Upon returning from Albarracin (for a 2 week bouldering holiday July 2009) I was feeling "enlightened". I had seen what was possible and had a good idea of what needed to be done to achieve the level of climbing that I desired. First off I was carrying a bit of excess body weight and set about to trim the fat. I have managed to shed almost 2 stone and have noticed a massive difference with this change alone. The next area of self development was in my training ethic and rather than continuing to train what my strengths were (which is what I felt comfortable with) I started to root out the areas and abilities where I was not as strong and began to develop these.
With this I started to see fast gains in my bouldering and although my technique is still much to be desired I progressed and was soon climbing V5, V6 and V7. Just recently I climbed my first V8 in Dorset, Portland. For any of you that know the problem it was liquid sunshine in the Cuttings boulder field. In the end it was sent quite easily and cleanly (but don't they always). Anyway enough rambling from me. I can't wait for the career break to start in January and will be striving to improve as much as possible before "launch". Long may the "crushing" and gains in strength continue.
The Dragon (V7) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_VshnEU32Y
Liquid Sun (V7) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEgXg-4hEaE