First Order of Business

Alright friends, how’s everybody doing today? Good? Great? Amazing? Good, good. I’m glad. Well, I’m not that glad. I don’t really care. But I’m kinda glad. I’m kinda glad you’re doing well but to be honest I’m more focused on myself and don’t really care about you. That’s not to say I feel DISDAIN for you, it’s just that I’m much more important in my world than you are. You don’t take up much of my mental space, whereas my plight, my welfare, are two things that take up a LOT of my mental space.

First order of business today, April 7th, two thousand and twenty-one: Alex Honnold has a podcast.

You of course already knew this, but what you maybe didn’t know is that there are already a couple of episodes out. I’m not going to link to it. Links are so 2018. Just google Climbing Gold Alex Honnold.

Good.

Second order of business. I need to crack a mate.

Third order of business: I had my interview at Seattle Bouldering Project today, and it went….OK.

From an honesty perspective? It went great.

From a, did-I-get-the-job are-we-vibing is this going to be what I dedicate my life to perspective? Not so great.

And that’s because I was honest.

The guy who interviewed me was wonderful. I instantly felt rapport with him. But when he asked me how would you stay motivated after having the same interactions with customers over and over I couldn’t be anything but honest. That was actually my whole goal for the interview: to be honest. So I said something along the lines of (excuse me while I take a sip of my mate) I don’t know how I would stay motivated in that situation. I guess I would have to see.

Terrible answer, right?

Wrong. Honest anwer.

Because in my head I’m thinking: Fuck customer service, fuck the overprotective shitty Seattle moms that have jack fuck to do all day and bring their kids into Seattle Bouldering Project and then are assholes to the employees. Fuck ’em. I don’t have time for them. So if I had to have similar interactions with them over and over? Yeah, I don’t know how I would stay motivated. I probably wouldn’t.

Fuck ’em.

Fourth order of business: Yesterday’s climbing session.

I almost sent my first ever non-stemmy blue. I sent an orange that had been plaguing me since the last session, and made progress on a couple other things that are now “projects.”

I’m hoping that the blue will go tomorrow during tomorrow afternoon’s holy shit sick crew vibes super sesh. I’m confident that it will. I would like to start projecting some blacks, too. And keep projecting oranges. And maybe try some moves that slightly challenge the confidence in my left knee. Nothing crazy heel-hooky, just some stuff that’s not straight up climbing a ladder.

Fifth order of business: There is no fifth order of business. I’m going to drink my mate and wait until I can watch the Chelsea game on Paramout Plus. And then I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of the day. Oh god, what am I going to do with the rest of today? Why are you just bringing that up now?????? I hadn’t even thought about it!!! Fuck!!!! I have no plans!!!!!

I’m not climbing, that’s for damn sure. Weather isn’t great. I could go to Bainbridge. Hmmmmmm, what am I going to do.

I’ll figure something out.

Arrivaderci,

Mark Thomas Wetzler I

Not Forcing Anymore

I have great news: I’ve decided not to force myself to blog anymore. I’m no longer a “blogger.” I’m just a guy who writes sometimes on the internet. This is wonderful, wonderful news.

And now please allow me to repeat all the wonderful news from yesterday.

Yesterday woke up and immediately surveyed the hand situation. Wrote in my journal, “Fuck my fucking right hand is fucked up,” which, looking back, is an impressive use of the word “fuck” in such a short sentence.

Oh, real quick, what does “not forcing myself to blog anymore” mean?

It means that if I don’t want to write I don’t. Like, if I don’t want to write for the next fucking month, or the next year, or ever again, I don’t. I only write when I want to. So I give up on the dream of being a “blogger” and what I really need to do is give up on the dream of being a “writer” and what I really need to do is just give up on dreams all together. OK, well, maybe not that. I like to dream. Dreaming is actually one of my favorite things to do. Dreaming connects me with my inner child.

Anyway.

Yesterday.

Yesterday I went to physical therapy at 9am. Blair, the main physical therapist, did an assessment on me as soon as I arrived. She tested my leg strength and also laxity. She said, “[The left leg] might be a little more lax, but I’m also just really sensitive to this stuff since I do it a lot.”

Then Brandon and I went to work. We added some new exercises, i.e. hopping up and down on one foot (like jump roping but without the rope), and then we did that thing where you have half a ball on the ground and you jump sideways onto it and land with one foot and kind of bounce off it and land on your other foot. I’m terrible at explaining shit. Basically when Blair did my assessment she said, “At three months the ligament is pretty much healed. So one of the biggest obstacles now is psychological.” And then, turning to her team, “We can get him jumping around and doing more lateral movement.”

More lateral movement.

I’m healing.

I felt pretty elated after physical therapy. I went to Whole Foods on 65th and got a matcha bar by Urban Remedy and also a Hop Tea. Then I went back to the boat, and then after chilling a little more I went to go walk around Interlaken but got distracted on the way by getting a coffee at Cafe Appassionato. This was mostly hopefully for digestive help. I think all the collagen I’ve been taking has made things a bit clogged up. So I had the coffee, which sort of worked, and then went to Interlaken via Montlake. In Montlake I ran stairs for awhile and then I hiked through Interlaken and then back to my car in Montlake. Drove to Chipotle in U Village. Walked up to UW to see the cherry blossoms, which were gorgeous. And then finally went back to the boat yet again.

I didn’t hang out with anyone yesterday. Well, that’s not completely true. I helped my friend H lower a table from his old balcony using rope because he couldn’t get the legs off the table to fit it through the door. But we didn’t really hang out.

Today I’m ostensibly fasting. Till 6pm. We’ll see if this actually happens. Lately I’ve been a terrible faster. I have the willpower of a golden retriever. I’m not climbing today, though I might climb on Sunday. We’ll just see how the hand is.

 

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.

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