No Rest Days for the Weary || Road to V-Tranquility

I have settled into a routine of bouldering every other day, and my body is deteriorating because of it. Detoriating or preparing to get really freaking strong. This is what happened last year: I started bouldering almost every day when my body just could just baaaaarely handle it.

I’d be at work and say to my coworker Bea, “I think I’m gonna climb today.”

“Didn’t you climb yesterday?”

“Maybe.”

“How’s your body holding up?”

“It’s hanging in there. Barely.”

And then I took a rest for a few days or a week or maybe the pandemic hit and suddenly I felt so good, so strong.

These are the things I need to keep in mind on a day like today, when I go to the gym and don’t send my project and if anything feel like I’m making negative progress. Because even when you’re not feeling strong you can still work on technique. In fact, when you’re not feeling strong may be the BEST time to work on technique, cuz that’s when you need it most.

Still kinda wish I’d sent that blue today, though.

Hurting my hip flexor has made it abundantly clear that my well-being needs to be the primary focus. Screw being able to climb, I just want to feel healthy, limber, strong. If I feel these things, then obviously I’m going to be able to boulder. I’ll be able to do a host of other things, too: play soccer, run, skydive. I would so much rather be healthy and boulder less than boulder all the time and have my body be destroyed. But this is a realization that has taken precisely that — destroying my body — to come to. My knee, my hip, my fingers, my elbow, my shoulder. The moral of the story is: Bouldering is hard on your body. It’s harder on your body than sport climbing. Why do you think the natural progression is to go from bouldering to sport climbing, and not the other way around? It’s because sport climbing you’re doing less intense stuff, just a lot more of it. If you can climb a V3 boulder over and over and over, you’ll be a killer sport climber. You might be the best at the crag on a given day. If you can climb V7 over and over and over, you’re going to be world class. Or at least national class. Or at least county class. Or at least city class. Or at least neighborhood class. Or at least street class. Or at least household class.

I’m tired. I was riding a high from mate about an hour ago but now I’ve come off it. I’m basically waiting to have dinner with friends. Not really sure what to do. It’s cloudy and cold outside. I could take a nap. I could clean my boat, but it’s already pretty damn clean. I could work on my writing project, but I’m taking the day off. I could apply for jobs, but I’m not ready for that, yet.

Maybe I’ll just do nothing.

 

 

Weaker, Stronger and Weaker Again | Road to V4

The scent at Ketron V4, Happy Boulders, Bishop.

The middle joint on my right middle finger is wrecked. My left shoulder is semi-wrecked. I feel weak. I couldn’t send Summer Solstice V3 yesterday despite (sort of) cruising it four days ago.

My body needs a rest.

And yet, I was climbing almost every day on the road trip. How did my body deal with that?

Well, I wasn’t pushing myself too hard. I attempted ONE (1) V4 in Bishop, nothing harder than a V2 in J-Tree, ONE (1) V3 in Red Rocks, and ONE (1 [1.00]) V4/5 (see: Hyperglide on the Monkey Bars Boulder). Oh, and The Pearl V5, though I didn’t really go for broke on that one.

Contrast that with the last few days: Attempted one V3 four days ago (Summer Solstice), went for broke on a V4 in Leavenworth (Toto. Almost sent it. Got to the lip. Got to the lip and didn’t send. Dear God) two days ago. Then went for broke on a V3 yesterday (Regatta de Blanc traverse variation, which I sent for the first time), again for broke on Midnight Lichen V4, and then AGAIN for broke on Summer Solstice at the end of that session despite already feeling discomfort in my shoulder and middle finger.

So I need a rest.

Today, rest day one:

Fingers feel slightly swollen after walk to Whole Foods and back. Right middle finger feels especially tender. Shoulder doesn’t feel THAT bad, which heartens me greatly. Doesn’t feel as bad as it did a couple months ago after climbing, when even things like reaching up to open and close the hatch on my boat felt like a bit of a nuisance. So THAT’S great.

Tomorrow: rest day two.

Monday: light training on the finger board (see: roof) of my boat. Aka body tension training. Aka basically grabbing onto the lip of the hatch of my boat and then walking my feet up and down the bottom of the mast (the wood covered part that extends through the cabin into the keel below) while focusing on quiet feet and straight arms.

Tuesday: rest day number four

Wednesday: Climb again, weather permitting.

That’s the plan for now. Even though not being able to send Summer Solstice V3 again yesterday was discouraging, I was super stoked on sending the V3 variation of Regatta de Blanc for the first time (I’d tried it several times in the past), and also stoked to make a little progress on the first move of Midnight Lichen V4, which continues to plague me. That hand bump. But I think once you get that hand bump the left hand to the lip move is easier, and from there I have confidence I’d be able to top it out. So many V4’s that are so close to going! Midnight Lichen, Serenity Now, Toto, and even Cabin Stabbin’. One of them will go soon as long as I take care of my body. Which means today I’m going to have a salad, and not have any gluten (just to try it out), and I’m going to rest the shit out of my body. And try to sleep well. And watch the Chelsea game. And read a book about healing your inner child which makes me profoundly depressed. But it’s like also kind of a dope book.

Party.

– Wetz?