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.

 

 

Maximum Climbing Performance

Hello, friends.

I’m watching Chelsea v. Crystal Palace.

Christian Pulisic is playing.

It’s distracting.

Today was supposed to be day two of two rest days, but now it looks like I’ll probably climb this afternoon at SBP Poplar with Bloom and Jessa. Which is great, because I already have a couple projects there. A black with a shouldery first move, an orange I couldn’t even do the first move on, another orange that starts with a technical heel hook, a black whose sloper I slipped off like a seal trying to gain purchase on a slippery rock, and then DOWNSTAIRS, assuming the NW room hasn’t been reset, two beautiful oranges and also a volumey black.

God I hope Pulisic plays well today.

I hope.

My reservation is confirmed. I will be climbing at Poplar today.

Fuck yes.

Also: Christian Pulisic just scored.

I am trembling.

So, let’s talk about diet. Lately I’ve been adhering to a diet that I think might be sustainable for me in the long term. It’s very simple: 100g of net carbs per day. In case you’ve been living under a dietary stone, net carbs are simply grams of carbohydrates after grams of fiber have been subtracted. So, for example, if a Rebbl protein drink has 19g of carbs and 7g of fiber, you have just consumed 12g of net carbs. More startlingly, since you’ve just consumed a Rebbl brand drink, you’ve probably just consumed a large amount of inluin, which will now commence ripping a hole through your stomach lining.

Awesome.

The reason 100g of net carbs per day is a sustainable diet is because 1) IT’S NOT TOO HARD. KETO IS SO FUCKING HARD I MEAN 50G NET CARBS PER DAY? WHAT ARE YOU JUST GONNA EAT ALBACORE TUNA ALL DAY? ARE YOU JUST GONNA EAT MEAT ALL DAY? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

But 100g allows for some wiggle room.

The second reason it’s sustainable is because YOU CANNOT CHEAT. I repeat: YOU CANNOT CHEAT. Well, OK, yesterday my friend Pat and I thought of one way you could sort of cheat, and that’s with artificial sweeters, things like sucralose and aspartame and things that only deranged people would put in their bodies. You can SORT OF cheat with things like stevia and monk fruit, but stevia and monk fruit are nowhere near on the level of we’re going to poison your body as aspartame and sucralose are.

But the main reason you can’t cheat is because, for example, when you’re on the “NO REFINED SUGAR” diet, you could still eat three pounds of raisins and dates, go into diabetic shock, and not even have violated the diet.

And sugar, my friends, is the thing we need to avoid.

Sugar and carbs.

I’m not saying cut them out completely! I’m not saying that at all. But 100g of net carbs forces you to be more selective with the carbs you choose to consume. Drink a pint of juice and you’ve blown half your allowance. But eat some fresh fruit and you’re still fine, provided you don’t spend the entire day eating fruit. When you count carbs you realize that things like white rice are really not ideal, even if delicious, for their lack of nutrients. You’re more likely to spend your carbs on a sweet potato than a cup of white rice, because the sweet potato will give you so many other beautiful things.

And the rice will give you nothing.

Except diabetes.

You have diabetes right now.

Chelsea are winning 3-0, and I think I deserve another cup of black tea.

We’re going climbing in five hours. Seems like a long time. God I can’t wait to get my hands on the slopers of that black. Last time I failed so hard on it. Bloom did OK on it. Neither of us got to the next hold. Oh, and there’s the black downstairs that Jessa was trying! That one was sick. Now that my leg is feeling better I might be able to stem that. God, I love stemming. Stemming is my favorite. And then there’s the orange right next to it. I love that orange. I can’t wait to send that orange.

OK, so you’re probably wondering, “Did you get the SBP job?”

Short answer: No.

Long answer: No.

Medium answer: No, but what do you expect when you basicall convey in the interview that you don’t want the job? The question is: How do I feel not getting offered the job? That is another door that has closed. And they say that when one door closes another opens, and that is completely true. I didn’t want to do customer service. I’ve decided that the next time I do customer service will be when it’s for MY company, if I ever have a company. But customer service for someone else, someone who can chide me for not being outgoing enough (like my boss Angel at Industrial Ride Shop in Scottsdale did when I worked there during my time at ASU)? Yeah, screw that. Not doing that anymore. I don’t NEED to work a customer service job, so I’m not going to if I don’t want to.

Ginger is sleeping and she looks so peaceful. We went on a long walk this morning, about three miles. She’s getting older now so coming up the stairs from Golden Gardens at the end of the walk is hard for her.

My sister is in California, that’s why I’m taking care of Ginger.

I love Ginger.

I’m about to sit down to my third cup of tea, the Chelsea game is at half time, Christian Pulisic has scored, commercials are playing in the background, Ginger is sleeping, my tea is steeping, I’m wondering what I should eat today for maximum climbing performance, though I kind of know deep down that maximum climbing performance is going to be difficult, since I still feel kind of pumped from that last session. I was going to wait until tomorrow, but I’d rather climb today with friends than wait until tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go on a hike. Maybe. Ginger would love to go on a hike. But if we go out by Gold Bar we have to battle the traffic coming back, and I’m not thrilled about that. I guess we could stop by Starbucks and get a coffee on the way back, that’s always fun.

My computer is running low on battery and my charger is back on the boat. It’s a wonderful day to be alive. I’m so glad I’m going climbing this afternoon and have that to look forward to. I really feel like I could climb outside somewhat soon. At least lowballs.

And also the cherry trees outside right now are gorgeous.

 

 

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

Drinking Mate with Mate

Jesus. OK. Let’s drink some mate while listening to a video by Gabor Mate:

“Our attachment needs are enormous.”

“So attachment is a human need.”

“That’s just a basic human need.”

“But we have another need….”

It’s 11:15am Pacific Daylight Time and I’ve had 13g of net carbs. One matcha bar, one Yerbana Sparkling yerba mate, and two eggs. Yesterday I had exactly 100g of net carbs. I ended the evening with a pint of rasberries doused in heavy whipping cream. PRIMO HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM, MIND YOU. This shit was from PCC. It cost a shit ton. It was made by pasture-raised cows who have lived lives approximately 70 times better than yours. Happy cows. Cows who are jubilant to part with their cream, who say, “Take, then, human, and drink! Drink and thrive!”

So much fucking conjugated linoleic acid.

Also I had a burrito bowl from Chipotle yesterday. Cauliflower rice, veggies, guac, sour cream and cheese, and two kinds of salsa. A fucking watery mess. But pretty good. And only like 19g of net carbs. Chipotle is basically the only fast food place where you can eat a healthy low-carb meal, and I’M NOT JUST SAYING THIS BECAUSE I’M A FORMER SHAREHOLDER. OH NO. I’M SAYING THIS BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.

And I only speak the truth.

Excuse me while I watch the rest of yesteryear’s Badwater Bouldering video:

Alpha linolenic acid.

Champions League starts in 30 minutes.

I wish I had more mate.

I have to pee so bad but I don’t want to leave the boat because I’m not exactly sure when my next pump out is and I don’t want the waste tank to fill up cuz I don’t want to have to pee into a bottle.

Okkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

a;sdkfj;adslkfjadlk;sjfdla;jdalk;adjfdl;skfjdslk;fdjsf;lkdjdl;kfajsflk;dsjfal;dksj

a;sldkjf;ladksjf;dlksjfdlsfjdsa;lkfjds;lfjda;lkfjd;lkfjadlk;fjdkl;fdaj;fjdsa;klfdsjkl;fadsj;ldkfjdas;lfk

Pheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew.

Breathe out.

I’m going climbing today at SBP. Not sure when. Maybe this afternoon with my friend Anya, or maybe sooner by myself. Honestly I’d kind of like to just go sooner by myself. But. It would also be rad to crush with a friend. It’s just that I don’t like it when it’s crowded in the evening. Kinda lame. Like, I don’t like being around a bunch of people. Like, I hate people. Like, I hate myself.

JK.

Goals for today: Send the orange upstairs that has the barn door. Maybe try the black right next to it. Maybe try the blue in the corner. Maybe try the black downstairs. Maybe try the orange downstairs. Mabye just not climb at all and get a smoothie. Keep the carbs under 100g for net carbs. Don’t EAT ANY GRAINS YOU PIECE OF SHIT! NO GRAINS! No sweets. Get your body hard. Do some pushups. Gotta do those antagonist exercises. I just want to crush. I just want to be able to crush Water V6. Then go to your job interview tomorrow. Job interview. Fuck. I don’t want a job. Do I want a job? I mean, getting unemployment is pretty bomb….

Plus I just got my stimulus check yesterday…..

Plus……………..

 

 

Failing on Oranges || An SBP Retrospective

Yesterday went to SBP and had a semi-terrible session. Failed on a bunch of oranges. Did the thing where you pull off the ground and even getting to the next hold seems COMPLETELY impossible. I guess the only saving grace from the session was I DID have fun (climbing with Bloom and Jessa is always fun), I DID send two new oranges, and I did sort of make progress on a couple blacks. And also some of the oranges I didn’t send.

So why was I so frustrated??????????????????????

Why did I get back to my boat and angrily inject peptides into my knee and just sit around cursing for a bit?

Why did I get back to my boat and NOT EVEN WANT TO WATCH BOULDERING VIDEOS?

I mean, I of course DID watch bouldering videos when I got back. And I also listened to a podcast with Sean Bailey, and I was going to say TREMENDOUS podcast with Sean Bailey but in truth it wasn’t that good, I wanted to hear them talk about bouldering, and JUST when they were going to talk about cool shit, i.e. Sean recently starting to boulder with the gods — I mean Jimmy Webb and Daniel Woods — the interviewer (Chris Klalous) brought the conversation back to COMP CLIMBING. Jesus. I don’t want to hear about comp climbing. I want to hear about tasty granodiorite jewels.

But ANYWAY, the reason I was so frustrated (I think) was because I didn’t see insane progression during yesterday’s session, and ALSO because I climbed really bad. Like normally I suss out boulders pretty well before getting on them, and I send ones where I look at it and I’m like, “Oh, OK, I think I know how you climb that.” But yesterday I was getting on blocs where I was like, “I have no idea what the sequence is here but I’m just gonna get on it anyway.”

Talk about a recipe for failure.

Talk about a recipe for frustration.

Talk about a recipe for Waldorf salad.

But the thing was I COULDN’T STOP MYSELF. Like, I knew, in the moment, that what I was doing was really counterproductive and I was just gonna piss myself off, and yet I did it anyway. And I think that’s OK, sometimes. I think yesterday I just kinda needed to rage. So I raged. I got pissed off. And now things are (I hope????????) more or less ok.

Slash I’m spiraling.

Slash I’m actually ok.

Slash I’m gonna go to REI right now and get the Lone Peak 5’s, an actual trail running shoe. I mean, not that I trail run. But you get the drift. My PT told me that if I come in wearing my Helly Hansen Chukkas again she would chain me to the elliptical. Also I only have one pair of shoes right now, which is suspiciously close to zero.

The real question here is………………………………………………………………………….

Do I stop by Whole Foods on the way?

And: Do I send my resume to SBP?

And: Do I drop in on an apartment in Leavenworth?

Or: Do I just keep talking about it?

And of course the REAL question is: Should I just say fuck it and climb today???

Or should I drive out to Index and look at some of the blocs there. And maybe bask in the sun by the Skykomish River.

Slash it’s snowing in Index today.

Slash it probably won’t actually snow.

Slash I’m wearing a knee sleeve.

Slash I really need to go to REI and get these shoes.

Slash 20% off.

When I really look at yesterday’s gym session I HAVE TO TAKE A COUPLE POSITIVES FROM IT.

And those positives are these:

1) I sent two new oranges.

2) I realized I can’t get on a boulder if I don’t look at it and think, “I could probably do that. Or I at least have an idea of how to do that.”

3) I didn’t injure my right middle finger.

4) I climbed slab.

5) I had a great time chilling with the homies.

Slash.

OK. Time to leave the boat now. For real.

Have a wonderful day, all of you.

– Wetzler