Friday, October 24, 2014

Footage from 2014 USA Paraclimbing Nationals

I came across this video posted on USA Paraclimbing's Facebook page:

I was surprised to be featured as much as I am in this video, as I often think that I am not a particularly "marketable" poster-child for paraclimbers/para-athletes/people with disabilities. It was instructive to see myself climb; I notice that I waste a bit of energy "tugging" on holds to check how secure I am, rather than just dead-pointing and latching on to them. A friend remarked that I climb indoors as if I am climbing outdoors, where I am often testing the rock/hold out. Oh well, it's not necessarily a bad habit, I think. It just means I have to be conscious of the differences climbing on secure plastic holds versus sketchy hollow flakes.

I have not put on a climbing shoe since Spain. I really wanted to give my fingers and foot a fighting chance at healing; so, naturally, I decided, well, if I can't crimp or use my feet, I'll just do lots of pull-up exercises on big jugs. Well, as usual, I over-did things a bit there and acquired a bad case of tennis elbow on my left side. Again, it is funny how these relatively minor injuries still get me incredibly down. The elbow tendinosis has been a real pain actually; lifting even a dinner plate on that side is painful. So, I've been resting, avoiding any lock-off/pulling - which eliminates bouldering (unless it is on slab) because I down-climb when I boulder. 

I was particularly down the last two weeks; and it often elicits the question of whether happiness is a choice or not? Obviously, this is a discussion worthy of a lengthy article/text. I still struggle with the fact that my sources of happiness and rejuvenation lie in relatively few baskets. My current surroundings fail to energize me, like the mountains and geography of the West do. And it often feels like a burden to think that I only feel the most alive when I am pushing it i.e. trying not to die, on a climb outside. It makes me sad to think that perhaps I expect more out of life than the average-Joe, and fall into a deep depression when I am not able to derive pleasure from the mundane. 

I know my perspectives are coloured by my chronic pain issues (neuropathy in the left leg, and all the pain related to the hardware in my spine and pelvis) and the associated insomnia. One sleepless, pain-ridden night this past week was the first time in awhile, where I honestly felt like, I am done. I wasn't sure if I could endure many more years of chronic pain, a life of continued physical decline, and all the stuff related to aging, layered on top of the existing issues.

I am turning 33 tomorrow. Turning 33 is kind of a non-event. With the exception that, for a fleeting year, I am a palindrome. But, like a solar cycle, this happens every 11 years (that actually is the duration of a solar cycle :)) I was hoping to celebrate my birthday in a more exciting way; perhaps climbing 33 pitches outside (had to put my Yosemite trip on hold due to all the injuries), doing 330 pullups, 330 pushups etc. within 33 hours of my birthday. But, the injuries mean I have to put all that stuff on hold till next year. 'Cause, really  it is just silliness. Now, I'm only slightly bummed that I am not doing something gnarly. But, doing the usual lifting/conditioning conditioning/rehab exercises; maybe putzing about and testing things out on super easy climbs indoors; having my Mum cook Asian dishes I miss when I am here (my Mum and I have not lived on the same continent, let alone been in the same time-zone - and on my birthday - for over 17 years); eating a delicious home-made miso-caramel-apple tarte-tartin; hanging out with my sister, niece, nephew (the canine variety) and brother-in-law; and then a lovely dinner at a lovely French restaurant in Boston called Deuxave on Sunday night, isn't so bad.

No comments:

Post a Comment