injury, guiding, patience and looking forward!

Well, it has been a while since I wrote. Since then, much has happened. Bozeman was a great trip. When I got home, it was back to work! Can’t complain too much about that though since I have a pretty great job. Ran a bunch of fun instructional days for the ACC, and a great day on Moonlight with Maria.

Maria on Moonlight

I was jonesing to get back on the mixed stuff though, and lucky for me Gord had time and desire to go to the Cineplex with me so that we could try Musashi. great to see this place first hand. I had never been there even to climb Panthers or Bridalveil falls, so my first reaction was a bit of a jaw drop! We spent two fun days on Musashi…we weren’t sure if it still “went” since the flake fell, but we learned it does. It just involves another big move where there wasn’t one before. No sends, but Gord did a great job taking it to the top, and I learned that I need more endurance and less fear to send. I left very humbled but inspired for future attempts!

Gord on Musashi

Went to Ontario for Christmas, and my parents Birthdays. Great time with family, lots of good times, great food…and an ongoing fear that I would come back to Alberta like a stuffed turkey:) Got back into the “habit” of running and remembered why I used to love running so much. Great way to still comfortably excercise outside. Also set up a tree in the backyard with my version of a figure four/nine torture device.

figure four torture tree

I was feeling pretty strong still when I returned to Canmore, but soon learned the next day, as I went back to the Cineplex with Will, that strength isn’t everything. My climbing wasn’t as good as the last time I was there and after the second burn I felt sharp pains in my side. I tried a third time, but realized I couldn’t even lock off or twist to make moves while my feet were on the rock, let alone figure fouring.

After a few days of working with sharp pains in my side, unable to sleep on that side and general discomfort sneezing and moving my arms, I looked into it with the help of professionals. Turns out I strained/pulled/tore (who knows) my intercostal muscles and possibly my obliques. 5-8 weeks rest. hmmm…that doesn’t sound very fun!

So, I decided to not go to Spray Ice despite having booked time off work for it and it being the reason for all this mixed craziness! Hopefully i will go in February. Instead, I have been working quite a bit, and getting to enjoy some great multipitch climbing with Tadd, Stefan, and Steve and Jo. Turns out, swinging tools and vertical ice climbing doesn’t affect it much.

Steve and Jo on Rogans Gully
Jo rapping off of a cold and brittle Massey’s
Stefan working on leading and the leading all of Grotto falls!
Stefan on Professors
Pat on the Eagle
Tadd leading Chantilly Falls
Tadd leading first pitch of Louise Falls
Higher up on the Falls

So, now it has been three weeks. I realize this is a minor injury in terms of injuries…but anytime something takes you away from what you really want to be doing at the time, it is frustrating. It is frustrating to work towards a goal and have it become something that you can’t move towards anymore. There is always a learning in all of this though. Some of mine are this:

1) Find other ways to use your energy in a positive way. I realized I couldn’t “train” for mixed climbing anymore. Splice killed, and so did any other sort of upside down training or core work…which is the majority of mixed training for caves. What I could do though…is RUN. Running atleast, kept me moving outdoors, kept me acclimatized to being active outside, which is important to climbing in the winter. Eventually, I could also start doing tool hangs. No movement upwards, but just maintain some grip strength. Kind of boring…but does the job to work towards holding your weight on tools for longer.

2) Remember your own path. Currently, I have friends chasing their dreams everywhere. Competing in Ouray, World Cup, ticking mixed classics and goals, and putting up new cool cave routes. It is hard to want to be a part of many of those things and realizing you cant. Everyday, you just have to remember your own goals, and how YOU can still move towards them. And just because you can’t be out there with them (your friends) you can still be a good cheerleader from the sidelines and look forward to joining them soon.

3) Rest is okay too. Any time you train hard for something, you forget to “rest” as part of your training. Perhaps…I’m hoping anyway…that 3 weeks of “rest” will help in the end allow me to perform better. Rest is hard to do. Often we won’t do it until forced into it. Often when we do, we get good feedback!

Sooo, enough whining! Its time to go out and enjoy some of the mega ice and non cave classic routes out there and have fun! Time to get back in the game!


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