Surfing La Push Slash Why Does My Back Hurt

Friends. Lovers. Times are tough right now in Wetzlerlandia. I hurt my back last Wednesday and I still don’t know how bad it is. I was just jumping down from a route at the climbing gym, just using my legs to break my fall, and I felt something kind shift or get tweaked in my back and it’s felt gnarly ever since. Surfing a lot yesterday and the day before might not have helped. It might have helped, but it also might not have helped. That remains to be seen. Either way it feels stiff and gnarly right now and makes me sad.

But.

Anyway.

Hi.

My succulents are sitting in the cockpit. I just did some child’s pose and cat cow. Smoked SO many cigarettes (rollies) over the past two days, so now my body is detoxing. I need to axe cigs completely, but it’s kind of a ritual with the friends I smoke them with and so I’ve been hesitant to completely axe them. But, like, they’re gnarly. Not good. They don’t make my body feel good. They don’t make me feel good. The only thing they DO do is make my cognition as sharp as a tack. But I’m not ready to sacrifice my soft tissue for that.

Do you follow?

You don’t follow.

You’re not even paying attention.

How dare you.

It’s a beautiful sunny day here. Please stand by while I check the Gold Bar forecast.

….

OK the HIGH tomorrow in Gold Bar, WA is supposed to be 80. Which means I could go bouldering in the morning. Which I won’t do because my back feels gnarly. HOWEVER! The highs for like the ENTIRE week after that are only around 70 degrees. Aka perfect bouldering attempts. Aka will I ever go back to Canada? Aka I need to talk to my physical therapist today about my back. Aka I’m drinking matcha right now and it tastes disgusting. Aka I just bought four packs of sardines. Aka bee pollen. Aka turmeric pills.

OK. Time to concentrate.

Honestly that might be it for today.

I guess I could talk about the surf trip.

El Cazador and I went to the Olympic Peninsula on Sunday, surfed near PA on Sunday morning and then La Push Sunday evening. It was my first time surfing in a couple months and only my SECOND TIME SURFING since my knee injury though lately I never think about my knee my knee is great it’s my damn hip flexors now and MY MOTHEREFFING BACK GOD WHY DOES MY BACK HURT SLASH.

The waves at La Push yesterday were, in one single word, primo. Well, they were “good,” but the sun was out and they were fun and playful and it felt pretty darn good to be back in the water. I only surfed one sesh cuz I wanted to take care of the BOD, but El Cazador surfed two cuz he’s a beast. Then we slow-rolled out of there and made the late 8:10 ferry back to Seattle and I didn’t get home till like 10:10pm. I was tired. I still took the time to rinse my westuit and shower and get all the gnarliness off me. So many things went well from the expedition, namely the WEATHER. Sun in La Push?????????????? Almost never happens. Mist in La Push? Happens all the time. But so much sun that your face gets charred? Um, yeah, pretty rad.

Now I’m back on the boat as I alluded to earlier, drinking matcha and stuffing my maw with bee pollen. I want more caffeine. But I’m not going back to Whole Foods. But I want more caffeine.

Slash.

Books, Bouldering, Beverages

I’m not watching any videos today. No climbing videos, no bouldering videos, no Saturday Night Live videos, no videos about how the universe works or how the world works or how dating works or how the human body works. Most days I spend an inordinate amount of time watching videos. Probably several hours each day. And it’s not that I necessarily want to be more productive, it’s just that watching so many videos, scrolling and scrolling trying to find the next dopamine hit, makes me feel kinda bad.

Slash, I went climbing yesterday, and it was glorious.

I went with Barry and Adi, and we climbed first at Upper Walls and then made our way over to Fremont Main, where we didn’t climb. The reason we didn’t climb at Fremont Main was because it was crowded as balls and getting food/beer sounded like a better idea. I remarked as we left Fremont Main that it felt like we had just climbed there, too. The feeling was the same, exiting out into the night air, backpack full of climbing stuff on, chattering away. And I’m glad we didn’t climb at Fremont Main, because after Saturday’s sesh at SBP Poplar my body was absolutely wrecked. Today is a hard rest day. Tomorrow will either be a rest day or an outside day but the high for tomorrow in Index, where I’d like to go to work Leggo My Ego V6, my current mega-proj, is 89 degrees Fahrenheit. Which means it’s supposed to be 78 by 11am. NOT EXACTLY SEND TEMPS (aka send temps).

In other news, I had a matcha bar this morning, a green hop tea, and now I’m having a Four Sigmatic matcha latte with lion’s mane (20mg caffeine, in case you were wondering [do I wish it had more caffeine? probably. I think like 30 or 40mg would be more appropriate, in this case. but hey, beggars can’t be systems engineers]). Also in other news, I’m currently reading the books Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari, and In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. I got the Proust book the other day at Elliott Bay Books. I got Sapiens from the Bainbridge library, and I think it might be due quite soon. The annoying thing about Sapiens is it’s sort of like a graphic, glossy-page version, which means it ways (sic) about six kilos. When I’m tired af after a climbing session and I want something to put me to sleep there’s no better book than Sapiens; the only problem is it weighs a ton. Fourth world problems.

In still other news, I had collagen yesterday. And sort of cleaned the boat. And hung out with my friend Pat. And had some mate (it really annoys me when brands spell mate “maté.” like, I know why they’re doing it, they want to differentiate between the English word “mate,” as in “friend,” but it still annoys the shit out of me.) I also went for a run yesterday, at Queen Anne Bowl, and it was kind of amazing except I also think it kind of strained my left hip flexor. I’ve had problems with my hip flexor ever since I hurt it in May thrutching on the V5 dyno that is Alcove Right in Leavenworth. It’s been healing — slowly but surely — and yesterday was the first time I tried to run on it for any considerable distance.

Slash.

The seagulls are cawing outside my boat. I’ve just finished the matcha latte. I have no more caffeine on the boat. I do have some chia pudding, which I will most likely consume presently. Current plan: head north to BC on FRIDAY. Will I actually do this? Seriously, will I actually do this??? I have no idea. The only thing I do know is I want to get the hell up there before they close the border again. Because numbers are on the rise, as they say, numbers are always on the rise, and we have so many variants going around we can’t even keep track of them (aka like one variant, aka the delta variant). So who knows when I’ll actually get up to Canada. Who knows when I’ll get back to Leavenworth. I proposed to a friend that we go to Leavy on Friday and boulder in the 104 degree heat, but she mentioned something about heat stroke. I mentioned something about jumping in the Wenatchee River. She mentioned something about cryptocurrency and treasury bonds and how her mother used to wait tables in Illinois and we promptly reached an impasse. For some reason the whole interaction reminded me of the one time I went to Nashville, sharing the elevator with a guy who was on his way to a Garth Brooks concert, or on his way home from a Garth Brooks concert, or possibly just wearing cowboy boots. For some reason I found the guy tremendously wholesome because he had on cowboy boots and because of his accent and because he was in town for a Garth Brooks concert and staying at the Best Western or whatever the hell it was. But for all I know he beats his wife and emotionally abuses his children. Why should I have assumed he was a wholesome guy?

Aka chia pudding.

Yesterday I meditated twice.

I need new climbing shoes.

I wish I had more matcha.

Or mate.

Or maté.

The best book ever written is called On Man and God, by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It’s 61 pages long and was published in 1961 by the Peter Pauper Press. It is currently one of my most prized possessions despite not being my possession. Why does the title Reading Lolita in Tehran make me want to punch myself? Or the title Waiting for Snow in Havana? Why can’t you just name your book something not cute? My dad just handed me a copy of the book The Intelligent Asset Allocator. Now there’s a book title, if I’ve ever seen one. The only way it could be better is if it were The Girl Who Allocated Assets, or something like that. Then  it could be sold all over town.

Waiting for Assets in Bolivia.

Now we’re talking.

 

 

Cutting Caffeine

Hey guys, so…………………………………..only three views on the blog yesterday. You guys on vacation? Not looking at your phones? Not looking at the internet? It’s the support of the diehard fans that keeps us at Where’s Wetzler going. Without your support we’re just another WordPress blog, barking at the wind……

Anyway.

A red-letter day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Check it out:

Ohhhhhhhhhh the matcha everywhere. The green tea. The drink on the right that has “no refined sugar” but actually still tons of sugar ‘cuz it’s sweetened with dates. Crooks. Normally I wouldn’t buy all these matcha products (there’s a matcha latte hiding behind the Urban Remedy bar) in one fell swoop but I’m celebrating a potential job interview next week. I’m not going to tell you where, because you don’t deserve to know, but I will say it’s for a job in the Greater Seattle Area. So no, don’t worry, I’m not packing up and moving to Everett. I know a lot of you were worried about that. It’s just that the allure of Everett is strong. You’re closer to the Gold Bar boulders and to Leavenworth. Rent is WAY cheaper. And the kicker? You can become a Silvertips fan.

ANOTHER reason and one that’s equally important is that I’m going on a caffeine detox starting today. The detox will probably start around oh…………………………………. 12pm Pacific Daylight Time. Give or take an hour. The reason I’m doing a caffeine detox is because when I don’t drink caffeine I’m much less stressed, much less irritable, and also more creative. Also I associate no caffeine with my quote unquote natural state. Like, when I was young. Like, my inner child. Like, the part of me I disparately (sic) need to get in touch with.

So on our left we have the Green Hop Tea by Hop Lark, with a whopping 60mg of caffeine per bottle. On the right we have our “Matcha Green Tea Almond Latte” (nice short name) by Pop & Bottle? Is this the name of the company? What a wretched name. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. Change your name and quit adding so many damn dates to your drinks.

I do declare.

And in the middle we have a matcha latte with oat milk from Whole Foods, and in the foreground a Matcha “Super Greens Energy Bar” by (said in a yuppy, googly voice) Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuurban Reeeeeeemedy. Like, Uuuuuuurban Reeeeeeemedy bro. Like, food should be your medicine, right bro? Like, drop cliffs not bombs, right bro? Like……………………………………………………………………….

Anyway.

I wanna finish this post before meeting my life coach at 10:15 today, so better wrap it up.

No climbing today. Hand is feeling better. Might run a mile. Feel like I can probably climb Sunday at the earliest and still be responsible. No more climbing multiple days in a row, or multiples sessions in one day. My connective tissue NEEDS TO BE PRIORITIZED.

K, good talk.

– Wetz

Driving South || Gym Sessions at Seattle Bouldering Project

I didn’t blog yesterday and kind of feel bad because of it.

But I also kind of needed a day off.

What happened was I got back super late from a friend’s house and didn’t want to write a blog that I didn’t put my heart and soul into, and so decided it would be better just to not write one at all.

Please excuse me while I make some tea.

I’m going climbing at SBP today, one of my favorite places on planet earth. I’m going to SBP Poplar with a couple friends, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. We’re climbing upstairs, which I haven’t done since I got injured. Upstairs is cool because it A)  Is fucking massive, B) always has cool problems, and C) (and this is the bet part) Has two boulder islands where you can top out. One thing you don’t realize if you haven’t climbed outside that much is that climbing outside involves A) a lot of sit starts, and B) a lot of topping out. Granted, there ARE problems outside where you don’t top out. But it’s kind of lame. The only two I can think of in Washington are Schist Cave (well, I guess there are a couple problems in the cave) and Summer Solstice V3. I’m sure there are others, I just don’t know about them yet. Oh! I guess people don’t usually top out Footless Traverse (V5? V6?) either. But I haven’t gotten to that one yet.

Bottom line, I’m really, really, really stoked to climb later this evening. Aka shortly.

Last time I climbed at SBP was one of my best sessions back from injury. I sent my first post-injury black and also sent an orange that I really didn’t think I was going to send that involved getting the body kind of horizontal and also having to do a controlled cut loose swing over to some footholds. Such a fun problem, and I felt like I was going to fall off most of the time. Today the goals are: Do at least one new orange, maybe do one new black, and link a couple moves on a blue. So, not crazy goals. Totally doable. I like to keep my goals fairly doable so I set myself up for success. I don’t buy that theory that’s like, SET CRAZY GOALS YOU’RE NEVER GONNA ACHIEVE CUZ THEN EVEN IF YOU GET KINDA CLOSE YOU’LL BE ACCOMPLISHING SO MUCH. Uh, no. That sounds like a terrible approach. How about set a goal you KNOW you can do, or at least you’re pretty sure you can do, and then go out there and do it and feel wonderful about yourself, instead of setting a goal you know you’re going to fail at.

Anyway.

Still gotta make that tea.

In case you’re wondering what tea I’m drinking it’s a heaping scoop of Organic Brain Booster by Amazing Grass mixed with one scoop of Vital Proteins Marine Collagen. I’m doing a vegetarian thing right now where I only eat eggs and seafood. No red meat, no poultry. I find myself getting tofu quite a bit these days, which I never would’ve done in the past. I’ve generally scorned tofu, and now I find myself eating it. My how the tables have swiveled.

Get to SBP, 4.5 minutes on the bike, do some hanging, stretch out the shoulder with one of the bars, and then climb a BUNCH of easy stuff. Like, yellows and reds, upclimbing, downclimbing, sideclimbing. Climb some greens. Then start sussing out some purples. OK, now we’re having a little fun…..Then maybe take a sideways glance at some oranges and some blacks. Maybe even check out a blue when it’s not looking. Better yet, find someone sending a blue and steal their beta. Assuming it’s good beta. One thing that just watching a lot of climbing during my two months of no climbing helped me with was reading problems better. I’ve never been THAT GOOD at reading problems, but climbing outdoors helps a ton and I think watching videos of pros helps quite a bit, too. At least that’s my theory. Or maybe since I’m still kind of injured I just think WAY more critically about a problem before getting on it, because I want to minimize all chances of falling. Either way, it’s something I should’ve done for a long time.

Anyway, it’s about time to start driving south. And finish my tea. And start driving south. And start warming up. And finish my tea. And start driving south. And start driving south.

– Wetz

Waking up on the Boat

My awakening in the morning happens in steps, much like a spiritual awakening probably happens. When I first wake up I’m always a bit confused. Where am? Why am I on this boat? Why am floating?

Then I get my bearings and the first thing I do is open the curtain directly above my head. Let some light in. Look at the mast of my neighbor’s boat. One time I was looking at the mast and a crow landed on one of the spreaders. This had never happened before. What majesty! What glory for one of god’s creatures to alight upon an object made by man and bestow its glory upon it, even if only a “lowly” crow.

After opening this first curtain I eventually, and I’m not exactly sure how this happens, get up and rather quickly open all the other curtains on the boat to let in as much light as possible, and then I do something that lets in TONS of light, i.e. take out all the wooden boards of the hatch — and here I’m exposed to the outside world! geese honking! water rippling! wind blowing! — and replace them with the two plexiglass pieces that turn most of the north side of my boat into a window. Now we’re talking. Now the light is getting in and I’ve gotten out of bed.

But of course I get right back in.

I get right back in, but at least now I’m “up.” I’m not going back to sleep. I look at my phone because I’m not allowed to look at the internet till 8am. So I journal a bit. I look at maps. I think about what I’m going to do that day.

I put on the tea kettle, and this is where things really start to change. I’m now going to INGEST something. Granted, I’m not going to ingest any calories. That happens later. I’m going to ingest tea, and lately it’s been in the form of an herbal tea from Rishi called “Elderberry Healer” that’s got ginger, elderberry, hibiscus and a few other things. I like to NOT start the day with caffeine if I can. That said, I’m currently drinking a yerba mate beverage from Trader Joe’s, but it’s already almost 9am, and I’m well into the morning process. It’s ok to have some caffeine at this point. But I don’t like it to be the first thing that enters my body. I like to awaken somewhat naturally.

While the tea is steeping I’m back in bed and if it’s already 8am I’m checking stocks and checking my email and doing all sorts of stupid stuff on the internet, and if it’s not 8am I’m either journaling more or reading or just kind of lying there, looking out at the world through the hatch. This morning I read A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, and I’d like to give you a quote from it just because I found it so beautiful:

(talking about walking his land in the early morning with his dog after listening to the birds)

We sally forth, the dog and I, at random. He has paid scant respect to all these vocals goings-on, for to him the evidence of tenantry is not song, but scent. Any illiterate bundle of feathers, he says, can make a noise in a tree. Now he is going to translate for me the olfactory poems that who-knows-what silent creatures have written in the summer night.

A Sandy County Almanac, 1949

This makes me think of the processions I can watch every day if I’m not too engrossed in watching bouldering videos on YouTube. The geese honking, the mallards paddling, the mergansers diving, the herons sitting on the pier, and at some point the bald eagles will be back, but that probably doesn’t happen till salmon season. But even without the birds there are still things to watch. The ripples on the water. The boats idling into the locks. I derive a bit of satisfaction just from looking at the wood of the dock as it extends out into the cold grey of the lake water.

But enough of that. Now that I’ve interneted and had some tea I’m actually up, and this is where things get crazy, here I actually take all the bedding off my bed, aka the bench seat where I sleep, and now I sit back on it with my legs propped up, leaning back against the bulkhead on the bedding I’ve bunched in the corner. From here I’ll maybe transition into actually sitting up, my computer on the table in front of me. And then I’ve fully woken up. Though let’s be honest, usually this process is interrupted halfway through by me getting into my car and driving to Whole Foods to spend WAY too much on matcha and its derivatives. A matcha bar. A matcha latte with OAT milk. A green hop tea.

And now that this has happened TODAY for example I have to figure out what to do. Or actually I GET to figure out what to do. I thought about driving out to Index today just to look at Chutzpah V10, and then maybe continue on to Leavenworth and Wenatchee and stay the night in Wenatchee. But it’s hard for me to justify all that driving unless I’m going to look at a lot of boulders, or do some hiking and exploring, or stay a couple days. After all, Why should the lord of the country flit about like a fool?

-WW