My Supple Bod (and other thoughts)

OK, Where’s Wetzler blog post, take two. The first take did not feel good. I haven’t been super confident in my writing lately, but I also haven’t cared that much, either. As long as the goal is MOSTLY to have fun writing, and only secondarily to make it good, this blog is sustainable. But if the goal is ANYTHING ELSE — readership, views, to write “effective” articles — then I can’t do it for very long. I burn out. Let’s face it: I’m going to blog from now until the end of time. Even if I’m never “successful.” I’ve accepted this. Blogging for me is like going on your morning run is for you, or doing your morning yoga, or whatever the hell it is you sickos do in the morning.

That out of the way, I’d like to talk about a few things today, in no particular order (though in this exact order): my body, climbing shoes, my sesh yesterday, the possible sesh tomorrow, and whatever else comes to mind.

First things first: my sweet, supple, 38 year old bod. This is, contrary to popular belief, the only body I got, and probably the only body I’ll ever have. For most of my life I haven’t really focused on “treating my body right,” whatever that entails. Ironically (or perhaps just logically), you don’t really think about treating your body right until things start to go wrong. And boy, have things started to go wrong lately. Basically since I started bouldering things have started to go wrong. Right now the following body parts hurt: my wrist (particularly frustrating since I can’t pinpoint the cause), my fingers (especially my right middle), and my back (Oxford comma woo woo). My back I think I’ve got figured out: I’ve been doing yoga every day lately, and the up dog followed by falling from great heights to my feet at the bouldering gym (coupled with old back ailments, of course) is I think what’s caused it. The finger is pretty easy: I first hurt it pulling as hard as I could laying back on either Mr Smooth V7 or River Slab V3 at the Index River Boulders where I felt a sort of “giving” sensation. Ever since then I haven’t been able to close it all the way and it’s just felt kinda gnarly. But as long as I don’t push it too hard it doesn’t really give me too many problems. Lastly, there’s my wrist. It’s hurt for a few days now. Certain movements and rotations are particularly dastardly. And I have no idea what caused it. Could it have been the golf from the other day? Possibly. Is it getting better? Doesn’t seeem to be. Frowny face.

Luckily, I have some strategies for getting my sensuous, nearly-middle-aged-man-bod back on track:

  1. Diet

That whole attitude I had in Europe like, “Oh, I can eat whatever I want and it actually doesn’t make that big a difference”? Yeah, that was wrong. Turns out it makes a MASSIVE difference, it just took a while for the bad diet to catch up with me. After a month I felt like garbage. Now I still try to listen to what my body wants, but I nudge it in a healthier direction. I try to cut down on wheat and grains in general, since that seems to help. I try to do a little bit of intermittent fasting.

2. Yoga

I think the yoga is a good thing. Just have to take it easy on the back and in general. But yeah, I think it’s a good thing.

3. Climb less

This is a tough one, but instead of going one day on one day off I think I might need to mostly go one day on two days off, with the OCCASIONAL one day one day off. This translates to climbing about 3 times a week, which honestly is kind of a bummer. But I want to be able to try hard. And after going balls to the formica the other day at Index, for example, sending my third ever V4, I was barely able to climb yesterday after one day of rest. So yeah, might neeed to rethink the strategy. Especially since that’s what Ashima Shiraishi does.

OK, now let’s talk about climbing shoes. Last post I talked about how I went to REI to try on climbing shoes since A) La Sportiva shoes are 25% off there and B) my Miuras are just about done. I REALLY want the Solutions to be the right shoe for me, mostly so I can be like Nalle Hukkataival and possibly speak Finnish, but I just don’t think they are. But I’ve also never really thought the Miuras were, even though they were a great second shoe. After more puzzling and more research, I’ve decided I’m going to go BACK to REI today to try on the Theories and the Otakis. And let me just say the following: I think the Otakis are going to be it. Why? well, they basically have the same heel as the Solutions, but apparently they don’t ride up as high and ravage the achilles tendon. This is critical. Also, apparently they edge like a slightly damp dream, which is good for me since most of the stuff I climb is vertical. As much as I would LOVE to be a Solutions guy, I don’t know if I can hack the heel. So maybe I’ll be an Otaki guy. Hopefully today I find out.

Slash my wrist is hurting just typing this please God help me.

Um, what else were we going to talk about. Oh yeah: sesh yesterday: terrible. I got shut down by a purple. I felt weak.

Sesh tomorrow: might go rope climbing with my friend Wyatt. Basically, lead some easy stuff and maybe just learn the — not even gonna say it — better.

Lastly, whatever else comes to mind. I’ve just had two matcha lattes. My back hurts. It’s cold in the apartment where I am. I think I might just go to REI right this minute instead of waiting around any longer. And oh yeah! The USMNT plays El Salvador tonight in the first World Cup 2022 qualifier. Are you going to watch? Because you’re not a real American if you don’t.

Hope you all have a wonderful day and send something beautiful.

Sincerely,

Mark Thomas Wetzler

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.

 

 

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.

Looking at Apartments in Leavenworth || Road to Recovery

Morning, friends! I hope everyone is doing well today. I am doing well, aka decent, aka I just got a matcha latte from Woodland Coffee with almond milk and A LITTLE BIT OF HONEY. LITTLE BIT. This must be stressed: LITTLE BIT. Except I think it was actually quite a bit.

Because it was delicious. And matcha lattes with almond milk and no sweetener are usually disgusting, unless you get them from some place like Mr. West or Iconik, in Santa Fe.

Yesterday I went to Leavenworth. I took I-90 because Stevens Pass was closed — I HATE taking I-90 to get to Leavenworth even though it’s just as fast. This is probably because I hate I-90. I don’t like Issaquah. I don’t like North Bend. I don’t want to drive through these towns. Also, I don’t appreciate having to go over TWO passes, aka Snoqualmie and Blewett. I would much rather take Highway 2 through Monroe and Sultan and Startup and Gold Bar and Index and Baring and Skykomish. And indeed, that’s what I did on the way back, because by that time Stevens was open. But on the way there I was forced to take the dreaded I-90.

The point of going to Leavenworth yesterday WAS TO LOOK AT STUDIO APARTMENTS. No, thine eyes deceive thee not. I looked at apartments yesterday in Leavenworth. And you know what??????????????? I was actually kinda stoked on them.

Were they tiny AF?

Yes.

Were they somewhat tasteless and right next to a Safeway?

Also yes.

Could I see myself living there?

Absolutely.

The apartment I was most interested in was a ground floor corner apartment. Normally I don’t like ground floor apartments, but I think that’s changed since living on the boat, since on the boat I’m so closed to the ground (water). Now it feels weird to be up high. It’s like you’re….in an apartment building. But if you’re on the ground floor it’s kinda like you’re in a house. And this apartment, since it was corner, had three windows instead of one. These rooms are basically the size of small hotel rooms. They’re tiny. But. I don’t know. Like I said, I’m kinda stoked on them.

AFTER looking at the apartments I went to get a coffee at J5. I would’ve gone to Argonaut, cuz it’s much nicer, but they were closed. So I went to the J5 right on the main drag and even though they’re not on the menu they had matcha lattes. Bonus. Plus the girl working there was super nice. And then afterward I went to the bookstore and THEY were super nice. Maybe everyone in Leavenworth is super nice. It’s a weird place because it’s so small but at the same time so touristy.

After the matcha latte I just had to, you guess it, check out some boulders. So I coaxed the groaning Subi into the Icicle Canyon and we went to check out the Fridge Boulder. The Subi waited in the parking lot, since she doesn’t really care about bouldering. I went to check out this waking dream of a boulder. The line I most wanted to look at was Fridge Center V4, since it’s a line I’d tried before. But I also looked at Fridge Left V8, and it sort of seemed doable. Some heinous slopers, but I like slopers. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground, and Fridge Center was wet. Not that I would’ve gotten on it. I would’ve wanted to. But I’m not quite ready yet.

Then I drove over Stevens Pass.

Then I stopped at the Camp Serene Boulder.

The Camp Serene boulder is one of my favorite boulders of all time. The only line I’ve done on it so far is Insanity Later V2, but I’ve tried Serenity Now V4+ about a thousand times and I’ve even given Climax Control V6 some decent go’s. Here I kind of had to pee, but I also just wanted to commune with this hulking mass of granodiorite ecstasy. I sort of got on the starting hold of Serenity Now, but even turning my foot sideways for the starting foothold kind of hurt, and I was wearing hiking shoes, and I’m just so damn out of shape. It’s gonna take a while for me to get back in shape, but desire will not be the problem. Going to the gym on a regular basis will not be a problem. Just need this ligament to heal, first.

So that was my Leavenworth outing. Full success. Saw the apartments. Could move in as early as today if I wanted to, but I’m going to think about it a little more. Since I have the boat in Seattle, I don’t feel rushed. Also, since I can’t even climb right now, I don’t feel rushed. And when I can climb I want to start in the gym first, and there’s no gym in Leavenworth. So no rush. For now it’s off to physical therapy in a little bit to see what my wonderful physical therapist has in store for me. I’m excited.

– Wetzler

After We Read The Order of Time || Chilling on the Boat

I look forward to writing these blogs. I look forward to communing with you, my friends. I also look forward to writing these blogs because it means I get to drink caffeine. Gross amounts of caffeine. Caffeine coursing through my veins. They say now that caffeine makes your brain have more grey matter than white matter. I don’t really know what this means. I think grey matter might be less flexible. Caffeine definitely makes you less creative. More focused = less creative. To be creative your mind needs to be absolutely still. At peace. Wandering. Your mind needs to wonder. Living on a boat alone is a good place for your mind to wander. You feel the boat swaying in the water. You hear the ducks outside. This morning a Canadian goose came swimming into the waters between my boat and my neighbors, honking. I think it wanted food. My neighbor with the devil child sometimes throws food to the seagulls, and the birds know this. The mergansers come. The ducks come. And maybe now the geese are coming, too.

Time to breathe. Always time to breathe after the first paragraph. Big exhale. Come on, Marko. Everything you got.

God this Hop Tea is fucking delicious.

I’m almost done with Free Food for Millionaires. Thank God. I was enchanted by this book at the beginning, but after 500 pages it’s lost some  of its luster. I’m ready to dedicate my attention in full to Desert Solitaire. Why are there so many shitty novels out there? I mean, I guess there can’t only be GOOD novels. There has to be a full gamut. Amazing novels. Mediocre novels. Shitty novels. Good novels. The kind of novel where you think, OK I COULD go on. Like, I could probably finish this, but I don’t really want to. When is someone going to write a good book about climbing? More importantly, when is someone going to write a good book about BOULDERING? Could I write that book? Could I write A book?

Hop Tea.

Woke up this morning and looked at apartments in Leavenworh. There’s a BEAUTIFUL two-bedroom for $1,800. There’s a decent looking two-bedroom for $1,300. There’s a decent looking studio (though it appears to not really have windows) for $1,000. And then of course there are all the Leavenworth Haus apartments. Aka the efficiencies that are only 283 square feet and cost almost a thousand bucks. What redeeming qualities do these apartments have??????????????????????????????????? I ask you: What redeeming qualities do these apartments have. I ask the manager, who changes the price every single fucking ad on Craigslist: What redeeming qualities do these apartments have. And finally I ask myself: When will I be able to gym climb again.

Which reminds me, I need to do my physical therapy.

I’m not looking forward to the drive to Gig Harbor today. I’m going to Gig Harbor to visit my sister. I’m not looking forward to this drive. Who would look forward to a drive down I-5. I’ve done this drive so many times. Past Burien. Past Federal Way. Past ffffff-ffffff-fffffff-ffff. Past fff–ffffff-fff-fffff-ffff. Past FFFF-FFFFFFFFFFFFF….Fife. Past Tacoma. Over the Narrows Bridge. And into Gig Harbor. Gig fucking Harbor. I mean, I’m glad they moved away from Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill is a prison, though at least it’s a prison located near SBP Poplar. WHICH REMINDS ME!!!! Dear God I need to talk about this. Yesterday I was out with Nate and Hunter and Nate showed me THERE’S A NEW CLIMBING GYM NEAR THE FRED MEYER ON 85th!!!! I repeat: A NEW CLIMBING GYM!!! AND IT LOOKS TERRIBLE!!!! IT LOOKS SO AWFUL!!!!! The walls are too short, there’s no slab, it’s ALL OVERHUNG, and the routesetters look like they randomly just screwed holds into the wall. Anyway, I was not impressed and certainly won’t consider ever climbing there. When it comes to climbing gyms in Seattle you have a couple options. You have SBP, which is far and away the best option. You have Stone Gardens or Momentum, which are probably the next best options. And finally you have Vertical World, the worst option. Why is Vertical World the worst option? Because its bouldering area is the size of my shoe. Why is SBP the best option? Please do not ask such questions.

Please spend this evening reading The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli.

After you finish The Order of Time we can read Desert Solitaire together and compare notes for the test.

After we ace the test we can out to Mr West in U-Village for a matcha latte.

After we get a matcha latte we can spend the evening bouldering at SBP. We can power spot each other.

I’m losing steam. I’m going to go to the locks and do my physical therapy. I miss you all and think about you constantly.

– Marko Rovelli