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bear by san

March 2017



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you're chasing death already. every day is gravy now.

So when I got to the gym last night, I went to check on the two unrated routes I'd climbed on Monday. One was still unrated, but the hard, overhung green one that I had thrashed up one or two moves at a time, dogging on the rope and bitching (definitely not whining. whining is against the climbing gym rules!) had been rated...


I blinked and rubbed my eyes and looked again. Nope, it still said that. It was my first 10b. And it was overhung.

So I went to do some warmup yoga and wait for The Jeff, and when he arrived I told him of my triumph and we went to look at the tag again.

It had been replaced by a blank white square.

This is about when I started to figure I must be having a really creative anxiety dream. But we climbed for a bit, and the next time we were in that corner, the tag had been replaced:



Definitely an anxiety dream. At least I wasn't pantsless.

I later told Greg, the routesetter, that somebody must have told him I got up it, so he had to downgrade. He laughed.

(I tried the route mostly because of the name: "Eating Pasta With A Spoon.")

Still, it was a 5.10. Even if it wasn't my first 5.10b. Which gave me the courage to try another, different 10a that looked pretty doable... and in fact, it was a lot easier than the green route. I still didn't do it clean--terrible slick feet, and my toes kept popping off the holds--but I think this means that I am officially a 5.10 climber now, if not somebody who can climb 5.10 clean. (I also failed on a 9, which I think I have done before, and got up another 9 only with a great deal of falling and swearing and Doing It Wrong. And then there was a bunch of easier stuff. Leave me my illusions.)

But I think I have the courage of my convictions to keep working on 10s. And I can still do a pullup! (It's reproducible! Still just one, but give me time.) I can get into bound side angle and hold a proper tree pose, and with scott_lynch spotting me, I can manage a tripod headstand--and I can do a handstand, albeit only against a wall, and I can't kick myself up to it. And I can run ten miles, and run an under 9-minute mile if wolves are chasing me and I have a tail wind. ;-)

Which means Project: Valkyrie is tentatively declared a success, and I am moving on to new goals. Which are:

Climb 5.10 clean
Run a half marathon (attempt scheduled for March--and that's where I quit, because I don't think my ankles will support longer distances.)
Proper headstand
Kick up to a supported handstand (It's mostly a courage issue. I did manage it once on the mats at the climbing gym.)


So at which point in Project: Valkyrie do you start selecting worthy souls of the slain for entry into Valhalla? After the half-marathon?
Whenever they give me the keys to Valhalla, a drinking horn, a shield, and a horse.
Lookit you all fancy!
Isn't it amazing how you do stuff often enough, you eventually get better at it?
Goals. You haz em.

I can do knee bends if I hold onto something, which is a bigger deal than you might think since I broke my left knee. . .
At least I wasn't pantsless.

which is why we always wear the good undies... no matter what.
I remember when 5.10s seemed completely out of reach (pun not intended) on your blog. I didn't realize there was more than one kind of 5.10, but still, that's AWESOME!!!

And all of your other accomplishments, very impressive. Great job! It's cool to see how far someone can come over time, in this case: you! Well done!
grats on the 5.10, regardless of its a or b-ness. :)
Good for you!

I can probably still kick up to a handstand - I think once you can do so co fidently it doesn't really leave you, short of injury, illness or major body changes - but I can't actually DO a handstand any more, because it hurts my wrists. It's pretty upsetting, because I've lost a capability and it's probably forever. (I think the wrist issue is tendinitis.). Here's hoping your capabilities continue to blossom for a long time to come.

Unrelated comment: so now and for at least the next couple of months I am a full time writer, nonfiction flavor. (Or at least I am writing as my main task, with a bit of imposter syndrome thrown in.) it's really surprising how many of your comments over the years are being helpful.
I don't suppose there are any kinds of handholds that would work for handstands, would there be? I mean, I find pushups a lot easier when I've got handles on the floor (y'know, like putting dumbbells down and holding on to them, rather than pushing against the floor directly). But I can't imagine any way that you could do something similar for handstands. But maybe I'm wrong?
I've been ignoring LJ due to deadlines, and just saw about your race win!

Go you! I'm disgustingly proud.

I'm signing up for a half marathon in March--not only am I in the "Masters" (ie, Old People) class, but I'm in the Athena (ie, Fat People) class. :-P

I got two ten minute miles this morning, though. *g*
Thanks. I'm still amazed by it myself!

And yay! on half marathons. I think I'd rather be a Master than a Veteran which is what I am here.
Hee. I think I'd rather have the knees of an eighteen year old...