Tiny Tim and the Pleasure of Godman Creek || R2V6 #3

I was going to cut my hair, but then the bathroom was occupied so I thought I’d write this post. And then I was going to write this post, but I got occupied checking flights to Quebec City from Vancouver (nonstop, obviously) for a week in July. I could fly nonstop from Vancouver to Quebec city for $463 roundtrip. Not bad. Really good, actually. I haven’t been to Quebec in a long time, at least five years or so. And yet I listen to Quebecois radio all the time living near Vancouver. And I once did an immersion program in Quebec, so for a brief period of time in the summer of 2010 or 2011 my Quebecois French was pretty damn good.

La, la.

Fait que….

(one person in a thousand will get the previous two lines and I’ll love them forever because of it).

I’m on the boat right now, heading back to Blaine tomorrow and then up to Vancouver on Saturday to take care of my friend’s cat for a week. It’s a pretty good deal, though at times I think her cat is the spawn of Lucifer. But other than that, it’s a sweet apartment in Vancouver, close to climbing, and it’s like a vacation from my life that’s already a vacation. Plus, when her cat is not acting like the spawn of Satan, she’s pretty sweet. Her name is Penny. She’s overweight. She takes an inhaler.

The point of this post is to write about my sesh at GODMAN CREEK the other day, but we’ll get to that. First I want to talk about my latest experiments with OMAD (one meal a day), or the “Warrior Diet,” or whatever you want to call it. For the past four days or so I’ve basically done an extreme form of intermittent fasting. I (mostly) fast 20 hours a day, and then I allow myself a four hour eating window. I say “mostly” because it’s not a true fast. It’s a dirty fast. I allow myself to have cream in my coffee or tea, I allow myself to have drinks like Spindrift (five calories per can), and I allow myself to have collagen/protein before and after climbing on the days that I’m climbing. But the calories I consume during the 20 hour fast are pretty negligible.

If my climbing sessions during this intermittent fasting experiment are anything to go by, it’s having exceptional results. At GODMAN CREEK I climbed the hardest I had in a long time. Most of my efforts were spent on a V3 called Tiny Tim. The top of Tiny Tim is easy; it’s the first couple moves that are tricky, especially the sit start. After getting the top wired and trying the sit start a bunch there was a distinct moment in the session where I thought, Oh, man, normally this is where I give up.

Why would I give up? Because I wouldn’t want to push my body too far. I wouldn’t want to get injured. And that feeling has come up repeatedly over the past six months whenever I’ve tried to climb hard, which means I basically haven’t sent anything in the past six months. But something different happened at GODMAN CREEK. After thinking, OK, this is where I give up, I sat down, took a breather, and realized my body actually felt pretty good. I realized I had it in me to keep toying around with the start, and by working the problem from above I came upon on a new placement for my right foot (pistol squatted on a good leg right under me), and that changed everything. I was not only able to pull onto the boulder, I was able to move from the initial position. And within a few goes, I sent the boulder (and got it on film but then lost the footage when I erased my iPhone to give it to my mom).

There was something very significant about this send. It wasn’t so much the grade (though I hadn’t sent V3 in a while); it was about how hard I was able to try. It was also implementing new projecting techniques which allowed me to figure out ideal beta much more effectively than in the past. Sending this boulder was a triumph on so many fronts, and a reminder that good diet is key to climbing hard when you’re in your late 30’s. Basically, after sending Tiny Tim and a couple other fun boulders (see: Tic Tac Toe V1), I was elated, and felt as good as I had climbing in a long time. I spent the rest of the afternoon in a kind of post-good-session bliss, that is, until I ran into traffic in the Langley/Aldergrove area and kind of wanted to die (why is Vancouver traffic so bad ALL THE TIME??? slash the city has multiple millions of people and a road system designed for 1500 inhabitants max).

Today I’ve (sort of) broken with the OMAD thing. I’m still only allowing myself a four hour eating window, but I took one of those hours from 12:15pm-1:15pm. Aka I had lunch. But it’s still better than my regular eating schedule, because normally I just eat all day to fill the gaping voids in my soul, and this way I don’t.

Anyway.

GODMAN CREEK.

Great Vancouver bouldering is so far awesome. Squamish is awesome. BC bouldering (and just in general) is awesome.

Slash, I need to marry a Canadian girl.

Slash Tim Horton’s.

Slash “They’re always specifying whether they’re paying with Mastercard or Visa.”

– Wetz

Vancouver, How I Love Thee (#7)

Oh, Vancouver, how I love thee. Let me count the ways…

  1. They call you the City of Glass. With your hyper-modern, mostly-glass apartment buildings, I understand why.
  2. You feel like Seattle, but something’s just a little bit different. Is it the plastic money? The location just a bit further north? The beautiful accent where “been” is pronounced like “bean” and every statement ends with, “Hey?”
The view from the Granville Bridge.

3. You have so much water, so many beaches. English Bay, Jericho, Kits, the Spanish Banks, False Creek, Lynn Canyon, Horseshoe Bay, and all the water surrounding Stanley Park. I need water around me at all times, and you provide it.

4. You have plastic money. In a world where every civilized nation is turning to plastic money because it lasts longer, doesn’t tear, and you can get it wet, you haven’t been left behind. Meanwhile in the States we cling to the very traditions that will be our downfall.

False Creek.

5. The proximity to unfettered nature. Drive a half hour and you’re on the Sea to Sky Highway, mountains looming in the distance, a fjord at your feet. What is that little town with the massive rock face watching over it, the world-class kiteboarding? Oh, right, it’s Squamish, and it’s delightful.

6. The wonderful cafes and restaurants. Mingle with hipsters over a turmeric latte at the Federal Store, or pop into the one and only Rick McCrank’s very own skate shop, Anti-social.

7. People in Seattle are pretty damn chill, pretty damn polite, but Vancouver takes it one step further. Please, bump into me so I can tell you I’m sorry. Please, go in front of me in line. Please, have my last beer and marry my sister.

8. Your green areas. Stanley Park is a world unto itself. And then there’s Queen Elizabeth Park, the Spanish Banks, UBC, and all the spaces in between.

9. No better place in summer. When it’s 60 degrees outside (18° Celsius?) the clothes start flying off. Again, like Seattle, but again, just a little bit better.

10. The quality of life. Everyone seems happy in Vancouver. I’m happy when I’m in Vancouver. Hopefully, I’ll live here one day. But even then I’ll keep counting the ways…

-W

24 Hours in Vancouver (#6)

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Vancouver isn’t a real city, and BC isn’t a real “province,” and what are provinces anyway? And you’re probably also thinking: Canada isn’t a real country but if it were I’d want to do spring break in Churchill, Manitoba with the sled dogs, and do they really speak French in Quebec? Also, I heard someone talking about this place called “The Maritimes” once. What is that? There’s a province called “New Brunswick?” You’re shitting me…

Yeah, we’re a little ignorant down here in the south, and by the south I mean The United States of America, and by The United States of America I mean the land of the free, home of the brave, etc etc. I make a point of knowing a little about our neighbors to the north, though. I spent three months here on a reconnaissance mission in 2007, gathering intelligence while posing as an illegal deli worker in Victoria. Am I saying I’m a spy? Obviously not. You don’t have to be a spy to gather intelligence.

But ANYWAY, Vancouver. I got here yesterday morning and went straight to Fantasy Cuts, my favorite hairdresser in the land, on Broadway and Fraser. Fantasy Cuts is run by a troupe of Filipino women, one of whom is apparently in her 80’s, and offers damn cheap cuts at $15. Canadian. I don’t know how much that is in USD, but I know it’s less. I also know that with the beard trim my cut came to $22 cold cash, and then $30 after I tipped a few shekels ‘cuz I’m careless with currency.

Oh, Canada.

Our home and native land.

True patriot love?

(I don’t know how it goes).

We stand on guard…for…THEE!

God keep our land, glorious and free…

After Fantasy Cuts I went to Whole Foods and got a smoothie, and then to my friend Jeff’s house who works as a web designer and who was chilling on his computer while the girl he’s dating did drawings on the couch. I’d just heard the song “November” by Max Richter in the car and implored Jeff to play it at moderate to high volume. Max Richter plays quote unquote contemporary classical music, which I thought I hated but it turns out I might love. I probably listened to “November” seven times yesterday, depending on the strength of the Yuan. Then we drank coffee and watched as a girl across the alley engaged in some sort of modelling photo shoot, gyrating and posing in front of the camera. And then I left Jeff’s house and went to the library.

At the library the two dudes next to me talked of stabbing and murders.

Which was not, to say the very least, ideal.

But what does one do with 24 hours in a city? How does one maximize one’s time? Does one spend time galavanting, or rather reflecting?

I struck a healthy balance and took a nap (while listening to Max Richter, of course).

In the evening I dined with my friend Jenny and Jeff and Jenny’s cousin. They drank wine and then Bailey’s and then we smoked a cigarette on the balcony. It was raining outside, that kind of Vancouver rain that is a mix between a mist and silence but still soaks you to the marrow in about five minutes.

As I lay on the floor, preparing myself for sleep, I reflected on the day and what I would do the next day. Had it been a good day? Had I lived well?

But of course! All is well that ends well. And how can any day be bad that’s spent among friends, drinking mate, getting semi-precious dirt-cheap haircuts?

-W