Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
I dipped out from the climbing scene for a little bit because I suffered a pretty major injury, tearing my oblique back in September. I was all charged up after my completion of Sarchasm and tried to kick it up a notch by attempting to send Vogue (5.14c) and Jade (v14) in the same day. Heh heh…whoops. This goes to show that injuries and unforseen events can just come up at a moment’s notice. During my non-climbing healing time I manged to get pretty fit swimming at elevation. Very fun!
In addition to cross training I gave a couple of really fun presentations to some school kids back in the early fall. The first was at the Kunsberg School at the National Jewish Hospital in Denver, CO to kids with major respiratory health challenges. I was honestly very nervous about this one in particular, because it was such an incredible opportunity to have a real impact and serve as a true role model to youth. They were a group that came from very challenging backgrounds and had some really intense health situations. I spoke of the possibilities that life has to offer, the importance of education, and the freedom of choice in our personal lives and attitudes, using photos from my childhood and climbing adventures, and discussing my own health challenges. Luckily I felt like I was able to connect with the kids with the support and awesome introduction from my friend Jon Bernard, and I got a whole pile of the coolest thank you letters from the kids.
Jon also invited me to give a presentation at the school he teaches at in Buena Vista. Vrrmmm Vrrmmm! I headed over to the beautiful Western Slope and had a great time talking with the high schoolers. I also managed to squeeze in a hike during the first snowstorm of the season. Absolutely gorgeous and man, that fresh snow tasted great.
As the mountain summer came to an end it had been a solid 5 weeks since my injury and I was ready to head out and try some climbing. I tried one day outside and one day in the gym. Wow! I had lost some ground. It was a pretty rude awakening. This is not the first time I had to take some time off from an injury but this was a different type of injury. Feeling a little out of whack I decided to wait till I headed to The Red.
The Red River Gorge was the perfect style to climb on to heal up and get back in shape. When I first arrived in the Red I was psyched to be able to send multiple 5.12s in a day, and by the time I left I was close to sending several 5.14cs. I also did a good amount of running, light core-specific work outs, getting totally pumped on easy routes, and most importantly taking it super easy on the healing oblique. Patience and persistence are yet again proving their worth with my growing wisdom. I had the opportunity to give a couple of really fun clinics too – one at Kinetic in Columbus and another at RockQuest in Cincinnati. Thanks so much to Tony Reynaldo, as well as both gyms and all the participants for making these events possible. If you’re in or near the Red and need an indoor climbing spot, check them both out!
As I returned to climbing again, I saw that the healing was getting to be more mental than physical. Having the confidence to move and finding flow was definitely hard to regain. However, after a solid bit of time at the Red, I was finally feeling things (along with my oblique muscles!) coming together nicely.
After leaving the Red for the season we headed to Texas for a great holiday season with Katherine’s family. Played with Katherine’s little nephew Gibson, did some yoga, ate some yummy Austin food and went out salsa dancing in Austin to ring in the New Year! I also managed to do some climbing and made the second ascent of Dharma Gate, 5.14b at least. This was a super sweet roof with a good pump factor and powerful gymnastic movement (sweet pics coming soon!). Big props to Rupesh for establishing yet another Central Texas 5.14! Read his cool blog about the process of sending the line.
Now we’re back in Cruces after attending the Winter OR trade show in SLC and offering another great clinic and slideshow at the new Front gym in Ogden (Thanks to Chuck, Maggie, Petzl, and the awesome climbing community at the Front Ogden!), and ready to “get down to business” at Hueco. Looking forward to putting the patience of the past few months of healing and training to use and hoping to finish up some major long-term projects! Woohoo!
Thanks also to all of our great cabin mates throughout the season: Dan & Ingrid (les echamos de menos, dice Katherine!), Kat & Mat, and Lisa!