Elevating and Pu-Erh

Currently elevating my knee.

Debating whether or not to boil some water for some pu-erh tea.

Feeling sluggish. Had two helpings of yogurt with maple syrup and then two big slices of toast with butter. My attempts at cutting dairy out of my diet have failed in that I consume almost exclusively dairy. Dairy and wheat. I’m like a 14th century German peasant. Except 14th century German peasants probably rarely drank pu-erh. So I am a refined 14th century German peasant.

I dind’t go to Leavenworth today because I didn’t feel like driving all the way out there. So maybe the beautiful one-bedroom will escape me. This is possible. It’s also possible that it’s supposed to escape me, that I’m not supposed to sign a one-year lease, that I’m condemned to live in micro studios for the rest of my life. All I want to do is boulder. If I haven’t yet made that explicitly clear. All I want to do is boulder. All I want to do is boulder. All I want to do is boulder. All I want to do is boulder. And when I’m not bouldering I want to be thinking about bouldering, writing about bouldering, training for bouldering, talking about bouldering.

If this kind of lifestyle also interests you, let me know.

If you’d like to perform an LCL transplant on yourself and give me your delectable LCL, let me know.

Actually, today at physical therapy felt like a bit of a breakthrough. It always does. Today we did ONE-LEGGED SQUATS, aka I sat down using only my left leg, and stood up using only my left leg. I felt like a boss. I didn’t think I could do it, but it actually wasn’t that hard, proving that the mental component of this injury might be the hardest to deal with.

After physical therapy I got a matcha latte at The Retreat in Greenlake and sat in the sun. Then I drove to the Sculpture Garden, and then I walked to the ferry. So now I’m on The Island where I just got ANOTHER matcha latte and watched…..what did I watch. I have the memory of a ring-tailed lemur.

It’s very possible I’ll finish Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey tonigh. I’ve thought about starting another writing project of my own, but I don’t know if I have it in me. These things, these writing projects, when they fail, they really take it out of you. I mean, I guess you can never fail completely, because each time you learn something, but to write 10,000 words and at the end decide, “This is shit,” is tough. But you have to keep going. I will keep going, but for now I’m just going to blog.

OK now it’s DEFINITELY time for some pu-erh. Good thing I convinced myself.

What gorgeous weather today.

What gorgeous weather tomorrow.

What gorgeous weather of the mind.

Seventy Milligrams of Caffeine || Chilling on the Boat

Ahhhhhhhhhhh, the blank page. The empty page, sitting before me. A great expanse of white, waiting to be played with. What words will be written? What thoughts will be conveyed? Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?

I take a sip off my Hop Tea. This morning I have opted for my usual, “The Really Hoppy One.” Ingredients: Carbonated water, hops (simcoe and citra), organic black tea, citric acid. Seventy milligrams of caffeine. Keep cold for freshest flavor. One serving per container. Total Carbohydrate: 0g. Total Sugars: 0g. Protein: 0g. Not a significant source of nutrients.

Oh, but it nourishes the soul.

I just got back from Woodland Coffee.  I was supposed to go surfing with some friends today, aka chill on the beach and watch them surf, but apparently there isn’t much swell out  there. I mean, there’s tons of swell, of course there’s tons of swell, it’s winter in the Pacific Northwest, for fuck’s sake, but the swell isn’t getting to the….waves. I mean, it’s not getting to the…break. It’s not getting to this fickle spot of land somewhere west of me, where when the moons align, and the tides, there are waves. Maybe it will happen later today. Maybe it won’t.

Another sip of the hop tea. I hear my neighbors’ devil child screaming across the way. I hear my other neighbor talking about what a beautiful day it is. And it is a beautiful day. God, it’s gorgeous. So….fucking….gorgeous. My succulents are on the back porch, basking in the sun. I have the heater off so I can hear the silence better. A goose honks. A crow caws. The mallards say nothing.

Jesus. OK. Phewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…..

Physical therapy yesterday. Did squats holding a twenty pound weight. Now today the knee feels fucked. I mean not fucked. It feels ok, it just feels a little off. At least 20 times a day I check my LCL to see if it’s still intact. My physical therapist yesterday was a boulderer. The dude who’s taking over my physical therapy in about a week is a climber. What dumb, blind luck I have. I’m surrounded by climbers. Sure, some of them might be rope climbers, which make them slightly less than human, but they’re still climbers all the same. They still know what it’s like to have their fingers touch granite. I was thinking yesterday about how much gnarlier stuff you could do skateboarding if you had a harness around you that would catch you every time you fell. People would be grinding 100 stair rails. People would be kickflipping 30 stairs. And yet, when you skateboard, you don’t have a harness to catch you. Only the cold, hard, unforgiving ground. When you fall on a big wave surfing, you don’t have a harness to catch you. The wave might pound you down to the reef. It might break your ear drum. You might not know which way is up. When you fall snowboarding you don’t have a harness to catch you. Only the snow, which often times is as hard as concrete. And yet, when you sport climb, no matter how high you are up, no matter how “scary” it is, you always have a rope attached to you, someone ready to catch you when you fall. And from what I hear sport climbers sometimes “look down” upon boulderers. I don’t understand why this is. Bouldering to me is 100 times more gnarly, 100 times more pure. Sure, you have a four-inch pad to break your fall. Hopefully. That’s it. There are some boulderers who don’t use pads. The first boulderers didn’t use pads. One day I’m sure I’ll appreciate sport climbing. Maybe. But for now give me a 10 foot face instead of a 200 foot face.

Hop Tea. God I wish I had more Hop Tea. Do I need to get in my car and drive back to Whole Foods and get more Hop Tea?

70 mg of caffeine.

I wish I could stay here all day and talk to you guys, but at some point I’ll have to leave the boat. It doesn’t look like we’re going surfing. It doesn’t look like we’ll be going to the Olympic Peninsula. It doesn’t look like we’ll have the camaraderie of chilling in the car together, the snus, the good vibes, the good times, the lewd jokes, the happiness. It doesn’t like we’ll be passing Discovery Bay and pressing on westward. It doesn’t look like we’ll be stopping at Country Aire.

When I stop typing I can hear the whir of my computer fan. The creak of the boat lines. A boat or a barge or something like that sounding its horn so they’ll open the bridge. The beep of some kind of truck backing up. Geese honking, always honking. There are always geese honking. Then there are the spring birds. Maybe they’re robins. They’re the kind of birds where you hear them and think, “Oh, spring is coming.” But other than that it’s silence. Beautiful silence.


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…..


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,


Somewhere in the American West.