Climbing Journal 6/9/22

The next climbing sesh will probably be tomorrow at SBP or somewhere up in Squamish when it gets dry again.

If I climb tomorrow at SBP my goal will be to focus on engaging my core with straight arms on a pullup bar during the warmup. If I climb, maybe I’ll try some of the exercises from The Climbing Bible, like smearing between foot moves (intentionally, where it’s not necessary [especially where it’s not necessary]), three moves per every hand move, (and finally, something with flagging and something with projecting). For the something with projecting, I’d like to start applying my outdoor tactics to indoor climbing, because it’s more effective and also because it will help ingrain it. The basic idea is this: unless you’re sure you can easily flash it, don’t try to flash it. Break it into chunks. Do the easy moves. Get them dialed. Do the topout. Link some of the segments. Refine the beta. Look for better beta. Do the topout again. At this point, if you haven’t tried to the starting move, do the starting move. Finally, when you feel pretty good about it, give it redpoint burns.

As far as flagging goes, a good start would simply be figuring out ways to practice flagging. Inside, outside, etc. If I DON’T climb tomorrow (or even if I do), I could do a “training” session, aka hangboarding and maybe some moonboarding.
For the training session I could do weighted pullups (or just a ton of eccentric drops? or weighted eccentric drops), hangs, jumps to edges (campus rungs), and 4×4’s? We’ll see.

(end of journal entry)

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GDL #1

Darren and I are chilling at a bomb Airbnb in Guadalajara. It’s a loft. Darren has the king bed upstairs and I have the little futon nook in the corner downstairs. Better for the back. ‘Bout to walk to this dope church where they sell tamales outside and across the street is a bar with a terrace where you can drink beer and look at the church. Sick. We also just booked flights for Mexico City. Going there on Sunday. Stay five days or a week or something and then I’ll probably fly to Bogota or maybe down to Santiago. We’re kinda looking for an ayahausca retreat….

What else can I tell you? Trying to hang out with —————————, ———————-. Like not very stoked to hang out, which makes me wonder why she’d even hang out in the first place. Who knows. Whatever. I was more stoked on the first plan to go to Morelia on Sunday and then take buses to small towns before Mex City, but flying is fine too. Would’ve also been dope to surf. But I still have grand aspirations to surf in Chile. Maybe buy a board and a 4/3. Maybe buy a car and drive the length of the country, surfing the whole way?????????

Anyway. Temps are pretty bomb. Probably in the 70’s right now. Darren has — which we might do in the next few days. How am I suddenly doing so many ————? Been doing yoga every day. Feel pretty good. I think not driving and not climbing is gonna be really good for my back.

Trying not to get down on myself lately for how I’m living my life. No reason not to be stoked. And honestly I’ve felt a little more positive about things ever since the ————– experience with Dan last week on Vancouver Island. There’s always something to be stoked on. And why wish for an easy life, anyway?

Teotihuacan

…Candor offers no assurance that one’s beliefs about the world are true. — Sam Harris

I’m confused as to why YouTube thinks I need to be confronted with a barrage of grammarly ads. I’m listening to the song the twist by metric, and it reminds me of the early 2010’s or late 2000’s or some time period like that, specifically of a trip to whistler in which we saw Metric perform and were also told by Canadian police to pour out a 24 pack of kokanee on the slopes of whistler.

“Sorry, guys, know it sucks to pour out a two four.”

Meanwhile.

I couldn’t get on the flight to Guadalajara this morning, and I’m not entirely sure why. It might just be that I wanted to sleep in more. I think it was also because I knew that the trip to Guadalajara was me falling into the familiar trip that things will be better if I just go somewhere else. Instead of improving my life here in seattle, or learning some kind of acceptance so I just appreciate my already kickass life, I think I need to go somewhere else. The grass is always greener, unless you live in Arizona, in which case the grass is yucca and scrub brush.

A few minutes ago I was doing pushups on the ground and screaming. I’ve discovered better form that makes them not hurt my shoulder and elbow as much. I simply position my hands lower down, closer to my belly button. I keep my elbows in. And after I’m done with a set, I let out a guttural scream.

It wasn’t just Guadalajara. I was going to go to Mexico City after that, and that I’m actually cool with. “I love Mexico City,” seems to be a popular sentiment these days, whereas 20 years ago no one would ever say that. But now most millenials can recount some kind of trip they went on to Mexico City where they went to the pyramids of Teotihuacan and ate “real tacos al pastor” and it was “life-changing.” This same trip inspired them to come back to Seattle, do precisely two months of Duolingo, and then give up.

Where did you go in Mexico City? La Condesa, Roma. We went to a lucha libre one night.

Matador, estocada, you’re my blood sport.

And so I’ve postponed the Mexico City trip for now. It is grey in Seattle. It was just raining. The days are getting longer and there is beauty to be found here. My succulents are still alive. I climbed yesterday and it was terrible but I sent a fun orange.

And now I’m going to go pee on a keto strip.

Loneliness

I have begun an inquiry into the subject of loneliness, as it’s something I struggle with. I love solitude; don’t get me wrong. But loneliness and solitude are very different things. For me, loneliness is the lack of connection, feeling alone when you don’t want to be alone, helplessly alone. It is possible to feel loneliness in a crowd of people,  but I don’t think it’s possible to feel solitude in a crowd of people. Maybe if you’re enlightened. Basically, loneliness is something that feels negative to me, whereas solitude feels positive. Solitude is chosen. This isn’t to say that nothing good can come from loneliness. One can learn from loneliness, and good company after a period of loneliness often feels that much sweeter.

Ever since graduating from undergrad I’ve often felt lonely. And in the last five years or so, loneliness has become the norm. Furthermore, I’ve noticed that I especially feel lonely in Seattle, which is unfortunate because this is where I’ve always expected to feel the least lonely. This is where I’m from. This is where I’ve always had friends. And yet increasingly it’s also the place where I feel the most lonely. I have several hypotheses as to why this is, and one of them is expectations. The fact that I don’t expect to be lonely here makes it that more gut wrenching when I am. Another hypothesis has been Seattle’s size. Surely I’d be less lonely in a small town, I fantasize. But does this hypothesis hold water? Probably not, since there have been plenty of times in the past when I’ve lived here and not been lonely at all. Another hypothesis is lack of shared values. I fantasize that all people in Seattle care about is career, money, social standing and accumulating things and experiences. Since I value these things less, I imagine this puts me at odds with the culture here and contributes to lack of community and loneliness. But is this really the case? It’s dangerous to assume this chasm in values between me and others, since I don’t know that many others. And one last hypothesis (there are others) is that one of the biggest contributors to my loneliness is simply not being around other people since I’m not in school or working a job that requires it. One of the first times I really felt lonely was the winter of 2009, when I was unemployed and not in school and living at my parents’ house. That was essentially the first extended period of time when I hadn’t been in school or working, and coincidentally it’s the first time I can remember having experienced real loneliness. Of course, I didn’t really know it at the time. I compensated with alcohol and partying and a number of other desperate activities. My soul was crying out for help, but I wasn’t sure why.

Then in 2012 I graduated from grad school, and since then loneliness has increasingly become the norm, to the point today where it’s weird for me to not feel lonely. It pains me to write that, but it’s true. The other day for example I hung out with two friends in Vancouver and we went sledding and had dinner together and I felt such a sense of belonging and community I was elated. And that used to happen every day for me. Every single day I would experience that feeling of belonging and community. But now it happens rarely, and when it does it’s like sitting in the sun after months of cloudiness to the point where you forgot what the sun was like. I had that feeling of belonging up until I got back to Seattle, and now the loneliness is back.

Hence this inquiry.

Loneliness and lack of community are things I discuss frequently with my therapist, so I guess you could say the inquiry started there. The seeds for the inquiry were planted way back in that winter of 2009, when I felt lonely but didn’t know what was happening. And today I decided that maybe I could take some steps into looking at this loneliness and looking for ways to, not eradicate it, but alleviate it and maybe modify my life so that there’s less loneliness and instead more community — and so that more of the time spent alone is spent in solitude and not in loneliness.

What are the first steps to take in this inquiry? Well, I imagine my therapist might agree in saying that the first step is not condemning myself for being lonely, to be compassionate with myself and also how I’ve reacted to this loneliness. Am I lame person for seeking to numb the pain of loneliness with things like alcohol and YouTube videos and Netflix series? Or is that a normal reaction? Am I weak or lame for not reacting to the loneliness in a healthy way? No, I am not lame. It is normal to want to numb this pain, and compassion for myself is a good, albeit extremely difficult, first step. Another good first step might be to get curious about the loneliness. What makes it worse? What makes it better? When do I feel it? How do I react when I feel it? This is a good first step because it doesn’t require solving the problem, it just requires an examination into the nature of it. I’m capable of this.

So that’s where I’m at right now. Maybe some of you have felt similarly in the past or feel similarly right now. Or maybe not, in which case that’s great. Anyway, that’s all I have to say about the inquiry right now. I’ll let you know how things progress.