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

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

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.

I Want My Knee to Heal So Bad | Road to Recovery

Since I know the majority of you come here for spanking new bouldering content, I thought I’d give you an update on my knee and my Road to V7, aka Road to V12, aka Road to V2, aka Road to Being Able to Use My Knee Again in Any Sort of Normal Capacity.

So.

I’m lying on the floor of my hotel room in Los Mochis, Sinaloa. I just iced my knee with a huge bag of ice the dude from the restaurant gave me. I debated about whether or not to tip him. Should I give him the 5 pesos in my pocket? Would that be insulting? Do you really have to tip in a hotel when anyone does anything for you? Should I just dip my knee in the pool?

Brought the ice back up to my room, lay on the floor, propped my knee up on the foam roller (I travel nowhere without my foam roller), and iced the shit out of it. Then rested it. Then iced it some more. Watched some Emma Chamberlain. Rested it. Iced the living fuck out of it. And now I’m elevating it.

This knee is so fucking frustrating. Is it just my LCL that’s partially torn? Is it getting better? If it’s getting better why doesn’t it feel like it’s getting better? Are my ACL and meniscus also kinda fucked? God I hope not.

I’ve stopped writing about bouldering because I’m not bouldering. I went to Bishop last week and just looked at boulders. I drove by some boulders leaving Hermosillo the other day and you know what? IT DIDN’T FEEL WEIRD NOT BEING ABLE TO CLIMB THEM. I’M GETTING USED TO NOT BEING ABLE TO CLIMB.

It’s terrible.

When I can climb, where do I want to go? Bishop, of course. Leavenworth. Gold Bar. Index. Joe’s Valley. Moe’s Valley. RMNP. Bishop again. Joshua Tree. Back to Bishop. Leavenworth. Bishop. Leavenworth. Bishop. Leavenworth.

Squamish.

Has anyone else partially torn their LCL in isolation? How long did it take to heal? Please leave several comments below.

I can hear the ice melting next to me.

I’m going to watch a movie on Hulu tonight and go to bed. Supposedly I’m fasting right now. We’ll see how that pans out. I think it will pan out fairly well. Tomorrow I’m driving to Mazatlan. Or maybe even beyond, to San Blas.

I want my knee to heal so bad.

Questionable Shoe Purchase | Road to V7

Yeah, yeah, it’s the Road to V7, homies. As in, one day, insha’allah, I’ll climb V7. Or maybe I won’t. It doesn’t really matter at this point. All that matters is the movement. The way you touch the stone. The placement of a foot on a foothold. The crackle of a bag as you grab some tortilla chips while you listen to El Sonido on your boat at 10pm on a Monday night.

(hold on a sec while I do my daily Duolingo German).

OK done.

Today was my first time climbing in about two and a half weeks. It was pretty fun, but all I could think about was my shoulder. Has my shoulder healed? Am I ready to send V16 in Switzerland with Giuliano and the boys? Or is it going to be super hard to repeat all the V2’s and the two V3’s I’ve already done, let alone continue making progress, project more V3’s and V4’s and V5’s and beyond.

I have no idea. My shoulder felt….OK. Barold and I might go climbing tomorrow. I think it’ll be fine as long as I don’t overdo it, and by overdo it I mean as long as I don’t climb many days in a row. But I have no idea. I just went to Mexico and basically surfed 11 days straight and my shoulder hung in there. So why can’t I just climb like crazy? Why?

Speaking of climbing, you might be wondering why I’m doing Duolingo in German. I’ll tell you: It’s because I feel drawn to this language. It’s in my blood. All of my ancestors (well, almost all of them) come from Germany. Is it possible that on an instinctual level it feels comfortable for me to speak it? Or is that just woo woo hogwash? Are the Canucks going to win Game 5 tomorrow and then somehow force a Game 7? Or will Vegas take them down like the bullies they are? Is Quinn Hughes the best young player in the NHL right now?

The Skykomish river is so freakin’ low right now.

My recent trip to Mexico kind of got me excited about traveling again. But being forced to kind of hang around Seattle has also made me realize how much there is to do wherever you are. You don’t need go to faraway places for stimulation. I’ve always kinda thought you do. It’s always kinda been my answer for everything. But this morning I got up and walked to Fremont and on the way stopped to sit on a bench and look out at the ship canal, and there was just a slight tinge of fall in the air, and some leaves lying scattered on the ground, and the slightly muted light that fall brings, and it was beautiful. Why flit about the country like a fool when everything you need is in your backyard?

Well, cuz flitting is also kinda bomb, too. Slash, I’ll probably go to Chile this winter (their summer) if they open up again.

Also my life coach has me concentrating on making my boat a more habitable space. Now that I have plants there (see: friends) I actually kinda want to come back to it. To see how they’re doing. To make sure they’re OK.

Only one thing in my life is absolutely certain right now and that’s that I’m taking back the size 44.5 Scarpa Instincts I bought at REI today. I was so excited: An aggressive shoe! I’m going to be like Adam Ondra! I’m going to flash Midnight Lightning and move to Brno. But instead I got outside (you can’t try em on inside barefoot), put them on and almost started weeping. They were so tight. I could barely get my right foot in. And I know this is how badass climbers do it, I know they stretch out, but I’m just not cut out for a stress fracture in my right big toe right now because some stupid shoes are too tight.

Pies de gato?

So I’m going to take them back. And either exchange them for a less aggressive pair, or a bigger size, or maybe just keep sending my blown-out Scarpa Origins.

Anyway, that’s that. Send it.