A quick update on my condition, for those of you who don’t know my appendix ruptured about 10 days ago, I was in the hospital for three days after my surgery and now it’s been a full week of “home” recovery. No need to go into details here, but there were definitely some complications during surgery which will take much longer to recover from than normal, doctors are now saying about 4-6 weeks.  That’s quite a painful thing to hear.  There was some internal bleeding and hemorrhaging after the OR which totally sucks and now I think there may be a minor infection around the staples as well.  It’s a bummer to be sidelined like this, I’m not going to lie, when you can’t do the things you love, when it hurts to laugh, it sucks, I want to be climbing, I had to cancel two weeks of filming and now we may not get the footage at all this year.  I want to scream.  I was hoping to climb with Yuji and gain some insight and inspiration from him, show him some of my new line ideas, I was hoping to finally put some of my projects to rest and turn the page and move forward, but this is life and I need to embrace the changes that come with each passing season.  But with that being said, I am far from feeling thrilled about my current situation, in fact, I think I’m being extra hard on myself because I chose not to travel this summer when the weather was so hot here, I chose to stay and wait it out, work and train my ass off for the fall season and now this, so now I’m going nearly three months without climbing anything significant (for me) and I start to get a little hard on myself when I’m not achieving any of my goals, no matter how big or how small, goals are what keep me moving forward, goals are what keep me completely psyched, when I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, I get confused and I get frustrated.  I like trying hard, I like raising the bar a wee bit higher each year, I love climbing over rocks, and I’m just not my true self when I’m not doing those things.  I’m a different person, a less than truly satisfied person.  I don’t know why exactly, climbing is like a curse, it’s the greatest thing in the world when you have it, but when it’s taken away – the wost comes out of me.  I want to be climbing, I want to be flying, I want to be free.  I think this is the lowest point of the whole messy thing, the actual pain isn’t nearly as bad as the pain of obstruction.  And I realize this isn’t really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, what with all the deaths in climbing this year and everything, it’s been painful for many, but still, from my point of view, it ain’t easy, some days are worse than others, and it’s hard not to think about all the things I could be, or should be doing.  I can’t wait to go climbing again.  I can’t fucking wait.  It’s been challenging.  Right now I feel like just like the weather forecast for Squamish, a mix of sun and cloud.  But tomorrow is a new day. We shall see….

OKAY new topic, the topic at hand, MOVIE REVIEW.  Enlighten Up! A documentary about a guy (Nick Rosen) who’s actually a friend of mine and a friend of many of you reading this I’m sure, who now lives in Boulder CO, he’s a fellow lover of the stone.  A few years back, Nick was 29 years old and took on a challenge of spending half a year emersed in the yoga culture as a subject for the movie.   Kate Churchill the filmmaker wanted to see if yoga could change “anyone’s” life, the same way it’s changed her own.  She chose Nick (a journalist from New York) and off they went around the world.  It was interesting to see if a transformation would in fact occur, and I think that’s what grabs the audiences attention, they (we) want to know if it’s possible, especially from a guy as factual and challenging as Nick, who claims he doesn’t have any real spirituality in him.  He wants proof that yoga will show him the way.

So, on Sat, we drove down to the 5th Avenue Cinema to catch the flick.  The film was very engaging, short clips, intense interviews, real, and beautiful.  They did a good job at keeping it about Nick, and his experience, that way the movie is nearly impossible to criticize because how you can you comment about someone else’ experience?  There is no right or wrong.  My only comment was that they failed to have any medical experts comment.  They didn’t really cover the fact that yoga has hundreds of health benefits, like reducing blood pressure, relieving respiratory issues and joint pain, increasing range of motion, posture alignment, which reconnects you with the parasympathetic nervous system, or the fact that it can reduce cholesterol and even depression and anxiety.  They basically said that yoga will make me feel “healthier” or “sexier” but if Nick wants proof, there’s actual proof that yoga can help the physical body and Kate never really touched on that.  Nor, did she touch on meditation that much, which many argue is the primary practice of yoga.  Some say the physical practice only came into action to help people become pain free while sitting, so that they could sit with better quality, less pain and for a longer period of time thus allowing them to go deeper into their own space and find inner peace and enlightenment, I don’t think they mentioned that very much, if at all.  And it would have been nice to see a more well rounded documentary, but on the whole, Nick was AWESOME,  honest and comfortable in front of the camera, funny as hell and even charming.  I thought Kate was interesting herself, she admitted that she was filming this movie to find answers for herself, hoping to find them through Nicks experience, which is sort of sad in a way, it makes me wonder if Kate really believes in the yoga practice as much as she says she does, because after all, it’s about what we believe that makes something worth while.  Only if we believe can anything transform us, right?  So, it must come from within.  Which makes us god.  Which makes you god.  Which makes me god.  I am legend.  he he he.  Like it says in the movie, “YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON UNDER THE SUN”.  I hope you enjoy the preview.  It’s a brilliant film, with a brilliant idea and a brilliant cast, that leaves people talking, so enough talk, watch the trailer and go to the website to book tickets, it’s worth the 90 minutes.  At least.

  • Lee

    Time to do some hiking and find new crags!

  • Sonnie

    That’s what really sucks, I can’t even hike right now. I get wicked sore just walking to get the mail, but all in good time. I think in another week or so I’ll be doing some gentle hangboarding at least, and doing mild hikes. After that, it will keep getting easier (I hope) and I can focus on getting strong again. By the way, wicked Rich Simpson video you posted, makes me want to build another campus board.

  • family man

    hang tough mate, 6 weeks, 3 months whatever…seems like an interminable amount of time, and it is, while your in it… but it passes and soon you’ll look back and laugh or at least have a wry smile and that waiting will have been an instant… can you remember how long it took to learn to walk? to talk? to grow into a decent relationship? …ages but not long really eh.
    Good luck with the recovery, you’ll be back stronger then ever soon enough … hold the faith
    all will be well

  • clint from Jasper

    Hey Sonnie,
    Hope your recovery goes smooth and fast. Enjoy the rest time.
    One of the best quotes I’ve heard when describing yoga was by a teacher named Max who said its like when you look at a person reading a book, from the outside it just looks like they are staring at an object but what you cant see is that inside there is alot going on, yoga works much the same way, from the outside it looks like a fitness routine or stretching but inside there is much more. The internal practice of ujayi breath, drishti and bandhas is where the practice starts to get really interesting and we start to move into the calming of the mind. To describe it in words though is very difficult. Its like telling someone what an apple tastes like, you can describe it over and over but until you eat one for yourself you will never really know.

  • Sonnie

    CLINT, WELL said my friend. Well said. I often feel like that when people ask me about my travels too, I think, “well, I may not look different, but traveling has been good to me and I feel like a broader person because of it”. Changes have occurred that can’t be seen, only felt. Thanks for sharing that C. great perspective.

    And you too Family Man, these days will pass, no doubt and I’ll soon forget what it was like to be on the couch. Looking forward to it. Best wishes back at ya.

  • I think you can see some movies or take deep rest so that it is helping you to recover much faster way.
    You can do whatever you want but don’t any physical stress which create problems for you at later stage.

  • Dyan

    I’ve never posted on this blog, even though I’ve read it for years. This entry really resonated with me tonight, as I sit at my desk 45 miles from the nearest (SMALL) town, at Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah. Even though Indian Creek is 2 hours away, I don’t know anyone for a good catch, and bouldering here is slim (maybe waiting to be developed?). Long story short, I’m used to climbing A LOT. And now that I don’t have that and I have to fight and search for it, it’s discouraging. But that’s life. In the meantime, I’m visualizing, dreaming, obsessing about projects I have back home in Washington.

    Thank you so much for the honesty, Sonnie…and reminding us that climbing hurts in the best way.