“You can’t change what’s in front of you, you just have to figure out your way. It’s all about getting creative, getting into that state of flow.”
In the second instalment of the Make Play Happen series, we follow escapologist Dan Leech to his fave local rock, a place where he finds balance and puts his days into perspective…
"A lot of people work because they want to progress in their career, climb the ladder, and I get that. But personally I work so I can do the things I want in my spare time, and I think this is a mindset that lots of people who love the outdoors share?
I try really hard to get outside climbing as much as I can, for me it’s essential to strike that balance and always make time for adventures.
There are days when I don't have the time to get out, and so having the ability to escape to a different space, even if just for an hour to just relax, play around on the board and focus on the thing that I love is just so valuable to me.
Even though we have this amazing place in our home, there’s always an element of climbing that I miss and that’s being out in nature. Going climbing isn’t always about travelling huge distances in pursuit of the perfect line.”
“There are thousands of routes to climb, hidden in these little pockets of nature that allow you to find some calm beyond the chaos of city life. There’s such a contrast between the city where you’re surrounded by distractions, and the tranquillity of being in nature here, things just seem to slow down.
Heading outdoors to climb, either on my own or with friends is the perfect antidote to the daily grind. It’s unique, an individual sport where you just focus on your own movement, how you’re going to find your way up this piece of rock that has inspired you.
At the same time, it’s a collaborative experience, you could turn up at the cragg and there can be people who’ve never climbed outside before besides people who have climbed here hundreds of times. In that sense the climbing community is really special.”
“You know, it’s one of those things, the outdoor spaces themselves, the more you look after it and nurture it, the more you and the others to come can enjoy it.
The beauty of this is how it focuses the mind on one specific goal. Just for a moment it allows me to become totally focused on a single problem in front of me; how I’m going to get from the bottom to the top.
It’s grounding to stare up at a wall that’s existed for thousands of years, you can’t change what’s in front of you, you just have to figure out your way. It’s all about getting creative, getting into that state of flow.”
This pushes you to explore new places, to meet new people and head off the beaten track and draw inspiration from something natural. So while physicality is a big part of it, there’s so much more it can give you.
When I start to climb, all my other thoughts from that day, that week or that month even, pale into insignificance...”