Hit the V2s in the other room today. Warmed up with a V0, V0+, V1, V1+, completed 5 new-to-me V2s, and finished with the V2 I climbed a week ago.

Either the route setters in this room graded their problems a lot easier than the ones I tried on Wednesday, or I’m missing some crucial elementary skill for the V2s I couldn’t do.

Still terrible at visualizing some routes. I stared at one of them for a while, couldn’t figure out how I was going to make it, and tried it anyway. It wasn’t even hard. I seem to have no concept of my body position and reach when looking at a problem. Maybe I should try visualizing after I do a route, to calibrate.

Not That Scary

Hit the bouldering wall this morning. Warmed up with a couple V0s, a couple V1s, then moved on to V2s.

There were 5 V2 problems in today’s room. I completed one right off the bat, another after 3 attempts, and couldn’t finish later moves of the other three.

Today’s progress wasn’t so much that I was working on V2 problems, it was that I was willing to try one of those problems over and over, go for a hold I couldn’t reach over and over, and fall off the wall over and over.

It’s not that scary.

GO Bouldering

In the dark ages before this blog, there was a period during which I top rope climbed every weekend. During the week, I’d try bouldering.

Try bouldering, not go bouldering. I could never get over the fear of falling off the wall.

Now, I go bouldering. I’ve been visiting my gym in the morning, before work. There are two bouldering rooms. On my first visit, I did all the V0s in the one of the rooms. The next time, I did them all in the other room. Then, I did all the V1s in that room. Today, I did all the V1s in the first room.

I finished with a V2, for a preview of my next session. It was easy. I was pleased and a little surprised.

What changed? I think the biggest thing was one of the technique videos I watched earlier this month about keeping my arms straight to conserve energy. It not only allows me to stay fresher on the wall, it also lowers my center of gravity and helps me stick better.

I’ve also started reading a book on climbing technique. The first chapter was all about balance and center of gravity. Today I used those concepts to analyze each problem before attempting it.

I’m getting better at analyzing bouldering problems. Before, I only looked at hand holds. Now, I consider the full set of hand and foot holds, as well as body position relative to balance and stability. I’m not yet at the point of being able to visualize moves, but that’s next on the list.

Climbing: Fun physical puzzles. Stoked to be doing this again.

Grape Finger

I’ve been climbing on and off since… before this blog came into being. Since before I have records in Google Calendar. Since 2000 or 2001. Since before hockey.

I’ve climbed a handful of times this year. Not enough to be in climbing shape. And that’s where I got into trouble yesterday.

Sent myself up the tallest climb in the gym, then sent myself up another. I’d just watched a bunch of technique videos the night before, and I was having fun trying new things.

Got off the rope after my second climb and looked at my finger. It was purple, swollen, and swelling more by the minute.

I had some how managed to blow up a vein in my left ring finger.

Nothing an icepack, some tape, and elevation couldn’t take care of. I just found it funny, because my body is not where my brain wants it to be.

I also found it funny because it’s the climbing equivalent of bruising my hand on my stick when I first started playing hockey.

Toughen up, fingers. You’re gonna get real good at this climbing thing.

– – –

Update 2017-08-10 @ 8:26 AM

I wanted to read up on taping my fingers for climbing (why and how) this morning, and it took me straight to pulley injuries. Based on the finger and bruise pattern, I think I actually suffered a pulley injury. Like a real climber. ;)

Note to self: Don’t forget to warm up next time.

Whoo, That Was Fun!

This afternoon, I returned to Castle Rock State Park for my first day of outdoor climbing since my first day on a rock. What a great park! Lots of big rocks to climb on. :)

Wow, I just searched my blog for a reference link to that first day, but there was none. That means it predates blogging, which means I have no idea when I first started climbing. More than 6 years ago, at least. 2000, perhaps? That sounds about right.

Anyway, this all came about because I wanted to find out whether there were more “trails” like the Rock Scramble from last Sunday. I asked bubka^4, an avid hiker whose fiancĂ©e (a.k.a. 203) is a former park ranger. I figured if anyone knew, he would. He didn’t, but we got to talking about climbing and the next thing I knew I was scheduled for an afternoon at Castle Rock with him and 203.

We hiked out to Underworld Rock, found a bunch of people already climbing there, and waited. And waited. I took pictures of bugs having sex to kill time.

Finally, it was our turn! We got set up and started climbing. I didn’t have my own helmet or belay device (I’m one of those pampered indoor climbing gym brats), so I got to borrow 203’s helmet and shirk out of belay duty. (Thank you, and thank you!) Well, that and I hadn’t belayed anyone in about a year; I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything, but I wouldn’t mind picking that back up in a gym environment.

In any case, I had a total blast. I’d never climbed between rocks before, so I found the routes here extra fun. That, and I got to see bubka^4, whom I hadn’t seen in years, and finally met 203. In all, it was a great afternoon with some great company. Huge thank yous to bubka^4 and 203 for taking me out there!

Yes, I brought my camera (it’s so nice to have a camera again), and I took a bunch of pictures.

Every time I climb, which, unfortunately, is not often, I’m reminded of how much I like climbing, and why. I hope I manage to do it more this summer, both indoors and out.

That reminds me, I seem to have found a sport for which I don’t have a helmet. I’d better get shopping!

Damn Those Boards

Yesterday, while climbing up and down (and all around) a bunch of boulders, I felt a pain in my back doing a certain motion. I told my physical therapist about it today. She had me do the motion, reproduce the pain, and describe it to her. Unlike the back-only pain we’d been working on, this one seemed to shoot from the back straight out to the front. We isolated it to a single front rib, which she proceeded to push on while I said “Ow” and made faces.

Strange, I thought, why this rib, and why now?

Oh yeah, I remembered later, I got a little too friendly with the boards Friday night.

Climb On!

I went climbing this afternoon for the first time in years. Despite having forgotten a ton of technique, I made it up all my attempted routes. Granted, I topped out at 5.8, but I didn’t fall and I had a blast.

I wanna go again! Anyone game? It’s indoor, so lack of equipment and/or instruction is no excuse…

Hi. I didn’t post all

Hi. I didn’t post all of Friday so I’m going to Blogger Pro time cheat and set it back to 11:59:59 PM, just so I can say I posted Friday.

While I’m here I’ll recap my day. I know, recaps are boring, but I want to blab a big long post even though I have nothing profound to share with you.

As if I ever had anything profound to share with you.

Actually, now that I think about it, I do. Something about having a stick up your ass. It was highly profound and somewhat ironic, but it’s late and I’m tired and even though I want to blab a big long post I don’t want to have to put any effort into explaining anything to you.

So what did I do today? I climbed at Planet Granite during lunch. First time in many months. Afterward I e-mailed my old climbing partner to say, “Hey, guess what, I got back up on the wall.” He wrote back with, “My friend told me he thought he saw you.” His friend, who’s met me once. Wow.

Then I went back to the office and signed away my programmer soul.

Then I went to Sportmart and got a free Nike running stuff sac. I think it was Sportmart’s way of trying to lure me in to buy running shoes. Good timing, Sportmart; I do need new running shoes. Bummer that they didn’t have anything I wanted. Tomorrow, Copeland’s.

Then I went to the new Whole Foods off Hillsdale. It was an amusement park of organic yuppie food. Looked yummy. I’d go broke if I shopped there, though.

Then I went home and hauled away the notes I sorted through on Tuesday. Thanks Nadsy for helping.  

Then I went and bs’ed with the CEO like a good little resource.

Then I went and saw Better Luck Tomorrow. Good movie. Better than I had expected. Good music, too. Almost as good as in Run Lola Run. Plus, it had the bestest death scene I’ve seen in a while. Try saying “bestest death scene I’ve seen” five times fast.

Then I went to Nation’s for burgers and piiie.

Then I went fruit and yogurt shopping.

Then I went home.

Then I went and blogged.

Then I went to bed.

Walrus, Elmer Fudd Style

I made it to the climbing gym for the first time in, oh, 8 months. Hooray for me, I didn’t break anything except the tip of one of the nails I’m growing out for guitar. I’m sad, though. I’ve lost what little hard-earned fearlessness I had on the wall. Back to square one. Siiiiigh.