Bummed. wtf.

Warning: bitchy Canadian about to get personal. For more inspirational blogs click here. Otherwise, keep reading.

Now, I have no reason to complain.  At all.  My life is truly wonderful, I Love where I live, I Love what I do, and I Love who I’m with. I think that’s saying something, there have been times in my life and the lives of my friends, where we’ve only had one or two of these things going for us, and even worse times when we had none.  So why the pissy mood?  Honestly, I don’t know exactly, maybe because it’s Christmas, maybe it’s because I have a whole in my sock, or maybe it’s because it’s slashing rain outside and we only get 6 hours of daylight right now, if you can call it that.  But between me and you, I think it’s because I’m climbing like shit right now.  What’s a climbing blog for then, if not to rant?  I’m tweaked, bear with me…

Just over two weeks ago, I returned home from my A.R.M (appendectomy recovery mission) feeling on top of the world.  Nov 1st – Nov 29th.  During that time I had my 30th birthday, went to Colorado and Utah and I was climbing with zest.  I had quickly ticked a number of mid 13 trad climbs, and on-sighted a good number of other 13 sport climbs.  I wasn’t in project mode, but being outside almost every day, being with friends and ticking off some super classics felt great.  Then during my last few days in Moab, I was lucky enough to snag this unbelievable climb called Prosthetics, 5.13d, Mill Creek.  I was pretty stoked.  Since doing the second ascent of this Noah Bigwood ubber classic in 2006, my dream for the last 3 years was to return and do it on gear.  Retro-Trad.  I finally made it back to the area, and sent, and it was amazing.  There was snow on the ground, sun in th sky, the rock was clean and sticky, the crimps felt like razor sharp ice,  the line was pure, the run-out was terrifying but the gear was solid.  I was beyond PSYCHED.  It was probably the coolest thing I did on a rope this year.  Here’s a Burr pic.


A fool and his power are soon parted.

So, I come home and start ‘sessioning’ in the gym, I felt light, strong and mobile.  I watched some Paxti videos (who’s recently injured his shoulder) and I went into the co-op nearly everyday, building on the momentum of my last trip.  I even went out and bought a weight belt.  I was about to break through, I could feel it.  Then I woke up about 10 days ago and my elbows hurt.  IDIOT.  I took some rest, 7 days, and they didn’t go away.  I hardly ever get elbow pain but when I do, I’m not impressed, who would be?   It strips the mojo from our body’s, AND we have to do more push ups, Arrgh.

So, I go back into the gym 3 days ago and I can’t pull on anything.  I mean NUTHIN.  My shoulders are tired, my elbows hurt and I’m beginning to feel sorry for myself.  On top of it all, I went back country skiing  yesterday and now today my lower back is so tight, I feel like I’m wearing a meat corset with spikes.  My body doesn’t twist, it moves in one giant aching shield of pain.  I need more yoga.  Doesn’t everybody.   ha.  So I have this friend in his 40’s who told me it’s “probably just an old injury that’s just catching up with you, saying hello, it’s nothing you’ve done recently, just an old flare up, I get them all the time”.  Well, he may be right, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m in a bad mood, and this isn’t some story I’m laughing about 3 years down the road, this is right now, I’m laughing at the ridiculous state I’m in, RIGHT NOW.  I’ve got ice on my elbows, ice on my back, Advil in my pocket and I’m like – What the fuck?  Where did this disaster come from?  My girlfriend comes home from work and starts giggling because she’s got this crusty old man on the couch up to his tits with ice packs.  It’s classic.  I’m only 30, can’t I withstand a month of constant climbing?  Sure I can.  But perhaps I got carried away.  Here’s how…

Truth be told, the aches in my elbows started the morning after I strapped on the weight vest.  I campused up the wall and back down again, 5 times, on top of some other stuff.  Super bad idea, I know, but I couldn’t help it, I felt invincible.  I wasn’t.  I never will be.  Stop fooling yourself fool.  But I did it anyway and I paid the price.  The shock load one puts on their elbows coming down (without footholds and an extra 20 pounds on your body) is extremely severe.  It’s never, ever a good idea to do this, ESPECIALLY if you haven’t built up to it for several months at least.   Going up is okay, the body can handle that, if you have enough power to make the move, that’s your gauge, if you don’t, then you won’t make it and you’ll fall off, simple, no harm done.  BUT, when coming down, you shock load the system, you shock load the elbows and shoulders and fingers, like dropping a weight onto a static cable, multiplying forces exponentially and this is rarely recommended.   You may get away with it for a while, and you might even get a bit stronger, but it’s such a fine line between progress and regress.  Please be careful when doing dynamic movements with extra weight.  I learned this lesson a long time ago, but my confidence got in the way of reality again, and just like President Bush once said, “Fool me once, and it’s your fault.  Fool me twice and….uh……uh………”

To wrap things up, I have no idea how long this will take to pass, this funk, but I tell you it wasn’t worth it.  When I get it back, hopefully after the holidays, I’ll be smarter than this.  I actually feel better already, just writing about it, like I’ve reinforced something I already knew.  I know the rules, they’re common sense, I just thought I could bend them a little, but there’s no hurry, we now have 50 year old climbers sending harder than they ever have before.  If you stay healthy, and avoid stupid mistakes, then we can all be climbing 5.15 in ten years.  There’s no rush.  Take your time, enjoy the ride.  I have to go change my ice pack, this one’s getting warm.  Or maybe I should take the plunge, like this guy…