Friday, 28 February 2014

Climb Out - Ordinary Lives project

Climb Out will be taking part in The Museum Of The Great Outdoors exhibit at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival between the 4th - 6th April 2014. The exhibit will consist of mainly posters but we are proud to say that we will be showing a short film called Ordinary Lives.

What is the Ordinary Lives project?

To make a short film (possibly 3 minutes) using a collection of still photo's, captions and music. We will be using some pro athlete's but mainly everyday people. The idea is to show that we are all an inspiration and that our lives/adventures are lot less ordinary than we may give ourselves credit for. Climb Out wants to show that we are all hero's, we can all 'live the dream', it's all relative to the individual.   

There is a teaser trailer below

What do we need?

A photo of an individual in ANY outdoor activity, along with the photo just a few words to comment on the photo. This could be saying why you like your chosen activity, you could tell us where you were or why it's important to you, you can simply say "this was hard I almost gave up" or "I love climbing for the cups of tea I get to drink".  It's up to you.

The photo needs to be a high resolution pic and horizontal pics will work best. You can submit more than 1 photo if you like. We need them in for the 10th March. The photo's if chosen will also appear online for Climb Out and other sites.


Monday, 24 February 2014

My Depression Is Not A Cartoon Black Dog!

I'm getting really tired of the You Tube video - I had a black dog, his name was depression ... You may ask Why?

I find it insulting, patronising, infantile and poorly written.

Winston Churchill may have used the term 'Black Dog' but how was his life relevant to the mass population?A black dog is a poor metaphor for an illness which drives people to suicide, isolation, insanity and effects the families of sufferers no end. Would I say someone with a limb missing was like a broken snowflake? No ... because it's insulting!

A huge problem with getting people to support mental illness is that many people see it as a joke or a child like problem.  In my opinion this video only affirms and enhances that sceptical view of mental illness. I recieve 100s of heart felt messages from people who suffer from depression and I can assure you that not one person has related to a 'Black Dog'.

The words 'Climb Out' were always intended to be used as a metaphor as well as a literal meaning. I started 'Climb Out' so that people could understand my problems and so that I could try and make sense of them too. I couldn't find a 'real' person telling their story on a daily basis so I decided to do something about it.

I'm an ordinary guy, I work full time but I also work tirelessly and obsessively on Climb Out to try and change the stigma of mental health. I recently did a talk for mental health and I decided to make a video 'Inside My Mind' it consists of my thoughts on a bad day the music is my Dad singing a song he wrote called 'Half Suicidal'.

This is as far away from a black dog as you can get which is why many people won't watch or re post it. It's emotional, honest, and probably depressing but it does end positively  ... I still hold back tears when I watch it because I feel sorry for this 'other me'.

If you are going to spread a video at least let it be an open, honest attempt to explain depression. I'm sure there are many more than mine. I don't have time to look as I'm too busy trying to help people understand the reality of the situation.

Please watch this video and share the blog where you can

Jake - Climb Out

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Climb Out is closed today due to brain freeze.

I've just been trying to write an article for Depression Alliance on the Climb Out story. I couldn't do it, telling the world your issues isn't as easy and attention seeking as it appears. I think my brain is having information overload.

I will explain ... A typical day - Woke suddenly at 5:30am thinking of Climb Out ... I'm going to stop there .... I did write lots of uninteresting garbage but deleted it ... basically I don't finish till I go to sleep. I put so much time and effort into Climb Out and I'm scared it will fail so I keep moving.

I wan't to go climbing, I want to enjoy failing knowing that my climbing is progressing. I want to get scared of routes not words. I'm frustrated at my injuries, it's been almost 2 months now. Being absorbed in Climb Out has taken my mind off my accidents but it's not enough today.

Last summer my mate Rob and I planned to climb 50 trad routes in 24hrs at Windgather and Castle Naze. Rob had to lead them all but we did solo possibly 20. We planned everything meticulously, we got scared and at times it looked doubtful. We did it with a few minutes to spare and only a perfectly timed setting sun as an audience, I told you we were meticulous.


We did this for the challenge, the excitement and for ourselves. I miss this ... I need to get out ... Climb Out will be closed today due to brain freeze! Although it isn't actually closed or I wouldn't have written this blog ...  Oh I'm confused ha ha

Monday, 17 February 2014

Don't rely on Karma it may be the death of you.

Some of you may know that on the 2nd of Jan I broke a small bone in my wrist. It gets worse ... on the 2nd of Feb I had a near fatal electric shock at work. So let it be known that when the 2nd of March comes I won't be leaving the house!

Obviously you're wondering what happened? It was simply an accident ... I'm an electrician, I was at work and I'd turned some power back on to make a cup of tea. Stupidly I'd unknowingly flicked the wrong switch. I cut into a cable and before I knew it I couldn't let go ... the cable had become live and I was convulsing on the floor. I could see my left hand start to burn and swell as the electric looked for a way out of my body. I tried to scream but you only get one chance as the panic and pain takes over your voice box. My eyes started to bulge and throb, my vision went ... I was scared ... this was it.

Then ... as fast as the pain came ... it disappeared. A mate at work had the quick thinking and bravery to drag the cable out of my hand. I started to get my vision back and watched my left hand sink back to it's normal size. The plaster cast saved my burns from being worse, for the first time in 4 weeks I thanked my broken wrist. After rolling around on the floor for a while I got up and drank my cup of tea, even if it was the instigator of the accident it was well needed. This sounds braver than it actually was! In reality I was shaking, in lots of pain and realised I may have cracked some ribs and possibly my elbow.

It's been 2 weeks since the shock and 6 weeks since I broke my wrist. My body still hurts a fair bit, I get sharp pains in my ribs when I move, my wrist still hurts if I put pressure on it but my burns are healing well. I'm tired of everything hurting and I'm tired of trying to think positive. I'm now further away from climbing than before and its really starting to get me down.    

You may wonder why am I telling you this in great detail? I would answer why not? A few weeks ago I should have written a super positive blog for the 5th of Feb 2014. I started to climb on the 5th Feb 2013 and I wanted to show everyone how far we're all capable of changing in a year. I had considered my future blogs since December. I had big plans of training hard and learning how to trad climb, I had built the Climb Out website and gone live just after Xmas day. I don't usually relish a new year but 2014 was going to be different ... and for once it was ... but I didn't realise what different would mean!

So is there any good news? Of course there is ...

Climb Out has taken off more than I ever imagined. Originally I only intended for a few people to follow a few rambling blogs but people kept asking for more so I continued to give. This has somehow stretched to 1000's of site and blog views, BMC articles, lots of support and big plans for a new interactive website. I am realistic, I do realise it could fall flat on it's face tomorrow and to be honest I keep expecting it to. I don't really understand why Climb Out seems so popular? At this moment some people may say its Yin/Yang, its Karma, Jake deserved some good luck. I would say don't leave your life and dreams to the hands of 'destiny' as nothing will come from it.

 I've used all my spare time sat at a laptop promoting, emailing, tweeting, facebooking, writing, making You Tube videos, networking, and generally thinking about Climb Out. I've devoted every waking (and sleeping) moment to this project. Climb Out didn't explode for no apparent reason ... don't be fooled ... it's bloody hard work and is logistically becoming too complicated for my small brain!

On the surface I have done all this alone but I will say again ... don't be fooled ... from every message, every email, every ounce of support I have leeched a slice of positivity from people to continue with Climb Out. I suppose the moral of the story is :-  When plans go wrong, try to adapt, concentrate on something else, who knows what may come from it?

Every supporter of the Climb Out Community should be proud and I can't praise you all enough! I did consider putting photo's of my injuries on here but that's would be sensationalism and stupid. Instead I've decided to show photo's from Climb Out supporters.
Thanks for being there.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Willow's Blog - Out of The Ashes and Into The Fire.

This is a blog written by Willow ... a supporter of Climb Out. She has felt inspired enough to share her story with us. I would like to encourage anyone who feels inspired enough to write a few words to get in touch. You don't need to use your real name, you don't need to send in photo's but I do ask that your story is positive in some way. 

You can email me at with your story.

Out Of the Ashes and Into The Fire.

Hello to everyone out there, I just want to say a little thank you for taking sometime to read my blog.

This is my life over the past year and beyond, taking you with me on my journey back into the world of outdoor sports. I'm pushing my boundaries further than ever before and I'm putting new experiences under my belt. From the ups and the downs, the laughs, the tears and no holds barred pushing myself to a new level. Don’t get me wrong I'm no athlete but I love being out there and trying new things.

A Little About Me.

For a while now I have been battling demons and have found that my main release is being able to get out there and climb up a mountain or charge down a river. Just having the freedom of being able to escape from it all and recharge my batteries makes a difference. However for the last few years I have been going out less and less as becoming a single parent can slow things down a little.

For as long as I can remember my parents have taken me outdoors, from being out on a lake or up a mountain. I really started learning more and more about my passion when I started going to summer camps but sadly I was unable to go all too often. When I hit senior school I had the opportunity to do more outdoor activities in the last two years, which was always a great help as it was hard on me in school. I always loved sports at school and felt that this was one of the few areas where I felt accepted by others. I always felt like an outcast in school, yes I had some friends but not many and I am glad to say I keep in touch with these friends to this day.

When I hit college I had a chance to take an outdoor course, this is when I began to push my limits in the outdoors. I found more people than before who were interested in the same hobbies as myself and I finally began to feel accepted. Sadly when I moved back to my hometown the opportunities to participate in the things I loved became sparse, I started to take a step backwards and felt drained all the time. Recently I have met people and groups who share the same passion as me for the outdoors. I have steadily began to find my love for it again but sadly I have never had the confidence in my own ability to push myself into trying harder routes. I am beginning to find my own two feet again and I feel like I need to push harder to prove to myself that I can do it. No more will my demons hold me back!

I am going to have to work harder than ever. I'm planning to transform from 3 years of hardly doing any sport to doing something active for 3 days a week minimum. In the end it will be worth it, when I look back in life I will have fewer regrets and say that I have conquered.

January ... It Begins.

Reality Check.

The Photo above was my first walk of the year up the Old Man Of Coniston via the Copper mines route. We could have taken an easier route but I foolishly  picked the harder route. I thought aah its not too bad, you've tackled worse, you can do it, maybe it's a small challenge, but you‘ll be fine. How wrong I was, 15 minutes after we had set off I already began to struggle. The backs of my calves were aching already and we had to stop a lot on the way before we even got to the abandoned buildings. All the way up I was battling myself in my head, one side was saying you can’t do this you aren't going to make it up there. If I didn't have people with me motivating me I would have gone back down. We got to the old mining buildings and stopped for lunch, at this point my body hated me but part of me knew if I just ate something and had a cuppa and a little sit down I would be OK to carry on. The worst of the walk was still to come. There were no views all the way up, there were low lying clouds everywhere, there was a shallow, patchy layer of snow but only nearer to the top so this was not helping with my motivation to carry on. I told myself that you can do this, yes the hardest part is yet to come but if you quit now you are going to be kicking yourself, come on pull your finger out and get it done!

The next part of the leg, it was hell with more and more thoughts racing through my head shouting at myself, come on, come on, not far now. When we finally reached the top I really felt like breaking down but all I just wanted to do was hug the cairn and so I did, my friend had his camera in hand and took a shot, the photo above captured this moment.

I learned two things that day ... if I can push myself on to walk up that mountain I can push myself to do many things in life and secondly how much I am going to have train myself hard this year to achieve my goals, but this was the start of a new clean slate I proved to myself that I can do it. Many people will think that is not the biggest or hardest route, but you know what I say? Who cares what you think? You weren't in my shoes that day, I know what I achieved for myself and that is all that matters.

Apart from this first walk sadly I have not been able to go out much more but I have started planning and getting myself into the gym to strengthen myself up. Next month I have much more planned and hope to share my stories with you along with many photos to show my progress.