send me on my way

I’m deep in a winter training routine. The weather has me confined to indoor locales like the Shed and occasionally the climbing gym in Ventura. I love it. Holing up in the basement to grow lobster arms while the crags soak is definitely my thing. I’ve taken this opportunity to campus a bunch and I’m reminded again how stupid it was I ever quit. Over the past two Saturdays I’ve focused on the Metolius medium sized rungs, spaced 22cm (obviously) on a 15-degree board, and have managed to repeat some of the more enjoyable classics, such as 1-4-7 and 1-5-7. I’m going after weaknesses pretty hard this season. For instance, 1-4-7 and 1-5-7 on my right arm were the moves of note from last weekend, and though I would like to have progressed even more on my stronger side this Saturday, I chose instead to bring up my weaker half, opting to invest my time on 1-4-7 with my left. By no large margin I finished it, and I’m thinking for future moves this is a good practice. Asymmetry is for pitchers. The real campus goal is 1-5-9. That’s a good place to be for someone aspiring to climb Big Boy things. That’s the kind of move that could give me confidence in my power, confident enough maybe to hit the spring redpoint season with some momentum. Or it could tear my arm from my shoulder, Fist of the Northstar syle. We could be making omelettes here. In any event, there seems to be a lack of strength in a specific area: campus moves where my low arm is especially low, like in moves of considerable distance, like 1-5-9. In order to train in this range, I’m thinking this kind of move could be valuable:

I’m making a list and I’m checking it twice.

I’m making a list of rad things. There’ll be a couple things on there I’ve personally wanted to do for quite some time, like climb a 5.14 and do a one-arm/one-finger pull-up, but mostly this is designed to be a compilation of rad things I think any self-respecting, inbred group of angry climbers would want on their cumulative résumé. And please, this is open to suggestion – suggest a feat of radness and I will try to convince someone to do it. This is going to expand to eating challenges, I know it.


The stuff:

  1. climb a 5.14
  2. boulder V12
  3. one-arm/one-finger pull-up
  4. one-arm front lever
  5. mono-campus
  6. one-arm campus
  7. campus 1-5-9
  8. campus 6-1 doubles
  9. one-arm handstand
  10. dry-hump a badger


* The fine print:

  • Video and/or photographic documentation is pretty important here, because:
  • The performer of said feat should not have had prior success. (There’s nothing interesting about watching someone who’s really good at pinky-pullups doing pinky-pullups. We’re making people better here, not handing out cookies for doing what you’re supposed to. There should be a struggle, an ascension to impressiveness. And there will be no cookies.)
  • I don’t care what the feat, puking disqualifies you. (This does not rule out the possibility of a puking compilation video at the end of the year.)
  • There is not "extra credit". Other than mention in a brief side note, there is no special value attributed to feats which incorporate extraneous events, such as a hospital visit or milk.

last water, IM be good

My butterfly is coming together. I did a 200m IM today without passing out. Amazingly.

da numbers:

  • 400m easy free/pull
  • 3 x 100m free @ 2:00
  • 100m fly kick drill
  • 200m IM
  • 200m pull
  • 200m kick

total distance: 1400m

an immutable tenet

You will never be powerful enough. It’s hard to develop a tenet, let alone an immutable one. I mean, how do you know something you propose as infallible will never be challenged? Easy: think like a sociopath. Stick to your conviction with the ferocity of a religious fundamentalist – no one’s going to tell you Americans aren’t infidels, that you can’t have 37 wives, pornography isn’t evil, or that a comet won’t take you to heaven. You’re crazy. Enjoy it. At least you know the truth.

I know the truth: I will never be powerful enough. And I feel I lost site of this recently. Climbing routes is great; I enjoy the commitment in training for and finally performing on climbs of scale, as opposed to bouldering for shorter sequences. That’s not to say I don’t love bouldering. I do. It’s just that sport routes appeal to me slightly more. But in my effort to build some semblance of endurance for sport routes I neglected to train raw power. And I’ve had enough of that. So, instead of heading to Ventura for routes at Vertical Heaven, I’ll be at the Shed this weekend, campusing. I’m going to campus, train for the one-finger Birthday Challenge pull-up, then swim. Whatever you’re doing this weekend, it can’t be better than training power.

Oh yeah, and I meant to write about last weekend’s climbing – I was at Vertical Heaven with Justin for about 5 hours. It was rad. Then I did a hangboard workout at the Shed on Sunday. Also rad. My body’s able to absorb a larger volume of training now, and I’m going to give it to it – just not this Saturday. That’s the day I’m saving for power training. I’m pissed I couldn’t do 1-4-7 or really two-finger campus much at all on Tuesday. I need more power. Obviously.

last water, IM progress

This evening’s pool session felt alright. Of note was the 4 x 100 of IM strokes I did, which started with my first 100m of fly in long course. Well, 2-kick fly, but that’s still progress. What by all indications should have been a flat swimming day turned in to a good workout. Just getting in the water was a challenge after the weekend’s epic between the Tor and Pine Mountain. But, as usual, I’m glad I motivated to train. In total, the workout was 1500m, with focus on IM strokes and kick, 500m of kick to be exact.

if rad routes were a minute, the Tor would be an hour

Today’s post title is courtesy of Brian Spiering. Inspired by The Temptations’ The Way You Do the Things You Do, Brian’s instinct to connect a powerfully emotional song with a collection of routes typifies the Owl Tor pathology – which I’m positive will lend it self to a rad conjunction (ex. path-Owl-ogy). I’ve not had a relationship last as long as my infatuation with the Tor. And infatuation is a horribly inaccurate word for it – more like conciliation. So yes, I fell on Atreyu this weekend, two more times. I was so pissed I got on Better Than Life and one-falled it from the long two-finger pocket. That eased the pain a little of what would otherwise have been a thoroughly disappointing day. Then I did some work on Rubble, ate a delicious ribeye, and hiked in to Pine Mountain. Not the most pleasant 2 hours of my life but worth the experience, Pine Mountain’s 6.5 mile approach left me fairly knackered Saturday night. Bosco was not knackered. In fact, I don’t believe Bridget’s dog has ever been knackered or ran at a speed less than full-throttle insane. Fed a strict diet of Kibbles and crystal meth, Bosco’s energy level is frightening, and his effortless skill at connecting paw to scrotum is astonishing. Micah and Bridget also enjoyed the bouldering Pine Mountain offers – just not as much as Bosco. And I frickin’ loved it. All the exercise and altitude kinda wore on me but the time I spent on a couple classics in Pine’s near-alpine setting made the whole deal more than worthwhile. But I’m not going there next weekend. Unless they open the road.