a snowball’s chance

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If you needed to ship a Christmas package to my Mom’s house, there’s a snowball’s chance in Hell it got there on time. My Mom lives on Whidbey Island, in Northwestern Washington State. She lives on a lake, on an island, in the Puget Sound (aka: the Pacific Ocean). You will drive far from civilization and ride a ferry before arriving here. And though most years it doesn’t snow, there was 14 inches on the ground last week. So the pansies at UPS decided, despite Elijah’s considerable investment in shipping costs, they would delay delivery until after Hanukkah.

Anywayz. It’s cold here. My Mom doesn’t believe in heating the downstairs of homes so my room is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. No worries, this has provided an opportunity for me to try out some warm clothes and train for cold weather climbing at Joshua Tree. Taking this week off from my normal climbing/swimming routine has me planning for the upcoming season. In fact, there’s a plan in the works to get over to Joshua Tree the day I arrive back in Santa Barbara. Which reminds me – Micah, Andy and Justin, I’m going to Joshua Tree this Friday and you need to get in on that. I’m losing feeling in my fingers now. In the larger picture of next climbing season, I want to focus on a single hard route, one that will leave me satisfied with my progression within the sport, a 5.14. I’m pretty psyched about it. It’s gonna suck and be rad at the same time. My motivation since the hospital has paid dividends to my climbing already and I’m way more psyched now.

I climbed with my step-brother at the Everett Vertical World gym Sunday. It was rad because we got on these thin, slightly overhanging top-rope routes but pulled the top-rope to lead them. Rad because no thought was given to leading, making clips exciting and falls spicy. Two thumbs up for an otherwise unremarkable climbing gym. Maybe I shouldn’t say that. I don’t know. There’s just not enough steep stuff there. But climbing is partly what you make of it I guess, and I did have a great time, so whatever. There’s a snowball’s chance I’ll move back here for the climbing though.

first water, cold

It was cold this morning. Once in the water, things are fine. It’s the walk to and from the pool that really suck. And I ran in to a nurse that took care of me when I was sick – Cyndi. Most memories from that time are not super clear but the more she talked the more I remembered. She’s always happy and smiling it seems, and I remember how good that was to have around me when I was sick. After talking to her, I did some good butterfly lengths – her influence, I know it.

last water

The Los Banos pool was cold last night. Actually, the pool felt OK – the walk to and from the pool was friggin’ frigid. Last week kept me out of the water because of this stupid cold, so last night’s evening session was my first in a while. I did a bunch of different things for a total of 1200m – OK considering my condition and the variety of strokes and drills. About normal, actually. Butterfly feels better than ever.

more failure, please

I failed 3 more times on Atreyu, spit off at the crux thrice. Not very rad. Then I spent about 2 hours making 1 hold on the new route. There was failure all around at the Tor Saturday. Justin had at least a couple fits after peeling off the top of Power like 6 times. Phil did some easy laps and had fun probably, redpointing 7 routes and falling on Auto Magic mid-eighth. So maybe Phil opted out of the failure-athon. That’s OK, I failed enough for the both of us.

it’ll be a cold day in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree got groped by Jason, Marcela and me last weekend. Temps were a tad on the chilly side, around 40-ish, and the wind brought some ferociousness. Marcela’s tent got shredded the first night, but fortunately it snowed the next evening. My companions weren’t super psyched. I got on Desert Shield and a couple head pieces I want to lead but whose names I forgot. Desert Shield is great. I think I can redpoint that sucker pretty quick. It’s kinda crimpy but steep with long moves so a send should come together after a day or two, I would think.

first water, I believe I can fly

I did a length of butterfly today, my first 50m long course of fly ever. It was rad and tiring at the same time. What else was rad was doing fly with 2 kicks after the catch, which helps kind of a lot cuz straight butterflying for 50m is way tiring. Other than that, I went through a bunch of the usual drills, zipperswitch with flutter and fly kick, some kicking, back and breaststroke, and some easy freestyle. Total distance: 1300m.

first water, better butterfly

I’m not doing much freestyle this week. Instead, I’m focused on bettering my butterfly stroke. Butterfly is rad, obviously, so I’ve been pretty psyched on morning pool sessions the past few days. On the other hand, putting in a full-distance workout without much freestyle is not super easy, nor is it super fast. It took me about an hour to log 1500m this morning. No worries – I’m psyched I don’t have to swim free ’til I puke. Those other strokes are getting done too, back and breastroke, or whatever. And lots of drills, especially zipperswitch w/ flutter and fly kick.

da numbers:

  • I don’t even know, lots of different stuff

total distance: 1500m

first water, something different

I did a bunch of different strokes and drills today, and not much freestyle. In recent days I’ve caught myself dreading the freestyle sets I’ve been putting myself through lately. So, I worked on the other strokes, mostly butterfly, and did some stroke drills like zipperswitch and one-arm fly. Not a lot in terms of contiguous sets here, few turns, and maybe 200m of freestyle in all. But it all added up to 1100m. And it was fun instead of grueling, for whatever that’s worth.