Results Back From the MRI || R2V6

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, waking up on the boat. Putting the kettle on for the first cup of tea in…almost a week??????????

That’s right, I’ve been off caffeine completely for almost a week, and I’m about to have a cup of black tea. Why, you ask? Why would I go back to caffeine when my life is so great off it? Well, I love tea. And also: I have like six tea bags that are going to get stale if I just leave them sitting in the box on my boat. Also: I love caffeine. Also: I love tea. Also: it’s raining.

I’m actually PAYING ATTENTION to the steep time this morning, something I never do. It’s 8:04am, which means the tea has another minute. And the funny part is everything I’m typing right now you probably won’t even read, because I’ve discovered it takes me a little bit to get into the “writing mode,” and the stuff I write at the beginning is usually me getting into the mode and usually gets axed. But who knows, maybe this’ll make the cut.

Let’s talk about CLIMBING, since that’s ostensibly what this series (Road to V6) is about. Or actually let’s not talk about climbing quite yet. Let’s talk about my day. It’s currently raining as I type these words sitting on the boat. It’s supposed to rain most of today and then ease off sometime in the evening, and tomorrow’s supposed to be nice. Thank god. Tomorrow is even supposed to be somewhat dry in Gold Bar, and I thought about going to the Camp Serene boulder to finally hopefully put down Serenity Now V4+, but if I climb today that won’t happen. Because I’m thinking of doing a gym session today. I’m thinking about it. Only if my friend Jessa can climb, and if not, well, actually I’ll still probably go.

Ok I’m gonna grab the cup of tea and take my first sip of caffeine in almost a week.

Stand by.

I’m a little worried the tannins are going to make me nauseous. Maybe I should get something in my stomach.

Chia seeds?

Two raw, shiitake mushrooms, that’s what I’ve settled on.

OK, here goes.

Oh man, the first sip was anticlimactic. I still had some shiitake residue in my mouth and that interfered with the taste of the tea. Plus I have lemon in the tea and that interferes with the taste, too. Basically, it all got messed up. I was expecting that to be much more satisfying.

Dang it.

We’ll have to talk about something else.

OK, that sip was better.

Ah! Yes! I remember what this blog was supposed to be about in the first place. It’s supposed to be about the MRI I had the other day, and how the results supposedly came back “normal.” In case I didn’t mention it I had an MRI of my low back the other day, and was waiting to hear back about the results. When I found out yesterday they were “normal” I was a bit confused, mostly because I’d like to go over the results and look at the images with someone who knows what they’re talking about rather than just get a seemingly auto-generated message in my MyChart. But also, what if the MRI results ARE normal? What does that mean? Well, it could mean that the back pain I’ve been “having” is actually all in my head.

One theory I have this:

I damage a disk (or something) back in September of 2021. 

I experience the symptoms of that acute injury until a surf trip in November, by the end of which the symptoms are basically gone. 

I come back to WA and start climbing again, and the symptoms “come back.”

Except they don’t come back, because the bulging disc is actually better, but my body has LEARNED pain patterns and associates pain with climbing and falling in bouldering and assumes that these things should still hurt. 

It becomes a completely psychosomatic ailment. 

Terrible theory?

Possibly. But that’s currently my best theory so far.

Runner up theories: 1) There’s a hairline fracture that would take a specialist to detect and not just my primary care doctor who may be the only person who’s seen the results. 2) There’s another more obscure problem (like something wrong with a facet joint) that requires a specialist to detect. 3) I don’t actually have a spine.

This last theory is in beta testing, and will tested today in the form of a pink with an undercling start at SEATTLE BOULDERING PROJECT and also maybe this one blue where you can break the beta and dyno. If I don’t send either of these boulders or at least make crazy good progress, we might have to assume number three is true.

Though of course spineless doesn’t refer to physical prowess but rather to moral character, and in the department of the latter I consider myself adequate.

Anyway.

Did you see this video of Yves Gravelle?

No, you didn’t, you sinner.

Canadian French is so often maligned, and it’s so awesome. Screw “Metropolitan” French. I’ll take Quebecois French any day of the month.

He also has almost no accent in English, which makes it so much radder that they did that video in French.

Time for a spring bouldering trip to Les Laurentides?

Mais la la.

Fait que…

OK, it’s looking like I’m going to gym climb today. And maybe work out a bit. Why the hell not.

And maybe I’ll actually post this blog post, even though I talk about very little. And then in a couple hours come back and edit the shit out of it. Or take it down.

Party.

– Wetz

 

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.

 

 

Driving South || Gym Sessions at Seattle Bouldering Project

I didn’t blog yesterday and kind of feel bad because of it.

But I also kind of needed a day off.

What happened was I got back super late from a friend’s house and didn’t want to write a blog that I didn’t put my heart and soul into, and so decided it would be better just to not write one at all.

Please excuse me while I make some tea.

I’m going climbing at SBP today, one of my favorite places on planet earth. I’m going to SBP Poplar with a couple friends, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. We’re climbing upstairs, which I haven’t done since I got injured. Upstairs is cool because it A)  Is fucking massive, B) always has cool problems, and C) (and this is the bet part) Has two boulder islands where you can top out. One thing you don’t realize if you haven’t climbed outside that much is that climbing outside involves A) a lot of sit starts, and B) a lot of topping out. Granted, there ARE problems outside where you don’t top out. But it’s kind of lame. The only two I can think of in Washington are Schist Cave (well, I guess there are a couple problems in the cave) and Summer Solstice V3. I’m sure there are others, I just don’t know about them yet. Oh! I guess people don’t usually top out Footless Traverse (V5? V6?) either. But I haven’t gotten to that one yet.

Bottom line, I’m really, really, really stoked to climb later this evening. Aka shortly.

Last time I climbed at SBP was one of my best sessions back from injury. I sent my first post-injury black and also sent an orange that I really didn’t think I was going to send that involved getting the body kind of horizontal and also having to do a controlled cut loose swing over to some footholds. Such a fun problem, and I felt like I was going to fall off most of the time. Today the goals are: Do at least one new orange, maybe do one new black, and link a couple moves on a blue. So, not crazy goals. Totally doable. I like to keep my goals fairly doable so I set myself up for success. I don’t buy that theory that’s like, SET CRAZY GOALS YOU’RE NEVER GONNA ACHIEVE CUZ THEN EVEN IF YOU GET KINDA CLOSE YOU’LL BE ACCOMPLISHING SO MUCH. Uh, no. That sounds like a terrible approach. How about set a goal you KNOW you can do, or at least you’re pretty sure you can do, and then go out there and do it and feel wonderful about yourself, instead of setting a goal you know you’re going to fail at.

Anyway.

Still gotta make that tea.

In case you’re wondering what tea I’m drinking it’s a heaping scoop of Organic Brain Booster by Amazing Grass mixed with one scoop of Vital Proteins Marine Collagen. I’m doing a vegetarian thing right now where I only eat eggs and seafood. No red meat, no poultry. I find myself getting tofu quite a bit these days, which I never would’ve done in the past. I’ve generally scorned tofu, and now I find myself eating it. My how the tables have swiveled.

Get to SBP, 4.5 minutes on the bike, do some hanging, stretch out the shoulder with one of the bars, and then climb a BUNCH of easy stuff. Like, yellows and reds, upclimbing, downclimbing, sideclimbing. Climb some greens. Then start sussing out some purples. OK, now we’re having a little fun…..Then maybe take a sideways glance at some oranges and some blacks. Maybe even check out a blue when it’s not looking. Better yet, find someone sending a blue and steal their beta. Assuming it’s good beta. One thing that just watching a lot of climbing during my two months of no climbing helped me with was reading problems better. I’ve never been THAT GOOD at reading problems, but climbing outdoors helps a ton and I think watching videos of pros helps quite a bit, too. At least that’s my theory. Or maybe since I’m still kind of injured I just think WAY more critically about a problem before getting on it, because I want to minimize all chances of falling. Either way, it’s something I should’ve done for a long time.

Anyway, it’s about time to start driving south. And finish my tea. And start driving south. And start warming up. And finish my tea. And start driving south. And start driving south.

– Wetz

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve literally been sitting in the same position for over an hour now, listening to a podcast featuring John Sherman, the inventor of the V-scale and one of the fathers of bouldering. I really want to go to Whole Foods and get an ice cream sandwich, but I climbed today and I pushed it pretty hard so I’m afraid that eating a bunch of sugar right before bed will make me significantly more swollen tomorrow. What I should probably do is just inject BPC-157, maybe take a shower, and then do all the boring shit I do before bed and eventually go to bed. Or not inject BCP-157. Doesn’t really matter.

I CLIMBED TODAY AND IT WAS FUCKING GREAT.

God.

I love climbing.

I made progress on an orange I’d tried the other day (bump the right hand out to a crimpy gaston), started a new orange and made quite a bit of progress on that (need to rock over more onto that right foot Mark what is wrong with you!!!!!!!!!), and started projecting a new black that should go next session or at the ABSOLUTE FUCKING LATEST in the next couple sessions indivisible with liberty and justice.

I sigh and lean back on the bench seat I’m sitting on. The heater is whirring below me and to my right. I think I want tobacco right now. But I’m not going to buy tobacco. Well, nicotine is what I really want. But I’m not going to buy tobacco and I’m not going to buy nicotine.

AJSDKFJADSKFKDLSFKDALSFKDALSFKDASLFKADSLFJDAKSFJDKSAAJFKDSFJDAKSFASDJFAKDSFJADKS

‘asl;kdjfdk;aljfad

alsdkjfl;adsjflkadjfdalsk;fj

Left hand up to the crimp, right foot up to the bad foothold, launch up to the decent jug.

I’m going to type with my eyes close now to see if I can really feel the rhythm of writing and get into it. Swaying back and forth. The creaking of y boat. The sound of the heater. The blackness of my eyelids.

These are the nights when I want some kind of substance. Alcohol, CBD, nicotine, anything. I just want my reality to be different.

Maybe I should snort marine collagen.

Or maybe I should just go to PCC. Get some treats. Why not? Why not go to PCC and get some nice green juice, maybe some kind of bar, a Clif Bar, maybe some kind of other bar like a Go Macro bar or a kind bar, or maybe go to an actual bar, sidle up to the bar, order a whisky neat, or a whiskey sour, some kind of highball.

I could go walk through Discovery Park right now.

This is what happens when I don’t have a good book to read.

Maybe if I feel OK I should just climb tomorrow.

I have some tea with valerian root. As far as substances go, that might have to do.

I feel like smoking weed or drinking when you’re bored is just so basic.

But existential angst is pretty basic, too.

ok enough of this. tomorrow is monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

hope all of you are having a wonderful evening.

i promise tomorrow’s post will be worse.

 

Day Two in Mazatlan | The Long-Ass Road Trip

The view from the Park Inn.

Man, that was a trip. I went all the way to the Zona Dorada to go to Starbucks to get some kind of chai tea or green tea or some other kind of tea you can drink when you’re fasting, and I didn’t make. I mean I kind of made it. I made it to the Zona Dorada. I just went to a completely different cafe, where I got some kind of pear sencha variety that is mildly disgusting. But then again, when all you want is a swordfish fillet, buttered and cooked with garlic, and a whole lobster (possibly even live), along with some sauteed vegetables, no tea is ever going to satisfy you.

And this pear sencha is no different.

I’m coming up on 42 hours of fasting. The longest I’ve ever done is 44, but that was kinda weird cuz I “cheated” by drinking coffee. The thing about drinking coffee is that it can get you out of a fasted state by raising insulin levels, and also it just makes you feel worse after. If you’re in the market for a 24 or 48 or 72 hours fast, I don’t recommend drinking coffee. Drink water. Possibly mineral water. And maybe drink tea. Maybe. Probably not black tea, though, cuz the tannins will wreck your stomach. Maybe green tea. Definitely herbal tea.

Why didn’t I sleep more last night.

I’m going to watch like 12 episodes of Alone today.

Slash jump in pool.

I’ve pretty much subsisted off Topo chico con limon for the past 42 hours.

That’s the plan, if I make it: fast till tomorrow evening and break the fast with the previously mentioned meal. If I DON’T make it till tomorrow, still break the fast with the aforementioned meal. And then the next day probably have no carbohydrates. Stay in ketosis for as long as possible. Stay in ketosis till I die. Smother myself with avocado and ghee. Swim in ocean. Eat carnitas with no tortilla. More avocado. Swordfish fillet. Ghee.

This morning was a productive morning in the soul-searching arena. The following things came up:

  1. Why do I think that changing my externals will make me happier? Substituting boat for apartment or house? Seattle for another city? Chipotle chicken burrito for steak?
  2. Why can’t I approach the soul searching from a place of calm, curiosity and creativity as apposed to: You’re a washed-up 37 year old, you’re worthless, all you do is run and run and run and run?
  3. How can I learn not to want to excise the parts of me that think I’m worthless, that think my life is just passing me by and I’m not doing anything, that think I’ve wasted the last 10 years of my life?

God, all I can think about is this one pizza I had in San Remo, Italy right now. And this other pizza I had in La Spezia. And this other pizza I had in Fiumicino. Even the pizza I had a week ago in Lone Pine from Pizza Factory! We toss ’em they’re fucking awesome! A medium black-olive pizza, no meat, possibly because earlier that day I’d been communing with the gods at the Grandpa Peabody boulder, channeling my inner Kevin Jorgeson, my Jimmy Webb, my Daniel Woods, my Nina Williams. Am I allowed to eat if I go fishing right now and catch my own fish?

I am definitely in ketosis right now. Autophagy might be taking place. Inflammation is down.

Let me tell you a quick story: This morning I was getting ready for my morning swim, looking out at the ocean, stretching, wrapping all my stuff in a towel so you couldn’t see my wallet and my mask wouldn’t float away. I went down the stairs to the beach and waved to a hotel employee at the next hotel over who was standing on the breakwater. He waved me over. I could see some little black shapes on the beach. They were turtles, baby turtles. And they were dying.

“Throw ’em in the water!” he said. “Way out there!”

I grabbed the first baby turtle, sticking my hands way underneath it so I could lift it up on the sand it was resting on and not have to touch it. It was waving its little flippers. And then I waded out into the water and tried to toss it over the breaking waves. One of the little turtles was missing a flipper. One of them, after it was in the water, just floated with its head down. For all I know none of the baby turtles made it. I’m assuming their brothers and sisters hatched last night and most made it into the water under the almost full moon. Many were then probably devoured by predators. Most will probably die before they make it to adulthood. And then this morning came these little guys, who obviously missed the memo about needing to leave last night. And even though they probably all died, I like to think that one of them, just one of them, made it. And in 15 or 20 years it will lift it’s head out of the water and smile, and be happy to be alive.

Aka the only thing I can think of right now is a buttered swordfish fillet.

– Wetzler