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bear by san

March 2017



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ace the wonder dog

and if you're offering me diamonds and rust, i've already paid

Last night, I did one perfect pullup. And a half of a second one. (Saturday, as I mentioned on twitter, I did three sets of one pullup apiece, and a fourth one assisted by scott_lynch) But the really exciting thing was the climbing, as I (thrashing, kicking, strugglng) made it up one route that's not rated yet, but was right at the limit of my ability. I also managed a 5.9 I had previously failed on, and a tricky balancy overhung 5.8--plus an unrated route that was somewhere in difficulty between the two, and a couple of easy warmups.

But why I say I leveled up is because I noticed, on that 5.8, how EASY many things were. Stuff I might have been able to do previously, but would have struggled with. Stuff that I just wouldn't have been able to do at all.

I'm discovering something cool, which is that in all that climbing at ridiculously low strength to weight ratios (for a climber) I have developed a great deal of strength and skill. And now that my strength to weight ratio is much higher... I'm actually pretty good at this!

Something to be said for climbing in the equivalent of a weight vest since 2007...

In other news, I'm 150 pages into Steles of the Sky, and I'm rediscovering that writing a novel after working on short stories for a few months is a weird transition. Especially since I had to relearn how to write the damned shorts, because I kept trying to write them in novel voice.

Novels have so much room! Everything does not have to be planed down to the bone, every single word bent in service to theme, every bit of excess flesh pared away.


Last night, I did one perfect pullup.

EEEEEEEEEEE CONGRATULATIONS! You ROCK like ... A wall made of rocks! TO CLIMB!

Counting down the days until my gym membership reactivates. Deep breaths. I miss it so much and am feeling so shamefaced about the loss of strength these last few months.

Also, hee icon.
Congratulations! Lots of kick-buttness in this post.

I love pull-ups! CrossFit teaches a pull-up trick to really strengthen that set of muscles: "pull-downs" - with help or by jumping, get into top position and s l o w l y lower one's self down using good form. My physical therapist had me using those big rubber bands at first, and some folks prefer those. I've shown a bunch of friends who otherwise assumed they couldn't do pull-ups at all, and now they can.

I got started focusing on pull-ups after my accident, because I had to or I'd lose full use of my left arm and suffer neck and back pain forever. Well, now I'm stronger than I've ever been. Hooray for getting stronger while getting, ahem, more experienced.

Yeah, stories vs. novels - they really are different animals, and not just in length. When a novelist gives that level of attention to the prose in such a long work, I really appreciate it. On the other hand, we don't see many of those books, because they take FOREVER to complete, and most people don't even notice the attention, anyway....
Yeah, negative reps or an assisted machine are great ways to train. *g*
Oh WOW! Congratulations - I'm delighted for you!
I have never, ever in my life managed a pull-up. I am *most* impressed.
The story vs. novel thing is part of why I was so freaking determined to finish a short story even if it took me three or four months (When I can get a higher word count than that in a novel in the same length of time. Because I kind of haven't stretched those muscles in a while.

I still wrote long, i feel, but then, I always do. My edits invariably include paring down. And sometimes include it again, after I thought I had stripped all that could be.

I need to think more about the exercise; I'm doing gym stuff with my mom, but it feels more like maintenance level than improvement level. Although I have noticed, whenever I pick up the cats, that they're so LIGHT ... because at least I do have to keep lifting a baby.
Good for you!

Yeah, stories and novels use totally different sets of muscles. You can't train for one with the other, any more than... I dunno, you train for sprints by running marathons. I mean, yeah, the general fitness (skill level) helps, but in the end you still need to do what it is you plan on doing...

And in this extremely pained metaphor, by "you" I mean "me."

Also, babies are heavy.
I'm pretty sure one of the definitions of a novel is "a story too ig to hold in your head all at once"
As you point out, space in a short story is at a premium. I was told once that in a short story, every word must earn its keep. Makes me think of that scene in "Through the Looking Glass" where Humpty Dumpty talks about the words gathering round him to be paid their wages.
BTW, off topic but. . .
You are strong like a mighty strong person.

Also, where can one obtain rusty diamonds?
From Joan Baez.
I should have recalled. Ugh.