I’m Not Your Friend || Matcha Lattes at Woodland Coffee

I just got back from Woodland Coffee, where I got a matcha latte with oat milk and a LITTLE bit of honey. This was the first time I’d been to Woodland Coffee, which has a pretty horrible location, tucked on a sidestreet behind Safeway just off 15th Ave NW. Dastardly location. Closed to McDonald’s. I mean, there are some other businesses right next to it, and the building it’s in (brick) is actually sort of comely. But, I mean, it’s in Safeway’s shadow. It’s literally (figuratively, since the sun comes from the south) in Safeway’s shadow.

Now, how was their MATCHA LATTE????????? And why did I get it with oat milk, if I’m trying to keep the carbs down. Simple: I’m obsessed with oats. Oh, and their matcha latte is pretty bomb. I’m not sure what kind of matcha they use but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s ceremonial grade. Wouldn’t be surprised at all. Also, I liked that they ASKED if I wanted any kind of sweetener, to which I said, “A little bit of honey.” Unfortunately, all of the honey sank immediately to the bottom, which meant the first 7/8 of the matcha latte were basically unsweetened, and the last 1/8 was like sticking my head in a worker bee hive.

And then I walked to Ballard Market where I got an Ashwagandha Spicy Chai. And an Epic Bar. The Epic Bar was 100% grassfed venison, seasoned with thinks like celery and garlic powder. It was delicious. The texture was a bit gnarly, but it was delicious. 1 carb. Bomb.

Now I’m back on my boat wondering if I have a belly. I have physical therapy in a couple hours and then I’m gonna walk around Greenlake. Maybe get a matcha latte at The Retreat, everyone’s favorite Greenlake hipster cafe. The sun is glorious in Seattle today. Today the sun sets at 5:50pm!!!!!! Civil twilight till 6:21pm!!!!! What kind of tropical paradise are we living in????? On the way to the boat I noticed all the mallards were in the shade under the docks and I thought, Hmmmmm, that’s weird, I wonder why they’re in the shade and not enjoying the sun. But then I realized: They probably have winter plumage. Right now they’re built for temps in the 30’s and 40’s, so on a day like today in the sun they probably overheat. Poor, beautiful mallards. God, I love them. They keep me company everyday. And today I saw a flock of herons flying around the locks. A flock!!! It’s one thing to see one heron, it’s another to see a flock of them. It warmed my sternum. It warmed my aorta.

I have decided that in addition to looking for apartments in Leavenworth I should also be looking for apartments on this side of the mountains, but closer to bouldering. Places like Index and….well….Index. I don’t want to live in Gold Bar. I don’t want to live in Startup. And I certainly don’t want to live in Monroe. Why not? Because I don’t want to have to get tattoos and develop a drug problem. But Index I could definitely do! And Skykomish. The problem is finding a rental in these places, since they each have about 200 people. Maybe if I just show up on someone’s doorstep with my naked body wrapped in Tibetan prayer flags? Or I could just buy a van and live in the Index parking lot. Be a a true dirtbag. A true climber. But then I might have to start “sport climbing,” and we can’t have that. We can’t have ropes and carabiners and helmets and all that crap. That’s not climbing. That’s aid climbing. Clipping in??????? Give me a break. But living out of a van is actually not a 200% terrible idea. But still, Leavenworth.

My succulents are on the back of the boat enjoying the sunshine. The new one I got from Trader Joe’s seems to have integrated well with the others. I think they have accepted him. He is undoubtedly male, and possibly a bully. If he does not behave I will have to throw him in the lake. I have not watered him yet, nor do I intend to. Nature will water him when it sees fit, i.e. when I forget to bring him in overnight. Until then, he can wait patiently like all the other succulents.

Sunset on the Boat

The question on everyone’s mind right now, aka no one’s mind, aka my mind, is the following: How are red bananas different from regular bananas?

The other question I have is: Should I move to Leavenworth?

And by move I of course don’t mean move. I mean kinda move. I mean mostly move. I mean get an apartment there but keep my boat in Seattle so I have the best of boat (sorry) worlds. When it’s sunny and beautiful and I wanna be on the water? Chill on the boat. When I want to boulder my ass off and have dry weather and the stark beauty of the north-central Cascades? Leavenworth.

It would also make sense to rent in Leavenworth before I buy land there. This is what a responsible adult might do. But to be fair, the experience of living in an apartment complex would be very different from living off grid on a semi remote piece of land. But there are things you can figure out even living in an apartment complex. Do you like the community? Can you make friends there? Are the tourists too annoying? Are the summers way too hot? Is it too dry?

These, of course, and myriad other questions.

I’m back on the boat and I’m thinking about doing my physical therapy and I’m also thinking about doing some training, i.e. hanging. The roof of my boat is in fact perfect for hanging, and using core strength to bring my feet up to touch the mast actually sort of simulates climbing an overhang. The physical therapist gave me insane amounts of hope yesterday when she said she thought I might be able to start gym climbing in two weeks. I don’t think she realized how much hope she gave me. I have to get my body back in shape. I have to start getting ready for climbing. I will be so happy when I can just climb a red or a green at SBP. Not even purple let alone an orange or black or blue. A red. A green. Anything harder than a yellow, which is beyond VB and basically like climbing a ladder. Though climbing up and down yellows all day could be a GREAT way to build endurance. You cannot fall while climbing yellows. You can fall on reds. You can definitely fall on reds. And you can definitely fall on greens. But you can’t fall on yellows.

I’m drinking a Hop Tea and it’s delicious. Sixty mg caffeine. I just had a matcha latte from Whole Foods with unsweetened almond milk. Lunch was young coconut meat, a red banana and a thing of yoghurt. The yoghurt had a cream top. Bliss.

Slash I really wish I had caffeine and I’m gonna need to leave my boat later to get some.

Slash I bought a throw pillow from Target the other day.

Some observations as of late:

  1. I’m weirdly obsessed with oats.
  2. I bought a throw pillow. I am now an adult.
  3. The sunset is approaching 6pm!!!!! (and daylight savings is approaching!!!!!)
  4. A good book will see you through almost any bout of loneliness.
  5. My finger is fucked.

The sunset is casting an orange glow on my neighbor’s boat. In the distance I hear a train sounding its horn. A merganser plies the water near my boat. A seagull floats by in the distance, and a cormorant bullets by up close. So many bird species. Kingfisher, herons, mallards, mergansers, loons, even a beaver. A bald eagle. The whir of the heater at my feet. My orange puffy jacket on the bench seat across from me. My hands that smell like smoked salmon. The new basket I got from target holding all the clutter. The piles of books underneath the basket. So many books. So many books I read, and even more that I don’t read and will be put in one of those little lending libraries. Omega 3’s, mushroom powder, vitamin d, a laptop case, tortilla chips. The light on my boat seems faint. I want more rolled oats. One throw pillow isn’t enough; you gotta have two. Beef bone broth. Tech stocks tanking. Geese honking in the distance. Are they going north or south? Did some of the geese miss the memo this winter and go nowhere at all? A sparkling yerba mate from Trader Joe’s, and I wish I were curled up next to a fire right now. I’m going to go to Tahoe this summer and go bouldering. I’m gonna go to Bishop, and J-Tree, and Rocky Mountain National Park, and Roy, NM, and Spain, and France, and British Columbia. A thank you note that needs to be written. A foam roller. Physical therapy exercises undone. A masters in Spanish, C1 in French, B2 in German. A pint of blueberries and the sun continues to set.

 

She Said || The Road to Recovery

I just had a physical therapy appointment. In person. By Greenlake. It was wonderful. I think the best part was when the physical therapist massaged my hamstring. And then I did exercises, all of which felt fine EXCEPT for the lateral walking with a band wrapped around my ankles for resistance. My LCL had to take a LITTLE strain, and I wasn’t used to that. But it’s fine. It’s exactly what I’m there for.

Afterward I got a disgusting matcha latte at Chocolati Cafe and then walked around Greenlake. I think it’s something like 2.8 miles. My knee felt fine. It was gloriously sunny. Vitamin D coursing into my body. My heart singing looking at the treetops, at the blue sky, at the geese and ducks. People walking around only counterclockwise. The odd family or couple walking against the flow of traffic. Me cursing them for it.

Then afterward I went to the Northeast Library Branch to get Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey. I think this is going to be an amazing book. Please, God, don’t be pretentious. Please god make it like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance but more nature-centric. Please god let him be one of my new favorite authors.

I was stoked because the first part of the book mentions Moab and Arches National Park, which I drove through on my way back from Mexico. Moab is a terrible town. It’s basically a strip mall with gas stations. Sounds like it used to be charming, though. The only people I greeted were two Mormons on their missions who always say “hi” SUPER enthusiastically, but I didn’t have it in me to talk to them. Sometimes I like talking to the Mormons. But this time it just kinda made me sad. I did want to say, “Man, people get sent all over the world on their missions. They learn cool languages like Finnish and Russian and Swahili. And you guys are in….Moab. Are you bummed?” But I’m sure they weren’t bummed. They were spreading the word of Jesus Christ Our Redeemer. So I’m sure they were stoked. I was stoked to get a matcha latte the next morning. I was stoked to have a fuck ton of driving time to myself. I was stoked to drive through canyons.

The physical therapist said….

She said…..

She says…..

I says…..

She said, “—”

I said, “So can I go climbing after today’s session.”

She said, “Give it a couple weeks and we’ll discuss.”

I said, “OK.”

I threw a tantrum.

She said, “Your LCL is healing great. I was unable to provoke symptoms today.”

I said, “That’s wonderful news. I want my LCL to be stronger than ever. I want my LCL to be the strongest ligament in my body. I want it to bully the other ligaments in my knee.”

She said, “Just give it a couple weeks.”

I said, “…..”.

She said, “?????????”

I said, “–“.

She said, “.”

It is gloriously sunny. I’m thinking of going over to Bainbridge. I’m thinking of getting a FocusAid. I’m thinking of applying to more jobs. I’m thinking of calling someone east of the Cascades. I’m thinking…..

– MTW

Slash Omega 3’s || Chilling on the Boat

It is gloriously sunny in Seattle right now. It’s 9:26am. The sun rose at exactly 7:00am this morning. It will set at….wait for it….5:45pm. Civil twilight (where you can still kinda see outside) will last till 6:16pm. Nautical twilight (where you could still navigate a barco) will last till 6:52pm, for all you mariners out there. And the best part? The absolute best part? The part that makes you want to scream with glee and jump into Lake Washington with all your clothes on? In less than three weeks, on March 13th, the clocks will inexplicably “spring” forward an hour in time. We will all effectively time travel. We will shut our eyes and when we wake up the clocks will have surged forward. The sun will set an hour later. It will be (almost) spring. Joy and hope will be in the air. And all will be well.

Slash.

Turmeric supplements.

Slash.

Carlson brand Omega-3’s.

Slash.

Whole Foods matcha latte with almond milk.

Slash.

Branch chain amino acids.

Slash.

Knee brace.

Today is day two of my training. Today I do 15 mast touches (where, hanging from the roof of my boat, I use core strength to alternate bringing my feet up to lightly tap the mast), and also some warm-up and some hanging. It’s not much. It’s not much at all. But it’s a start, and that’s what I need. Yesterday Barry and I were talking about how I should be training upper body, and I realized I’m a fool for not doing it. Yes, footwork is massive when climbing, but I don’t need to train my leg muscles. I have strong-ass legs. Strong thighs. Strong quads. Strong hamstrings. Fabulous glutes. But I could definitely use some upper body training, some hangboarding, some pullups, and eventually, campus boards. Besides, you wanna be real climber? You gotta hit the campus boards. They’re so cool. If you’re campus boarding you’re automatically kinda cool. And I wanna be cool.

Slash.

The Subi got new brakes yesterday. And to think I was thinking of buying a brand new car!!!! A 2016 or 2018 Subaru Outback. I mean, it’d be cool to have a car like that, or it’d be cool to go to your favorite mechanic, Al, and pay him 181 bucks for new rear brakes, an oil change, and an oil filter change. If I’m going to spend a lot of money on something, it’s going to be my living space. Aka an apartment or land or both. Not a car. That’s just foolish. I already have a car that’s taken me to Cali twice in the last few months and almost all the way to Mexico City. Sure, she might have a cracked frame. Everyone knows that. But she’s beautiful. And we have a relationship. We’ve stood next to each other in tough times. Surgery to repair a right front axle, etc etc etc etc

OK.

Still sunny.

Vitamin D.

Slash.

You Can’t Cheat || At Home on the Boat

Numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers. My goal for traffic for this blog for February was 300 views, and since it’s surpassed that I feel like I can take a bit of a break. Or breathe easier. The goal for March will also be 300 view. Eventually I will raise that goal to 500. Eventually to 1,000. My friend the other day raised the question of at some point doing online ads for the blog. But that will have to wait. That just seems ridiculous right now. Right now the only two goals are: 1) enjoy writing, and 2) have SOME readership.

Like, even two people a day and I’m happy. But zero? Might as well be journaling. Which I also like.

I’m on the boat drinking the Om Mushroom Master Blend. It’s got every kind of mushroom you could think of. I got it with my stimulus a few days ago and expected to be superhuman sometime by the end of the week. Which didn’t happen. If anything I just had digestive problems, though I doubt it was from the mushroom powder. Probably from the Vitamin D. Or the turmeric on an empty stomach. Or actually probably from all the keto crap I was eating last week, all the stuff with chicory root and all this other stuff they put in keto foods to make it taste better or have more fiber but that your stomach can’t digest AT ALL. So it wrecks your digestive system. Look: With fasting, with keto, with Whole 30, with any of these diets, you can’t cheat. That’s the end of the story. If you try to “cheat” with coffee on a fast you’re screwed. Insulin levels through the roof. If you try to “cheat” on keto with all kinds of sugar alcohols and chicory root fiber you’re screwed. Your stomach will be a disaster. When will we (see: I) learn that it’s all super simple, that you just eat a diet that’s mostly plant-based, having meat on special occasions, and keeping things like gluten and dairy and sugar in check but not feeling the need to cut them out completely? It’s so simple. And yet I don’t learn. Rice, vegetables, water. Maybe some tea. Maybe a ham hock on Thanksgiving. But that’s it!!! Don’t complicate things!!!

The market is in the shitter today and it’s got me pretty bummed out.  But also kinda stoked for the rebound.

The other day going to SBP was one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever done. But I will not start climbing just to climb. I will wait until my body is at least somewhat ready.

I finally found a good book. I ditched The Overstory. If you’re thinking of reading this book, please don’t. It’s so pretentious. It’s MFA Shit Lit. It’s so horrible. It’s right up there with Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest. Two books that convinced so many people, FOOLED so many people, and yet I guarantee there’s a deeper consciousness out there that knows just how terrible these books are. They’re an affront to literature and everything that’s pure and holy in this world. And the thing is either the authors are so delusional they think their books are good because everyone’s always telling them so, or even they, somewhere deep down, know that they’ve written a steaming pile of shit.

Anyway, the GOOD book I got is called Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee. The line that convinced me to buy it came on page 2 and was, “At that moment, Casey would’ve bartered her body for a cigarette.” Done. Went to the checkout counter at Amazon Books (I know!), bought it, said, “Hell no I don’t have a Prime membership,” and walked away happy. Didn’t go to Chipotle. Walked back to my car via Ravenna Park.

Which reminds me. The Subi really needs to go to the shop.

Anyway. Hope you all are well today. Trust in your natural responses.

– Wetz

The Two V6’s I Think I Can Send by the End of Summer | Road to V5

Now, you may be asking yourself: Why are you writing a blog post about sending V6’s when you’ve only sent one V4 outdoors and haven’t sent any V5’s. And that’s a valid question. It’s an annoying question, but it’s a valid question. And the answer is that I as a boulderer you’re drawn to certain problems, and so far I haven’t found any V5’s that I’m particularly drawn to, but I have found a couple V6’s, and the two listed in the title are probably not only the two V6’s I’m most drawn to but the two V6’s I think I have the best chance of sending by the end of this summer. And not that I like these 6’s just because I think I can send them, I also like them because they’re beautiful lines. They call out to me. It’s impossible to look at these lines and not think, “Golly, that is a beautiful line. I want to get on those crimps.”

The boat was so warm this morning but now I’ve had to turn off the heater because I’m charging my laptop. I can do both at the same time but it’s kind of annoying. A lot of wires. So I’ve just turned the heat off. Plus turning the heater off might motivate me to get off the boat. And get some caffeine.

Here’s a video of local crusher Marque Benion sending Climax Control V6:

Now, I don’t think I’d use this beta. I’ve gotten about two thirds of the way up this bloc and the beta I used was quite different. This bloc doesn’t look that high, but the crux is reaching for the crimp at the top (at least I think) and once you’re up that high you’re up really high. Which means I’m really gonna need to rehab the LCL. Luckily, the landing is bomber. Perfectly flat, dirt. One thing about this bloc is that the wind tends to whip through the valley, which can make it really cold. I wish I’d seen it when it still had trees.

The second bloc I think I can send by the end of summer is the 5-Star Arete, located at the 5-Star Boulder in the Reiter Foothills. This is one of the most famous blocs in Washington, and if you haven’t been there I suggest scheduling some kind of field trip in the next couple weeks. Maybe bring a picnic lunch and some rain gear just in case it’s raining or wet and you’re not able to climb but still able to sit in the shadow of this granodiorite fantasy for a few hours gazing at its gorgeous lines. The most famous of these lines if probably the 5-Star Arete, and a must on any Washington boulderders tic list. This thing has it all, but rather than describe it just watch Lisa Chulich crush it:

Fell in love, right? With the line, you weirdo, what’d you think I was talking about. God, what a gorgeous line. This video doesn’t show the top-out though, which is definitely up there on a the spice-o-meter, especially when the rock is mossy. There’s definitely a no-fall zone. But the holds also look pretty bomber.

Of course, before I can climb V6’s I need to start stacking some V4’s, and more V3’s, and V2’s, and some V5’s. But also sometimes you just find blocs that are your style, and both of these blocs seem to be my style. I know from experience that Climax Control is my style, because I’ve already been on it. And I just have a hunch about the 5-Star Arete.

These blocs will NOT be the focus of my spring and summer once I can start climbing. Hell no. My focus is going to be climbing a shit ton, training more, eating better, meeting new people, having fun, and just building a deeper connection with the rock and nature. That’s what brings me joy, anyway. The grades don’t bring joy. I mean it’s fun af to chase them, but they don’t reliably bring joy the way just touching stone can.

If you have any suggestions about other sick V5’s and V6’s to try this spring and summer, please list them below. Keep in mind I’m located in Seattle but am basically down to boulder the entire American West, so that means places like Squamish and Bishop and maybe even RMNP are on the list.

K now it’s time to actually get caffeine. And maybe even get something to eat.

– Wetz

 

Back in the Stirrups || Road to V5

OK! I would like to welcome all the boulderers out there who have sort of been following this blog, waiting for my recovery so they can start reading about the Road to V7 again, aka Road to V5, aka Road to VB. Why Road to V7? Becuase the goal of last summer was to send V7 outdoors before the summer was over. Which didn’t happen. So then basically the blog just became Road to X (x being whatever v-grade I was currently working on). And before my LCL injury that was V5. In fact, about a week before my injury was when I sent my first V4 outdoors. Here’s the video in case you don’t watch it every day before you go to bed:

Ahhhhhhhhh, the pleasures of watching a 37 year old man climbing a lowball while huffing like a musk ox. I forgot how enjoyable that video was, the feet cutting loose every four seconds, the red Patagonia fleece that I wear (literally) every day (though I did just get a new fleece). So yeah, I climbed that boulder, which I’d been working on a long time and gotten super close tons of times and finally did it just before Xmas, and then a week later I mangled myself climbing a V3 in California. Fuck.

But today! Today, friends! Today. Today something happened. Today I ran a mile. OK. I didn’t run a mile. I jogged a mile. OK, I didn’t jog a mile, I walk-jogged a mile. My official time on today’s mile was 10:57. As you can see, this time is mildly Olympian. And there was discomfort in my knee while jogging. Plenty of discomfort. But I imagined a physical therapist sitting there talking to me saying, “As long as there’s not like SHOOTING PAIN, like as long as it doens’t hurt really bad, if it’s just some slight discomfort, then keep going. Because keep in mind your body hasn’t run in a month and a half. It’s not going to feel great.” This was the physical therapist that was talking in my head while I jogged. Let’s call him Todd. Todd drives a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek and lives in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. He’s dating a girl named Danielle (actually, they just got engaged a month ago). They own a golden doodle. Todd is also a climber, which makes him uniquely adept at giving me physical therapy advice. Danielle and Todd will get married. They’ll divorce after 15 years. Todd will move to Nebraska and become a pipe fitter. Danielle will get full custody of the kids and remarry a guy named Rick who sells used Subarus in Ballard but lives in Kent. They’ll never speak again except when coordinating seeing the kids.

After jogging my mile (which I did at Greenlake) I got a matcha latte from Milstead and then came back to my boat where I promptly injected Body Protective Compound #157 into my knee. Right by the LCL. And now I’m sitting here thinking regenerative thoughts. Not thinking about bouldering, cuz that just makes me sad. Driving back from running I had to go by SBP, and that made me sad. I want to be there so bad. I want to work there. Maybe I should drop off an application. I am actually filling out job applications now, which is weird.

So, what are the goals for this summer, bouldering-wise? Well, to be perfectly honest, right now the goal by the end of this summer is V6. I hope to send Climax Control (Ryan Problem’s) V6, and The 5-Star Arete V6. I know I can do both of these boulders. I know it deep in my soul. But I need to get healthy in order to be able to send them. Not just my knee. My shoulder. My fingers. My psyche.

OK, time to rest for a bit, let this BPC 157 take hold. Any soccer on today? Not really. One Bundesliga game, one Premier League game.

God my succulent is beautiful.

– MW

Seize and Throttle || Back on the Boat

Ugh, I kind of feel terrible today. Maybe it was all the matcha lattes yesterday. Maybe it was the carb loading before dinner. I just kind of feel…..out of it. Like, not into it. Like, all I wanna do is stare into the distance.

Today marks day three of injecting BPC-157 into my left knee. I know it’s anecdotal, but my knee feels great. Yesterday I even did a little jogging on it, and for the first time it didn’t hurt upon breaking into a trot. I also walked about six miles yesterday, which is one of my highest totals since The Injury. For those of you who are new to this blog, or new to life, or new to injuries, or new to bouldering, or new to Seattle, or new to the world of liveaboards, or new to the world of winter, or new to injecting peptides, I injured my LCL on New Year’s Eve of 2020. Since then I have taken what has probably been the most aggressive approach I’ve ever taken to injury healing. I’m attacking this thing on several fronts: diet, peptides, movement and physical therapy. The “movement” part will hopefully increase significantly after I see my physical therapist next Wednseday. I plan to ask him: “What do you think about me running gross amounts of stairs? Taking them two at a time, etc etc?” I hope his reponse will be: “Mark, you’re ready for stairs.” There are only so many bouldering videos you can watch before you have to get out there and try it yourself. But bouldering videos are a great way to improve. When you get out there on the blocs, you find yourself imitating the pros…

AKA I might go get a Patagonia fleece at REI today.

AKA it was sunny yesterday.

AKA how is the Subi still hanging in there.

AKA Nana’s Green Tea.

Aka unsweetened.

aka.

In other news. My succulent is doing better than ever. I’ve had this succulent at least over a year now. We’ve been through some tough times together, falling in the lake, getting left out in the rain, the pandemic. And we’ve come through these times as better people/plants. She/he/it looks better than I’ve ever seen her/him/it. Her leaves are supple. They’re almost vibrant. I think this summer could really be her summer. I’ll transplant her to a bigger pot. Maybe I’ll even get another succulent of the same species and put them next to each other. Just kind of let them hang out.

Is it time to go to REI now?

Yesterday the best matcha latte of the three was DEFINITELY from Milstead. You see, they mix some kind of madagascar vanilla mixture in with their lattes, making them just a little bit sweet, and a little bit vanilla-y. It was sublime. If I wasn’t doing keto today, I would definitely be back there. And if they didn’t cost almost $7. And if the place was a little less pretentious. And if they didn’t have Nick Drake playing when you walked in. Come on, Nick Drake? Who are we trying to impress here? What year are we in?

The second best matcha latte was from Mr. West in U Village. The problem with theirs is they serve it in a glass….glass and it never seems to be hot enough. Also, they used to slightly sweeten them with honey whether you asked or not. Just, “We know what’s good for you. And what’s good for you is a little honey.” I like when places do that. But now they don’t sweeten them anymore, and they taste like cardboard. But the milk was steamed perfectly.

The third best was from….ok I guess I only had two.

One was a REBBL matcha latte in a bottle. Which of course was delicious.

OK, time to leave the boat and seize and throttle the day. Wish me luck.

– Wetz

Just Nudge || Road to Recovery

Random boulders in northern New Mexico.

I am so happy to be here on the boat, sitting with a cup of a green tea, the heater caressing my shins, checking stocks, checking the sunset time, checking the weather for the next few days, and thinking about what I’d like to do with the rest of my life.

It is joyous.

Sometimes when you’re struggling or down a bit or not sure what to do next, or somehow unhappy with your current circumstances, the only thing you can do is get in your car and drive 7,000 miles. I’m kidding, of course. Sort of. Is it ironic that I needed to drive 7,000 miles to realize that I would be better off not driving anywhere at all. Unless that place is Gold Bar, WA, of course, where I will of course have to drive as soon as I can climb again. Oh, and Leavenworth. I must go to Leavy. But the climbing season hasn’t really started in Leavy yet. It won’t really start until March or April, when things stop being snowy.

The appointment with the physical therapist yesterday was incredibly fruitful. For the first time I feel truly optimistic about my recovery. My goal when I talked about this a couple weeks ago was to be climbing sometime in April. But now I might even move that up again. I think I could be back in the climbing gym in March. If I eat well, if I inject the shit out of my knee with BPC-157, and if I really go to town on rehab and physical therapy exercises, I think I could be back in the gym sometime in the next month. Which would be incredible. There is nothing I want more. But of course it will be the gym — climbing outside will have to wait longer. Climbing outside = gnarlier landings, more unpredictable landings, more unpredictable everything, really. I could go climb a yellow in the gym today. But that’s not really climbing. That’s more: Can you get up a ladder without falling? I could probably climb a green today, too. But I wouldn’t feel comfortable falling. I wouldn’t feeling comfortable being up high. I never realized until this injury how important falling is in bouldering. Generally I feel really good falling, I almost like it. I take pride in my falling. But now falling is terrifying. Somehow I will have to get my body ready to fall again, and fall hard. And from places on high.

In other news. I feel like there was other news. Oh yes, I have started implementing certain lifestyle changes that are already paying sweeping dividends. I have implemented some diet changes, and I don’t want to give too much away here but they basically involve having less caffeine, or having less of a certain kind of caffeine, and also having less sugar. And by less sugar I mean less SUGAR, less CARBS, since carbs are basically sugar. Also, I think I’m realizing that different carbs affect me differently. I ate a bunch of tortilla chips yesterday and didn’t really feel inflamed. But other kinds of carbs do make me feel inflamed. I can feel it in my knee. I desperately need to buy a blood glucose meter. AKA they sell pure oxygen canisters at Fred Meyer now.

I am trying to nudge myself in the right direction. Every day. Every day, just nudge myself a bit. Don’t push! Don’t force! Just nudge. You don’t get anything done by forcing. Whatever you force will rebound upon itself with an equal force. But if you just nudge. If you encourage. Then you can do anything. Like wake up at the same time every morning. Which is actually kinda huge.

Another cup of gree tea. Barcelona play PSG at noon. I hope Kylian Mbappe scores a hat trick but Barca still somehow destroy them. I would murder for a matcha latte right now but don’t want to leave the boat. I can’t eat Go Macro bars anymore because they have 39g of carbs. Damnit. I just finished the book News of the World and it was incredible. Now to watch the movie. The preview looks terrible.

I am sending love to you all and wish you all a wonderful day,

Wetz

Somewhere in the American West.

Last Day || Richland, WA to Seattle, WA

Somewhere near Richland.

As I walked to Wal-Mart this morning I thought, Why should I rush to get home? Why should I rush to get this Wal-Mart experience over with? Why should I rush to have my matcha tea, why should I rush to get back to the hotel, why should I rush to see what breakfast they have, why should I rush up to my room, to get packed and changed and ready to go, to write this post.

Why should I rush to do anything at all?

We spend our lives rushing about, only to realize it did nothing to hasten or delay the arrival of death. When you die will it matter all the stuff you did? Will it matter, all the things you crammed into every day? The things you stressed about?

It’s snowing outside the Home 2 Suites by Hilton in Richland, WA, and my tea has just finished brewing. I’m sitting on the couch in my immaculate room, this, finally, the NICEST room I’ve stayed in this entire trip. It took till the last night to find the perfect hotel. That’s what this trip was about, staying in hotels. Finding myself in hotels across the US and Mexico, watching YouTube videos. Watching chess videos. Watching bouldering videos. Drinking tea.

Today I’ll pack up my stuff, leave my hotel room, start my car, amble onto the freeway, and drive home to Seattle. I have mixed feelings about this. Sure, I’m excited as fuck. That goes without saying. But at the same time if there’s ANYTHING this trip has taught me is that arriving at your destination doesn’t matter. Things aren’t going to be great “once you get there.” Things aren’t going to be great “once you get to Guam,” or “once you get to Mexico,” or “once you go on vacation,” or “once your kids are back in school,” or “once you get that job promotion,” or “once you start making more money,” or “once you start eating better.”

OK, the eating better thing is actually kind of a big one.

But seriously, we spend our entire leaves thinking we’ll be happy ONCE SOMETHING HAPPENS. Our ability to be happy is so conditional. Watch, sometime, yourself having these thoughts, and then watch what happens when you get the thing that you thought would be it, or the place you thought that once you got there everything would be fine, and watch how as soon as these things are attained your little rat brain goes searching for some other requirement to make it happy. Oh, we’ll be happy once we get to our hotel and we can relax and unpack our stuff and go swimming in the pool. But then you get to your hotel, and other little things come up. Where are we going to dinner? We’ll be happy once we just get some dinner. We’ll be happy once we just get a good night’s rest. And on and on and on and on until it becomes, oh, we’ll be happy once this vacation is just over and we’re home.

(hold on a sec while I get my tea).

Or maybe you guys don’t have this problem. Maybe I’m the only one sitting in the Hilton in Richland eating sardines with jalapenos for breakfast because he thinks a low-carb diet will solve his knee troubles.

Anyway.

Now I’m worried that this entire room smells like sardines. K, I really need to drink my tea.

All I know is this: this is literally the only thing I know: that my body feels better when I eat a diet lower in carbs, lower in grains. I feel like I have less inflammation. Like if I eat a big thing of rice? My fingers and joints instantly start cracking. I feel like my body’s on fire. But when I eat a low carb diet? My body feels lubed up. I feel light. I feel like a kid again, albeit a kid with a partially torn LCL.

Except maybe it’s not torn anymore. Maybe it’s kind of healed and it just needs to continue in the remodeling phase and I need to load and……all that other stuff.

And so, I’m going to savor the drive today. Fuck that, I’m going to savor everything about today. I’m going to savor the wonderful sound my car makes when starting up, the familiar purr despite always fearing a bit it won’t start up. I’m going to savor the crunch of the tires on the snow as I slowly drive out of the hotel parking lot and towards the arterials. I’m going to savor the whine of the engine as I pull onto an onramp and get it up to speed on the interstate. I’m going to savor driving by Yakima. I’m going to savor driving by Ellensburg (that one’ll be tough for some reason). I’m going to savor the snow that will inevitably be falling. I’m going to savor the first glimpse I get of Seattle as the skyscrapers peak over Beacon Hill when I come out of the tunnel after Mercer Island.

And if all this goes to shit, if my car doesn’t start, if there’s tons of traffic going over the pass, then, well, I’m going to savor that too. No expectations. Savoring everything that comes my way, including this shitty cup of earl grey. Savoring the lingering taste of sardines in my mouth.

No, but seriously.