Time off for Recovery

The year has been off to a really interesting start. Moved to a new county and into a great new house. Unfortunately, just before moving into our new home, I got a little wooden splinter in my finger. We moved into the house on Saturday and on Sunday I needed to visit the hospital where they did this:

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Unfortunately, this did not make as big of a difference as we hoped. In fact, they thought that the splinter was still in the wound (spoiler alert, it wasn’t) and by the middle of the night, it was so sore that I needed to go back to the hospital. The doctor took out the stitch that was in there and told me to come back in the morning to see the hand surgeon (never a good sign).

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Long story short, the finger was infected and developing compartment syndrome had started to develop in my thumb which put it at real risk. A few hours later, I was under the knife. The result was not pretty.

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The whole ordeal was really unpleasant and very painful. The doctor said I should be good again in 2-4 weeks. Well, it’s been 7 weeks and still definitely not healed. Frustrating would be the understatement of the year.

I started climbing again two weeks ago and started with a stringent training program. I think it has already made a big difference as I am focusing on Power Endurance training with complementary hangboard sessions in the mornings. I’ll give an update on this in my next post.

A few things that helped to cheer me up recently at least. I’ve been skiing a bunch, 11 days so far this season. And that has definitely helped to displace some of the frustration that I’ve been feeling. Spending some time in the snow on my own has had a calming effect on me overall.

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The 70% slope in Wilder Kaiser is probably one of my favourite runs so far. Love the speed and the agility I feel on it.

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Another really cool event was the Winter ISPO, which was a few weeks ago, gave me a chance to catch up with DMM and La Sportiva. They have been kind enough to send me a batch of wonderful toys, which I am loving!

DMM send me the Highball Crash Pad, sadly, unused so far apart from my training in my house, which is a love/hate relationship with my Beastmaker and extra weights. I am very excited that I’m slowly becoming strong enough to enjoy it outside.

La Sportiva sent me so many items of clothing and shoes that I was simply overjoyed and felt like I should roll in them or something. I don’t think I had ever seen so much La Sportiva clothing outside of a La Sportiva store.

I am really impressed with the jackets in particular, the Quazar GTX and Quake Primaloft make for an amazing combination that blocks out the freezing temps and weather! I can highly recommend them. They kept me warm outdoors when it was -7°C and windy. Will write a bit more detail about the gear once I have used it a bit longer.

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I am really excited to have a few long weekends coming up where I can actually use the gear! This coming weekend, I have 4 days off to enjoy some rock. It’ll be the first time I’ve climbed outside in almost 3 months due to winter weather and the finger surgery (more the surgery than anything else).

 

The Return of the Masochist

Today is the 1st of February. When I started writing this post about a month ago, I thought that it was going to be a bit funny at first. I had some photos of myself that are a bit embarrassing for me. I’m still feeling the effects of my knee surgery so things are still a bit harder than usual but I’ve spent the last month pushing myself harder than I ever have in the past, I have trained 27 of the last 31 days; of the 27 days I trained twice a day for 20 of those! I’ve also been seeing a dietician and have been going to bed early so that I can get up for my early morning hangboard session every morning. So what was it that actually brought about this radical change in my attitude and behaviour? What brought about this month of pure masochism? It was the time I spent overseas and then the month of December which certainly didn’t help. Before our trip, I was really good about not eating too much, even in Germany I didn’t gain weight. Unfortunately for me, we went to Austria and there were 6 course meals every night, massive buffets for lunch and for breakfast, plus I couldn’t exercise so it was all a big problem.

Yeah, no comment

Yeah, no comment. 76kgs

When we got back I didn’t think too much about the matter, I wasn’t training yet so wasn’t worried. The worries started towards the end of November and the middle of December when I started trying to do a bit of training again. At that stage I’d picked up a few kgs but it didn’t quite stop there… At my worst I was 76kgs, up from my normal 69. That’s a 10% increase in just a few weeks as I was 70 when I left for Germany.

Two weeks in

Two weeks in

As a New Year resolution thing, I decided to take on some serious training. I also decided to focus on my nutrition because all the training in the world won’t help if you eat crappy food. Drinking lots of wine doesn’t help either so I’m definitely going to take it easy on that too, even though we have some one the Cape’s best one the rack! I’ve been focusing on eating every hour or two. For breakfast around 6:45 I’ll frequently have two pieces of fruit before training. Immediately after training a 50g serving of Future Life High Protein, or muesli with yogurt and cottage cheese. I’ll train till around 8:15 / 8:45 depending on the intensity of my session. Then at 11:30 a carrot or an apple. Around 1 o’clock I’ll have a meal: a serving of protein, a cup of steamed veggies and 1/3 a cup of rice, or 3 Provita crackers.

Good breakfast!

Good breakfast!

During the afternoon I’ll munch on another 2 carrots, apples, plums or whatever I have available. Somewhere in the mix will be a handful of almonds and cashews. By 5 or 6 o’clock I’m usually at the gym. 7:30 I cook dinner. Usually I’ll steam veggies and either chicken or fish, sometimes a pork fillet, and 2/3 a cup of rice or sweet potatoes. Yep, that’s a pretty typical day for me. I came across an article on climbhealthy.com indicating that in a study conducted in the USA, it was determined that athletes recovered 26% more effectively during the night if they ingested protein 30 minutes before bed time. So sometimes I’ll have a protein shake right before bed if I’m worried I’ll be really stiff the next morning.

Healthy lunch time meal

Healthy lunch time meal

10 January:

73.5 kgs on the 11th of Jan

73.5 kgs on the 11th of Jan, looking better.

I started writing this about a week into my mixed gym and hangboarding sessions. My hangboard sessions are in the morning, usually before work, so they have to be quite short. Kris Hampton has the solution for this in his Bare Naked Hangboarding. From start to finish in 30 minutes. But this wasn’t enough for me seeing as it was doing the same exercise daily, so I have added a variation to it by alternating it with the Chris Webb Parsons program that I spoke about previously. Here’s an instruction vid for the twelve week program: http://www.vimeo.com/61430224 The advantage of alternating these is that I can focus a significant amount of effort on finger strength one day (Hampton) and a significant amount of effort on one arm strength the next day (Webb Parsons). I’ve been doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It was suggested to me by a personal trainer that I follow on Twitter. His name is Alexander Pawels, he’s based in Belgium and he’s got some good ideas for heavy fitness training. There are a few different exercises but each of them revolve around Giant Sets, which is essentially four complimentary exercises back-to-back consisting of 15-20 reps each. After you complete your 80 reps you take a 45 second break and then start again until you’ve done 5 sets. There are two Giant Sets per workout and for me it takes about 45 minutes to complete. The weights are pretty heavy, the goal is that you can easily complete 15 but struggle to reach 20.

HIIT Workout 1

HIIT Workout 1

HIIT Workout 2

HIIT Workout 3

HIIT Workout 3

HIIT Workout 2

I usually start a HIIT session after 25-30 minutes of cardio, either rowing or cycling or both, that way I feel warmed up and my heart is racing. I tend to keep my heart rate above 150 for the whole session, it’s not easy, on the contrary it’s actually outright exhausting.

18 January:

72kgs on the 18th of Jan

72kgs on the 18th of Jan

After getting the Moon Hangboard, at first I couldn’t even hang the micros for a second, three weeks later I’m up to 5 seconds! I love seeing progression as I improve. I would say that my absolute benchmark is Paul Brouard’s program C which involves 3 minutes of non-stop repeaters (6 grips per minute, straight arms 1st minute, 1/2 lock second minute, full lock 3rd minute, followed by 10 pull-ups on a small edge in the first 30 seconds of the forth minute. Rest 10 minutes, repeat for 5 sets). I’m really looking forward to moving into my power-endurance phase when I can work with that one!! But for now, I’ve been working on lock-off strength and on pure finger strength to prepare me for what lies ahead. I did a little experiment yesterday and did a 30 minute hangboard program with an exercise every minute on the minute. I was really surprised when I annihilated it! There were some momentS of definite pump, but I got through it just fine and continued to do a lot more than just that. Here is my training log in case anyone is interested, it’s quite rough.The past three weeks have really been tough and I’m loving it, I even met with a dietitian on Thursday the 15th to help with the designing of an eating plan that can match my goals. My strength is going up and my weight is coming down slowly, the way it should. It’s always a rewarding feeling to do exercises that were your benchmark in the past, I’m sure we all have a route or exercise that when we can do it well we know we’re fit. During my strength training session, I’ve noticed my ability to hold smaller holds for longer periods. It’s been really reassuring knowing that I’m doing something right. It feels great to hang a crimp with 35kgs extra weight for 10 seconds at a time and not fail. It also feels great to be able to hang on some of the small edges on the Moon Climbing Finger Board I got for Christmas. The 18th was 2.5 hours of hangboarding and 2 hours of cycling and HIIT training at the gym, basically till the point of exhaustion. Probably will need a rest day after this weekend. Three weeks of training is a good place to start… My goal is to train on my board till I’m cleared to climb outdoors again. After I finish my strength phase (8 weeks), then I’ll move to my power endurance phase (6 weeks) and follow it all up with a month of pure endurance training. Once it’s all done I’ll start over and build on my pyramid! Hopefully my body will be ready for a good winter climbing season at Chosspile and Boven! Wish me luck .

1 February

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70 kgs and feeling strong!

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Smiling during a training session, something must be up… Maybe it’s the photographer, I bet she’s doing something funny!

Well, we’re back to where we started: today is the 1st of Feb. During the last two weeks, I’ve been pushing really hard trying to isolate my fingers and push my body even further than ever before. I started to plateau a little with the Kris Hampton program, I think it’s because I don’t have small enough holds on my boards other than the micros and tiny slopers on the Moon Hangboard. So what I did was listen to my friends and start focusing on a single hand (still with 10kgs) while the other hands assists as either a F2 or B3 on the smallest edge available. It’s also slightly offset, rather than being on the same height. So in a way, I’m doubling up on my exercise. I’m also able to hang both the Micros and sloping crimps on the Moon Hangboard for over 10 seconds now. Big progress there in just a month.

F2 Left Half Crimp Right

F2 Left Half Crimp Right

F2 on the Beastmaker with B3 on the small edge of the Metolius

F2 on the Beastmaker with B3 on the small edge of the Metolius

Mono Right with M2 Left

Mono Right with M2 Left

What also happened, which was a first for me, was I had to change to a different hold for the Chris Webb Parsons program. I moved away from the outer slots on the Beastmaker and now I’m using the center incut (as in the below pics). My finger strength has moved forward significantly and my lock-off strength is catching up I’m getting closer to the elusive one arm. As of today, I can go from straight arm to eyes in line with my hand (not quite 100% there but close).

Use the rope for some assistance

Use the rope for some assistance

Improvements on that lock-off and finger strength!

Improvements on that lock-off and finger strength!

Last week I also started seeing a biokineticist, so I’ve been doing a lot of exercises daily to strengthen my leg and my glutes. I can see that it’s going to be a long road ahead in terms of the recovery process but by the time my knee is ready to come to the party I’ll be fit enough and strong enough to jump back in! All in all, I’ve been splitting my time between my boards at home and training in the gym. Over the last month I’ve bouldered 5 times, done 25 hangboard session, 16 gym sessions and had no alcohol. I’ve eaten 1.75 pizzas and had sushi twice, other than that I’ve controlled what I eat. I haven’t been to bed after 12 this month.  Anyone want to challenge my dedication? Here’s the training program again in case you missed the link. I call it Brian’s Training Program for Strength and Power. I would like to thank Paul Brouard, Steven Bradshaw, Kris Peters, Kris Hampton and Chris Webb Parsons for the psych that was produced as well as the programs that I used to build my workout. It’ll keep expanding as I progress and I’ll update the link from month to month.

2014: a year of what?

This has been a weird year for me in terms of climbing. The year started off with a pull injury, progressed to a broken finger / ligament tear and then ended with a major knee surgery. So are the negative events of the year. Good thing there are more positives than negatives.

Trying to get my foot into my Solutions. Photo by Jono Joseph

Trying to get my foot into my Solutions. Photo by Jono Joseph

After a few weeks off at the beginning of the year to allow for some healing to take place, I made a trip to the Cape where I climbed a sick 7b multipitch in that place we all know but we’re not allowed to write about. After that I managed to get in some sick bouldering with the Outward Ventures team.

Working my way up Lonely Boy (7B+) with the spotting arms of Sheldon and Sqeaky. Photo by Jono Joseph.

Working my way up Lonely Boy (7B+) with the spotting arms of Sheldon and Sqeaky. Photo by Jono Joseph.

Working Mintberry Crunch (8A) in Echo Valley. Photo by Jono Joseph

Working Mintberry Crunch (8A) in Echo Valley. Photo by Jono Joseph

Trying to hit the crux hold / finish hold on Mintberry. Photo by Jono Joseph.

Trying to hit the crux hold / finish hold on Mintberry. I never quite got to hold on to it. Kept cutting loose right here!   Photo by Jono Joseph.

Lunch on TM after a hard morning on Triple Jeopardy (8a+ trad). Photo by Jono Joseph.

Lunch on TM after a hard morning on Triple Jeopardy (8a+ trad). Photo by Jono Joseph.

We spent time up on Table Mountain, where I got totally spanked by Triple Jeopardy (to be expected, I was really unfit and not really that strong either). So I still need a rematch, maybe late 2015 I’ll be up for it. TM has some of the best trad climbing in SA. I really need to spend some more time there!!!

Squeaky getting bendy on Jeopardy (7c+ trad)! Photo by Jono Joseph

Squeaky getting bendy on Jeopardy (7c+ trad)! Photo by Jono Joseph

Shortly after this was the Rory Lowther Memorial Comp in Swinburne, where I got to test out my brand new Roca Dominator 9.2mm rope. Still loving it by the way! It’s gotten some good mileage this year in the likes of the Free State and Waterval Boven.

Debbie offering me a token of appreciation for my MC skills :)

Debbie offering me a token of appreciation for my MC skills 🙂

The Trophies at the RLMC

The Trophies at the RLMC

Tristan at Chosspile

Tristan at Chosspile

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Yvette and I hanging out at the Rory… Feel the love!!!

SOOOO PRETTY!

SOOOO PRETTY!

My next big destination was the Wow Prow where Andrew and I laid siege to Future Life. We both had a great time on it and Andrew eventually came away with the send.

Ivan on Rage Against the Machine (7c)

Ivan on Rage Against the Machine (7c)

Me representing on Future Life (8b)

Me representing on Future Life (8b)

In this vid, Andrew falls off on the last hard move. He should have sent this time!

The Wow Prow in all its Glory

The Wow Prow in all its Glory

My poor injured finger and my wasted skin

My poor injured finger and my wasted skin

And the other hand too!

And the other hand too!

The rest of the year was spent trying to make sense of things. My finger on my left hand never fully recovered during the winter season, so I had a lot of trouble with climbing at Chosspile. I think I only tried Shadowfax once this entire season and it was miserable. I ticked Andrew’s new line Cock or Bollock (8a). Was great fun. I spent a lot of time trying Violent Streak (8b) but it didn’t quite happen before the temps went up.

I did spend a bunch of time in Boven! I loved it. Overlord (8b+) and Shear Force (8c) were my main goals… The below pics are from Zele Angelides who has agreed to be m photographer for Outward Ventures in Gauteng. Awesome!

Shear Force! WOW

Shear Force! WOW — My photo from my phone 🙂

Resting up before the crux of Shear Force (8c)

Resting up before the crux of Shear Force (8c)

Andrew Pedley on Shear Force (8c)

Andrew Pedley on Shear Force (8c)

An amazing move on Shear Force (8c)

An amazing move on Shear Force (8c)

Negotiating the last moves on the face..

Negotiating the last moves on the face of Overlord

HARD STUFF!

HARD STUFF!

Setting up for the crux move

Setting up for the crux move on Overlord…

A midst the chaos of Overlord and Shear Force was a little known gem: Joy Division (8a). Absolutely tiny holds, very sustained! Lots of fun.

Joy Division (8a)

Joy Division (8a)

Ed, Sam and Jose!

Ed, Sam and Jose!

Ed pulling hard

Ed pulling hard

Met up with the Hamer Bros and Jose in Boven. Ed and Sam and Wild Country UK athletes and damn strong!!!

What a dance, very private

What a dance, very private

Posing on the Triumph!

Posing on the Triumph!

Husband and Wife

Husband and Wife

Well, that just about brings me to the knee injury and my wedding… Two very different emotions right there. There is a bit of the progress with my leg… It’s feeling a lot better, been going to the gym and training again! I must admit, it is really amazing to be doing some exercise.

Bad things happen in 3s

Bad things happen in 3s

My leg at its worse

My leg at its worse

The first milestone of recovery, 90 degrees

The first milestone of recovery, 90 degrees

Looking better

Looking better

healing nicely

healing nicely

just a few marks

just a few marks

The Deutsches Museum

The Deutsches Museum

Our honeymoon was great!!!! We flew to Germany and then hung out in Munich for a week.

It was amazing to see the sights and go to museums and huge stores.

Bought so much clothing and enjoyed the sights so very much!

The view from the roof of the Deutsches Museum

The view from the roof of the Deutsches Museum

Dinner!!! Salmon with Camembert!! Yum!

Dinner!!! Salmon with Camembert!! Yum!

Look at us!

Look at us!

My gorgeous wife

My gorgeous wife

Getting ready to head to Austria

Getting ready to head to Austria

Austria was even better than Germany. We spend 6 nights in a 4 star hotel with a lot of bonus benefits, like €400 of spa treatments, €200 Euro of minibar, a car rental! It was great.

6 course dinners, Austrian beers, plus we brought some of our own wine.

Yvette learned how to snowboard, it was the first time that she’d ever seen snow! Was great. She even managed to nail me with a snowball right in the ear. There was literally snow in my ear that we had to dig out.

First night in Austria, look what was waiting for us

First night in Austria, look what was waiting for us

Taking a walk on one crutch...

Taking a walk on one crutch…

Yvette getting ready for her first snowboarding lesson

Yvette getting ready for her first snowboarding lesson

Excited?

Excited?

All alone in the cable car, heading down...

All alone in the cable car, heading down…

The bottom of the cableway

The bottom of the cableway

Incoming snowball!!!

Incoming snowball!!!

A fancy wine for after dinner!

A fancy wine for after dinner!

The view from the hotel

The view from the hotel

My new Moon Hangboard and pulley system!

My new Moon Hangboard and pulley system!

I added to my training wall at home now. This badass board is really cool. It has some extremely small crimps on it that I can barely hang on to! I got into a program that was written up by Kris Hampton, owner of the Power Company Climbing website. He has a really simple program:

Half crimp grip.  Each rep lasts 8 seconds or until failure.  10 seconds rest between reps.  1-2 minute rest between sets (grips).  F3 denotes front 3 fingers.  R3 denotes rear three fingers.  M2 are middle 2 fingers.  If no finger count is specified, it is with all 4 fingers.  I started on each rung with bodyweight.  Upon finishing a set of 3 reps with bodyweight, I add weight on a belt or vest with 4 fingers, and begin trying it with only 3 fingers.  Once I’ve completed a set with that weight, I add more.  I add weight until I reach 20 lbs, which is where I draw the line.  I just feel that the added weight beyond that point is less valuable than time spent on smaller holds or with fewer fingers.  I continue doing the 20 lb. hang in the workout as a means of warming up to weighted fewer finger hangs (which is denoted below).  When no weight is listed, it’s because the weight grows from session to session in 2-6 lb. increments until it reaches the 20 lb limit.

 

Warm up with 1 set of 3 reps of bodyweight hangs from top and middle rungs.  

Top rung.  20 lbs.  3 reps.

Middle rung.  20 lbs.  3 reps.

Top rung.  F3. 20 lbs.  3 reps.

Middle rung.  F3.  20 lbs.  3 reps. 

Top rung.  R3.  3 reps.

Middle rung.  R3.  3 reps.

Bottom rung.  3 reps.

Bottom rung.  F3.  3 reps.

Bottom rung.  R3.  3 reps.

Top rung.  M2.  3 reps.

Middle rung.  M2.  3 reps.

I’ve also been using this one, it’s a great program if you’re looking for about 15 minutes on the hangboard. It’s an old one and a favourite… Quick clarification of terms:

Drops: pull up releasing one hand and latching a hold 20cm up / throw hand 20cm or more in the air and drop back to the hold on the board. Then switch to the other hand. A set of 5 is 5 with each hand.

Negs: Pull up and lower off for 10 seconds, then quickly pull up and repeat.

Min Type of hold Exercise Sec/Rep
1 Jug Drops 5 rep
2 Medium Edge Drops 2 rep
3 Small Edge Negs 5 rep
4 Pocket Pull-upp 5 rep
5 Medium Edge Hanging 20 sec
6 Jug Pull-up 10 rep
7 Medium Edge Hanging 20 sec
8 Small Edge Hanging 20 sec
9 Medium Edge Pull-up 5 rep
10 Jug Hanging 40 sec
11 Medium Edge Hanging 25 sec
12 Medium Edge Hanging 25 sec
13 Small Edge Pull-up 5 rep
14 Small Edge Hanging 20 sec
15 Jug Hanging 1 min

Here’s the big brother!! Try it if you’re feeling brave!!!

Min Type of hold Exercise Sec/Rep
1 Jug Drops 5 rep
2 Medium Drops 3 rep
3 Small Pulls 5 rep
4 Medium Negs 5 rep
5 Pocket Pulls 5 rep
6 Medium Drops 2 rep
7 Jug Hang 30 sec
8 Jug Pulls 10 rep
9 Medium Pulls 5 rep
10 Small Hang 15 sec
11 Medium Hang 20 sec
12 Jug Drops 5 rep
13 Small Hang 15 sec
14 Jug Hang 40 sec
15 Medium Hang 20 sec
16 Medium Pulls 5 rep
17 Small Hang 15 sec
18 Medium Hang 20 sec
19 Small Hang 15 sec
20 Small Hang 15 sec
21 Medium Hang 20 sec
22 Jug Pulls 10 rep
23 Medium Hang 20 sec
24 Small Hang 15 sec
25 Medium Pulls 5 rep
26 Jug Hang 40 sec
27 Medium Hang 20 sec
28 Medium Hang 20 sec
29 Small Hang 15 sec
30 Jug Hang 1 min

The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything

Surprisingly enough, the answer is not 42. The answer can be interpreted in many different ways. Some say 1+1=1, others say 1+1=2, but the majority who have been through the experience will say “I just married the love of my life”.

The most interesting part of this story is the shitstorm that happened before the most amazing day of my life. It was 2 weeks before I was due to be married. I was climbing through the roof of the “Man-o-meter” project, a 8c/+ project at the Chosspile. I was trying to pivot 180 degrees around a heel-toe-cam. It worked just fine the previous two times. In fact, I almost did the route in two parts. There was just one move I couldn’t do the previous time, but what do you expect from an 8A+ move in a roof? I’m not superman! I cannot climb 8c in 3 tries.

Bad things happen in 3s

Bad things happen in 3s

Brace yourself

Brace yourself

The sound I hear was gut-wrenching. Ebert was belaying me and he totally turned white. Alex and the other explo guys just tried to patch me up. Alex was a rock star, he just brought me a bandage and tried to help. My knee was was screwed! We all had just heard this terrible sound. It was a loud pop, combined with a tear. Just imagine popping the top off a beer and tearing a shirt on a nail as you walk past. It was bad. I knew it was bad. There was no denying it. When it heard it, they lowered me to the ground. I just laid there a few minutes, freaking out a little. I called Yvette; I told her my knee was ruined. She tried to downplay it but she hadn’t heard the SOUND. Life, the universe and everything. It’s really quite subjective.

I used to to think that my life revolved around climbing. It did. The universe was everything that I touched through climbing. Everything was the outskirts, definitely not least. Yvette is part of my universe. I love her with all my heart. When my knee exploded two weeks before my wedding I thought I was cursed. You have no idea, how cool it’s been to be hurt and have some time on my hands with Yvette… But I’m getting ahead of myself.

When I met with Dr, the shit hit the fan. I found out that I needed to have an MRI. I called my mom and told her, it was a necessity and needed to clear it with my medical aid. 10 minutes later I found out that my medical aid had been cancelled 10 months ago and I was a free agent. More accurately, I was in a lot of trouble. My dad and I apparently had a miscommunication; he thought I was on my company’s medical aid and I had told him that I was staying on my family’s medical aid as it cost much less. My MRI was R6700. This was the first of many terrible costs to come.

My diagnosis was bad… I’d torn my lateral collateral ligament as well as my posterior cruciate ligament. *insert obligatory stressing words*. You know what, life sucks sometimes. I really hate it. There is nothing worse than this diagnosis for your knee as a sportsman. 9 months was the recovery period. What else could be worse.

Other than the fact that when you wake up after the surgery, you find out that it was not a repair but rather a reconstruction. WHY!!!!????????

My dad is amazing. I’m 30 years old, but because we’d had a miscommunication he promised to help me out. This was not a cheap promise. All in, the surgery cost him R120,000. ****! It was a lot of money. BTW, the day after I found out I wasn’t covered, I signed with Discovery and Vitality. I’m not stupid. I just had a bad miscommunication. $11,000 is a lot of money for a day at the crag. I’m not sure if he really understands me, but the fact is that as a professional athlete, I consider my health too important to be disregarded. I would never have gone a single moment without adequate insurance. It’s like driving a Lamborghini at 200mph with no insurance, during peak traffic. Life is bound to say “hi, I’m here!”

Dr  is an amazing surgeon. The more people I spoke to, the more people referred me to him. It’s insane. He has more clients / patients than you could imagine. I’ve only heard good things. He has very high expectations and that is the way forward. My fiance, at the time, was working at Tembisa hospital as an orthopedic surgeon. When I told she’d torn her PCL he was curious. When I saw that she had a bad injury, he looked at us and said,”look, I really think you need surgery. It looks like a single injury, which is quite rare for the amount of movement you have in your knee.” also offered her the opportunity to see what it means to be an orthopod in the private sector, not operating on trauma but rather on electives, like ME! That is amazing. He is an artist. As far as surgeons are concerned, he has an amazing bedside manner. Trust me, Yvette can vouch for this!

There are a lot of things that suck in life. One of them, not have enough pain killers. When you are in hospital suffering and the nursing staff at Rosebank won’t call the surgeon due to a misentry into the file. I had some really weird experience where the artificial morphine didn’t work on me (pethidine) and I needed something called omnopon. This was pretty bad, I have no idea why the one worked and the other didn’t. But shit happened. The difference was, an increased level of pain (pethidine) and eight hours of happiness (omnopon). Fuck knows.

Paying cash for you hospital visit, you really think hard about what you’re doing. I’ll tell you what, staying an extra night to be in a lot a excess pain…. NOT SOMETHING TO PAY FOR. ROSEBANK CLINIC DID NOT HELP ME! The nursing staff can be completely incompetent. Even after my (DR) fiance called at 10pm they refused to call my surgeon to sort out the issues. I spent another R12k to spend the night there, to have my pain managed. I could have done this from home from about R150 for a regulated dosages of Traumacet; it would have been fine. I was kept in the hospital because I “needed” the shots, I needed strong medication. That night, I was offered pethidine (for most people this is great, however, considering that I responded negatively to the injections twice, this was worth nothing to me. In fact, it made it worse) and then later Stilapane. They nurses told me they gave me a shot of omnopon, however, after an hour I was in tears and crying out for meds. The other three times, I’d been given omnopon, it lasted 8 hours per shot. I hate to cause trouble, but I think they lied to me.

The next day I saw Dr , he looked at me with a puzzled look, wondering why I looked so bad. When I told him that the sisters refused me treatment, he was shocked. He asked me for names and I provided. For the rest of the world “TOPAZ WARD, the night of the 4th”. I’m still submitting my formal complaint. Please let this in no way reflect negatively on the amazing treatment of the rest of the staff and the surgeon. I had a great stay at the hospital other for this shift.

Well, now that the shit has hit the fan. The next week was filled with me trying to finalize my nuptial plans. I had to organize my tux (thanks Andrew for picking my up from my house), and everything else. When I got married, it was the most amazing day of my life. There were so many things at play, life the venue at Chez Charlene, the photographer Henry O, our amazing cake designer “Cakes by Pat”. But these are just a few of the truly amazing mentions.

My life will never be improved. This day in my life was perfect. I have never experienced anything that was beyond improvement. That day was simply perfect. I have a few words that I published on facebook that I would like to share with my readers. This one is from me:

Husband and Wife

Husband and Wife

Oooh la la

Oooh la la

Oh Yvette, your horses are everywhere!!

Oh Yvette, your horses are everywhere!!

Posing on the Triumph!

Posing on the Triumph!

What a dance, very private

What a dance, very private

Our wedding day was the most amazing experience of my life. From the moment I saw Yvette riding towards me on her horse I knew it was going to be an amazing day. She was without a doubt the most beautiful girl I had ever laid eyes upon. I have never seen such beauty. Instantly, my eyes began to tear up. I had to try so hard not to just burst.

Admittedly, standing at the alter was one of the most painful and uncomfortable experiences ever. My beautiful bride was standing beside me and I was balancing on one leg, foot going numb inside my new, uncomfortable dress shoes. The price of looking great? Perhaps. The words spoken between us were breathtaking, the ceremony was memorable to say the least.

And then we were man and wife. It was quite something to walk out of the chapel and be showered in rose petals by our close friends and family.

The wedding cake was a masterpiece of design and culinary prowess. “Cakes By Pat” is worth every cent we invested! The design depicted me climbing a wall modeled after the cliffs of Dover. I had just made it over the top and in my hand is a wedding ring. I’m reaching upwards to Yvette who is sitting on her horse in her wedding dress. Truly a masterpiece.

The venue was incredible, surpassing all of our expectations. Charlene and her team went out of their way to ensure that there was no room for improvement on any aspect of our special night.
The food was art, the dessert required the room to be dark for the full effect of the flaming creme brule to resonate leaving all of us in pure awe.

The speeches were heartfelt and genuine. Etienne wrote a poem to thank his mom for the life she gave Yvette, Theuns and himself. Celia is a truly selfless person.
Andrew toasted to my parents, Chris and Nancy. He handed out photos of me, sharing all the stories about my ability to break. Tales of snakebites, ground falls and broken bits and pieces filled the air. He is my best man for a reason.
My dad’s speech told the tale of the adventure that is my life. It was so heartfelt and amazing. I love you dad.
When it was my turn to take the microphone I was so happy. I am married to the most beautiful bride; a doctor, a passionate, driven perfectionist. I am a lucky man.

Being able to share this special day with my mom was a cherry on the top of my perfect day. I love you mom.

We weren’t supposed to have a first dance because of my knee. After I finished my speech I promptly walked up the the coordinator and DJ so I could have my first dance to Lifehouse “you and me”. It was the perfect song because it is perfectly true. With all the other people around me, the only person I could see was Yvette. It was only us on the dance floor and we held each other tightly while I balanced on one crutch.

Theuns and Yvette shared a dance to “butterfly kisses” and I cried some more.

What happened next was amazing. They say me down on a chair in the middle of the dance floor and Yvette took the mic. Yvette serenaded me to her own version of Avenged Sevenfold “Warmness on the Soul”. Eddie rocked out the guitar solos and added to the streams of tears in my cheeks.

By far the best part of my day!

Now the dance floor was open and my friends were having a blast. When Rammstein started playing, heads started banging. Ian and Stefan definitely helped me rock out. Yes, I was headbanging, yes, I was balancing on crutches, no, I’m not crazy.

Yvette and I had the pleasure of being photographed by one of the most talented and psyched wedding photographers I’ve met, Henry O. We can’t wait to see the final results. The pics on his camera were breathtaking. I think it helps when you have two drop dead gorgeous models to work with.

When the music turned off, Yvette and I were shuttled up to the honeymoon suite where we found a bath had been drawn for us in the jacuzzi-style tub, with champagne chilled in the bucket next to the bath.

I won’t tell you about what happened next.. That’s our special secret but what I can say is it was hot!

Thank you all for being there for the best day of my life. I don’t have everyone on Facebook, but if I’ve missed someone please share this with them.

 

So that is me… Yvette has her own perspective

 

So here we are! I am a married woman now. The luckiest one ever! What an incredible day. Best day of my life…

All the preparation and planning, faffing and fiddling has reached the crescendo. On the one hand wanting everything to be perfect, on the other knowing it won’t be and being completely at peace with whatever happens. Watching the weather report but knowing that watching it won’t change it and knowing, that in the end, it will all be perfect in its own right; keeping the focus on what this day was really about. Not a pretty dress or nice make up, not handmade menus or seat names (not falling off my horse was still important though…). I am to join my life to the person that means most to me in this world. The person I have loved and will love till forever comes. The person I chose to spend eternity with. Brian Michael Weaver.

Getting ready was fun. A room full of gorgeous giggling girls, getting hair and makeup done, sipping champagne, swathed in anticipation for the great day. My hair, make up and dress, along with the details to accent each aspect, a pearl on each ear and adorning my neck, was done. I stepped in front of the mirror and before me stood a new woman. A strong, stunning woman that was ready for this new adventure. I have never felt so beautiful in my life! This is going to be EPIC.

With many different looks coming my way: a few raised eyebrows (are you REALLY sure this is a good idea?…), a few frank looks of “this is really not a good idea” and a few that simply couldn’t look at all, I gathered up my reins, whispered to my phenomenally patient mare: “Ignore them my girl, we are gonna be fabulous!”, put my foot in the stirrup of the antique Side-saddle and mounted. And off we went! My beautiful black steed, proud and regal (sporting her tiara with grace) to the entrance, Henry wildly snapping photos along the way with the occasional “wow!” and “beautiful!”. I was filled with nervous excitement. Not about my horse behaving (which she did), but about what, or rather who, was waiting at the end of the path. He is waiting there for me. Just for me.

A grand and elegant entrance. A few ooh’s and ah’s. And there my Knight was standing in the centre of the crowd. My heart stopped. This is it.

Everyone was ushered inside. After a graceful dismount (phew!) and a few adjustments, I stood in front of the chapel door, accompanied by my two dear brothers Etienne and Theuns.

The doors swing open.

A string quartet awed me as I entered and made my way down the aisle to my waiting Love. He took my breath away.

The sermon delivered by Rev Graeme Mercer was genuine and meaningful, though to be honest, some of it was a bit lost on me as I was quite distracted by this handsome man standing by my side. Brave and proud, balancing on only his uninjured leg, having abandoned both crutches. We vowed. We kissed. We tied the knot (literally. A figure 8 with each of our own very first climbing ropes), we signed or lives over to each other and walked out as husband and wife. And Yes, having rose petal confetti thrown over you IS that awesome .

Next, while enchanted by another live violinist, we had to cut a cake that deserved to rather be preserved for all eternity if it hadn’t been so illegally delicious. Cakes By Pat made a masterpiece, with Brian soloing the Cliffs of Dover to present me with a ring, with me sitting atop my black steed. Wow! And divine!!

We left the guests to devour said masterpiece and some snacks. Thank you to Carina for the personalised snacks… Climbing and horse themed cookies! Yeah!

Photos and video by Henry O and Nica from Mighty Fine Productions, respectively, was professional, efficient and FUN! So much enthusiasm! It was so easy to be ourselves but at the same time feel like supermodels and get some awesome moments on film. The weather was perfect, by the way…

The speeches were heartfelt and honest, offering different perspectives on both Brian and myself. Sharing a bit more about us as individuals to our friends and family present. Thank you to my uncle Jacques for being MC and keeping things running on time, thank you dear brother Etienne for your poem that captured the essence of our mom. To Andrew for almost pulling out Brian’s worst nightmare… A bag of diapers lol, and instead gifting a climbing rope. The photos were a great touch! To Chris Weaver for sharing a few facts that I hadn’t known yet about my new hubby’s past… To my mother, Celia. Your love and support made me who I am, and because of you this day was what it was! You are wonderful. To Nancy for travelling far to come help out, thank you for all the hard work and late nights!

To all of our friends and family who attended. I felt blown away by how much AWESOME there was in that room. Each one of you made the evening so much more special.

The food was a decadent, delicious, delectable! We had been looking forward to it since we planned the menu. The venue and service were impeccable. My expectations were obliterated and superseded beyond anything. Thank you Charlene at Chez Charlene for a flawless evening. And yes, I did get to eat! Woohoo!

Thank you to Charlene and Dorette for a perfectly coordinated and seamlessly run evening. It felt like a CIA event with everyone wearing earpieces and walkie talkies, and us having our own personal “Butler”. Andries, you rock! Wow. Just wow. Again wow!

Brian’s speech just hit the nail on the head. It was so sincere. And I was sincerely embarrassed at some points ha ha ha! It was just lovely and so real

Then the lights went out. To the soul stirring tune of “This Girl Is On Fire” the waitron brought out the blue flaming creme brule. The gasp in unison from the guests gave me goosebumps.

Much to my delight, Brian pulled me to the dance floor, crutch in hand, and we danced to Lifehouse, You And Me. All night so far I had been doing so well, but this just opened the flood gates. My strong, brave husband, with bruised hands and aching legs, dancing with me. Thank God for super-make-up! As I thought it was over, the Father-daughter dance started. My eldest brother Theuns graciously stood in for my dad In Memoriam. I was brought to tears once more, allowing the memory of my father to wash over me and know that he is indeed present and proud to give me away to Brian and give his blessing on our marriage, and accept Brian into our family. I’m sure he would’ve passed the hole in a rock test…

Now was my turn to confess my promise to my husband. A serenade. Avenged Sevenfold, Warmth on the Soul, with a twist on the last verse. Due to circumstances we never got to practice. Me standing with the mic in my hand was the first time being up there. I had no idea if it would work. And the emotional overwhelming dances preceding this ensemble had made my voice croaky… So I had to talk the verses because I didn’t trust my voice! But I was able to fight the quiver just enough to have an epic chorus… Plus the main surprise, a live electric guitar solo by Eddie. EPIC! for those who missed it, here’s how it goes:


Your hazel green tint eyes watching every move I make.
And that feeling of doubt, it’s erased.
I’ll never feel alone again with you by my side.
You’re the one, and in you I confide.

And we have gone through good and bad times.
But your unconditional love was always on my mind.
You’ve been there from the start for me.
And your love’s always been true as can be.
I give my heart to you.
I give my heart, cause nothing can compare in this world to you.

And we will go through good and bad times.
But our unconditional love is always on my mind.
This is the start for you and me.
Our love will always be true as can be.

I give my heart to you.
I give my heart, cause nothing can compare in this world to you.

I give my heart to you.
I give my heart, cause nothing can compare in this world to you.

That is my promise
Soon after we disappeared for the night shoot (photos to follow!)

After all that, the party began! And we rocked out to some awesome metal and rock! Brian with a crutch in the one hand and a beer in the other. Yay for Rammstein, Manson and Disturbed! Yes, one can rock out in a wedding gown

We were chauffeured back to our suite to find a bottle of iced champagne and a hot bubble bath already run in the jacuzzi tub. The rest is history! And the start of the best love story ever…

And that is life. I love her more than life itself. What else can I say?

Yvette and I went to an awesome game lodge in the Hoesdspruit area. I wrote a bit of a review, here it is:

Just arrived home from our mini honeymoon in Hoedspruit staying at the Shikwari Bush Lodge! Oh Wow! What a place. 4 stars officially, but certainly a 5 star lodge in terms of the personal attention, the food and the wine! The chef at Shikwari is extremely talented and pairs the wines to the evening meals.

Anyone who is looking for an amazing getaway must head here!!! They make it effortless for you to book massages, game drives or anything else in the area. No need to take cash for any activity, it all runs on your tab. Same with the meals and wines over the duration of your stay. Just order and savour your experience.

She's not on facebook

She’s not on facebook

20141014_112559

Jessica the hippo!!!

Jessica the hippo!!!

2 seconds later it almost grabbed my foot as I cowered on Yvette's lap!

2 seconds later it almost grabbed my foot as I cowered on Yvette’s lap!

Elephant

Elephant

Need I say more?

Need I say more?

Just proving we're taking photos

Just proving we’re taking photos

Lions

Lions

Coffee on the game drive

Coffee on the game drive

Being treated extremely special, no one asked for this (not us and not management)

Being treated extremely special, no one asked for this (not us and not management)

The MiniMoon destination

The MiniMoon destination

Irony in motion

Irony in motion

Blyde River Canyon

Blyde River Canyon

Blowing me kisses

Blowing me kisses

My gorgeous wife!

My gorgeous wife!

Wow, so that’s a lot of information! You know what, I even have one more thing! Our halloween experience!

We went out on a Mystery Ghost Bus Tour of the JHB area. Was awesome!

The grave marker of the writer of the South African anthem, I'm standing on about 150 corpses to take this picture. There are so many unmarked, reused graves.

The grave marker of the writer of the South African anthem, I’m standing on about 150 corpses to take this picture. There are so many unmarked, reused graves.

Giving Godzilla a kiss, one monster to another

Giving Godzilla a kiss, one monster to another

IMG_0492 IMG_0475

The Mystery Ghost Bus Tour in JHB. Really worth it

The Mystery Ghost Bus Tour in JHB. Really worth it

IMG_0430

 

Well, we’ve just gotten back from our honeymoon in Germany and Austria. I’ve been told I’m allowed to walk again and it seems that I’m healing. That’s such great news. I’ve even joined a gym again so I can ride a stationary bike. More pics and story about the honey to come in the next week or so!

Terrible Things Happen in Three? Really? Why?!! — Updated

UPDATED: I’ve uploaded a new training program if anyone is interested. It’s pretty hardcore, even if I have to say so for myself. I’ve used a combination of authors to aid me in my search for the ultimate form of torture for my dungeon. I’ve made use of advice from Paul Brouard, Eric Horst, Steve McClure and a few of my own ideas.

I’ve set it up for 3 days on and 1 day of rest. I’ve completed the first two days and so far I’m wasted… I think it is a good balance of pure power and strength. Its in the BOX section to the right and it’s called Brian’s Training Program for Power. Try it. Let me know if you need any more information or advice.

It’s the middle of the week and I’m having a great session. I’m working out all the moves and I’m feeling strong. What I didn’t plan on was the really unbearable, loud popping sound which is the later collateral ligament in my left knee deciding that it can’t do it. Shit. I’m on the ground, I’m in a lot of pain, I’m really unhappy. The first thing I think is this: “at least it’s not my finger again!”

Bad things happen in 3s

Bad things happen in 3s

How’s that for optimism?

I was genuinely happy that I hurt my knee and not my finger. Well, let me tell you why; with a knee injury I can still get really strong. I can still train hard; I can still campus; I can still boulder with one leg (after I’ve recovered a little more). So, all in all, I think I’m going to come back from this more psyched than ever.

Yesterday I spent most of the day in bed, trying to recover a little but today I had to be out and about. Good news is that I can drive and I can walk pretty much normally. Sitting in a chair isn’t a pleasant experience so I’m probably going to have to ask to work remotely for a while. I am seeing the orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday. Hopefully it won’t be that bad and I might not need surgery, but I won’t hold my breath.

I’ve already started my new training program.

My Torture Chamber

My Torture Chamber

Today I did a combination of programs:

1. 20 minutes of pull-ups. 6 pull-ups every minute on the minute focusing on being explosive on the way up and controlled on the way down.

2. Offset Pulls – 5 pull up either side with the upper hand on the jug on my Metolius board and my lower hand in the good slot on my Beastmaker. 1 minute rest between each set.

3. The Chris Webb Parson program: I’m still using the good slot on the Beastmaker but I’ve added a pinch block for the other hand, rather than a sling. I’m not sure if this is better but it is different. I couldn’t hold the full locks today.

4. Pull-up/Pushup pyramid: 10 pulls, 10 push, then 9, 8, 7, etc down to 1. The emphasis is control. I tried to rest as little as possible but focused on control. I used the upper right edges for 4 fingers on the Metolius board. Nice and wide.

5. Pinch training: using my wooden pinch blocks, I would try to pinch the sides of the blocks, keeping my fingers away from the top, so that I could maximise effort. The objective is to hold a 90 degree lock for 5 seconds at a time. I find this really difficult, but I’m going to try to extend it to 10 and the longer as I grow accustomed to it. Pinch strength is a weakness for me, thus I bought the blocks.

I measured my heart rate throughout.

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/594028901

So, I’ll track all the training that I do during my recovery time. I’m going to keep a log in Excel so I can see how things change in the coming weeks. Till next time!

Frustration

This year certainly hasn’t been an easy one… Out of the 5 months so far this year I’ve been injury free for only a few weeks. On December 28, 2013, I ruptured a pulley in my right ring finger. It healed well and I was just getting back in the swing of things when I had an unfortunate accident while I was out bouldering in Swinburne. I was mantling on a tricky top out, my heel hook slipped and I fell, missing the pads. I sprained my finger in the process. I haven’t had any newsworthy sends this year 😥

Me representing on Future Life (8b)

Me representing on Future Life (8b)

Last week I found out that I may have torn a ligament in my middle finger on my left hand during that fall and I’ve had it taped up for additional support since. So far it’s looking a lot better than it has for a while. It’s been about 5 weeks now and I think it’s finally starting to get better.

Other than having a stupid accident, what else have I been up to? I’ve been trying to keep fit, but it’s been a bit tough as I’m feeling really frustrated about not being able to climb daily. I’ve started running a little and I’m hoping to build my way up to 10km in the near future. Right now I’m comfortably running 4-5km in 20-25 min, which is pretty slow but it’ll improve with some effort. I’ve also been trying to get to the gym but have been pretty busy at work and working remotely that it makes it tough to actually get to the gym.

Other than that, I’ve been working on Shadowfax (8b+) and it’s been a lot of fun again. I’m getting the subtleties back and it’s coming together but it’ll feel a lot better when my finger isn’t sore 🙂

But the biggest highlight of the past few months has definitely been my time at the Wow Prow with Andrew. That was pure madness! SOOO MUCH FUN. I think that the best way to describe the quality of the routes there would be to say that they take a star off of everything else you’ve ever climbed, and this says a lot seeing as I’ve climbed a lot of the top lines in the country.

So while we were there I took a couple of time lapses to try to share the routes with everyone… So below are some videos, one where Andrew on an attempt where he falls off right at the end of the upper crux and one of me warming up on one of our days there. It was cold!

 

This is Andrew on Future Life (8b) he sent it the next attempt after this and was pretty damn happy

It was really cold down there!! The wind was pumping!

 

 

The Wow Prow from the side, it might look small but it packs a punch with quality

The Wow Prow from the side, it might look small but it packs a punch with quality

The campsite at Ben Nevis

The campsite at Ben Nevis

What a Place

What a Place

Douw and I in the back of the Bovenator

Douw and I in the back of the Bovenator

It's a beautiful day

It’s a beautiful day

Ivan on Rage Against the Machine (7c) 20140426_113746

Future Life

Future Life

Future life

Future life

And the other hand too!

And the other hand too!

Alex Bester on Digital Warfare

Alex Bester on Digital Warfare

The Wow Prow in all its Glory

The Wow Prow in all its Glory

My poor injured finger and my wasted skin

My poor injured finger and my wasted skin

Training, Coaching and Success

Very often I sit around wondering what factors help a person to succeed. Success in life like success in climbing requires preparation. For me, this often results in many hours spent isolated in my spare room doing dead hangs, pull ups, repeaters and encores, not to mention campus problems.

I was asked to be the MC at the RLMC and got to lead the proceedings on both of the evenings. On the Friday night, Andrew Pedley gave a fantastic presentation about his life in climbing. He’s been climbing for 25 years so far and has been bolting lines for the last 10 years. I have been lucky enough to climb with him for the last 5 or so years and in doing so I belayed him on two of his hardest first ascents: Rodan (2010) and Double Dragon (2014). Listening to his presentation was a lot of fun for me and everyone else in the room.

Debbie offering me a token of appreciation for my MC skills :)

Debbie offering me a token of appreciation for my MC skills 🙂

The St Peter's Team

The St Peter’s Team

Seeing others succeed is absolutely vital for me too. When I was presented with the opportunity to coach Tristan and Alistair in preparation for the final RLMC, I was psyched. We climbed together at Bronkies and at Choss where I saw them both flash a 22 and work a 24. That was nothing though compared to the day of the actual comp.

Tristan at Chosspile

Tristan at Chosspile

Tristan setting off on Shelob (24)

Tristan setting off on Shelob (24)

Tristan and me at Choss

Tristan and me at Choss

Between the two of them they flashed or onsighted something like five 20s. We hiked over 5.5km to a wide variety of locations on the day. It was fantastic. They earned the greatest number of hiking points of anyone in the comp which is an impressive feat for two u13 climbers. Both of them trusted me to guide them and they tried hard on every route. Alistair even onsighted a 19 slab down at the Long Tonk boulders that was quite serious, particularly for someone of his height.

The boys at their first climb of the day, Platypus (17)

The boys at their first climb of the day, Platypus (17)

Building a rapport with the two of them took some time during the training days but what impressed me more than anything was their belief in their abilities. They trusted me to guide them through the day and I pushed them hard. They believed in me as much as I believed in them; almost a symbiosis in some regards. Neither of them ever said no, they couldn’t do it or they wouldn’t try. I am so impressed with them.

Being able to announce them as the winners of their age group was fantastic, I completely expected this. What I didn’t expect was their overall 8th place finish, which would have allowed them a 1st in u15 and 2nd in u17s.  SERIOUSLY?? WOW. I’m looking forward to working with them in the future and seeing where they go. My bet is they are heading for 8a very soon and far beyond…

The Trophies at the RLMC

The Trophies at the RLMC

Eric and Gary

Eric and Gary

They have been inspiring to me; I’ve been working hard to get back into shape since my injury in December. One of the results of this is the hard training regime I’ve been putting myself through. I’ve been trying to training 7 days a week with my rest days being on the hangboard doing about 45 minutes of light training. Some days I’ve been training before work in the morning and then again in the evening. I’ve been burning major calories trying to get the psych back and the strength back into the fingers. I feel like I’m getting there but I’m not quite at the top of my game.

There have been four primary exercises I’ve been working on to get stronger:

  • Weighted Repeaters — I choose a grip and hang for 7 seconds, then rest for 3 and repeat 7 times then rest for 1 min 50 seconds before moving to the next grip. I rotate through about 10 sets of holds in a session. I’ve been doing this with about 12kgs of weight so that I’m emphasising maximum finger strength and coupling it with power endurance. I find that this is a very good way to make large gains fast but also an easy way to get hurt so be careful.
  • Encore repeaters in 4 minute sets. Paul Brouard recommended this and I find it exhausting. Choose 6 holds, mine are a Jug, a sloper, 2 finger pocket, crimp, 2 finger pocket (again), medium sloper. Again this one is done 7 on, 3 off. For the first minute, straight arms. Without resting repeat the sequence with arms at 90 degrees. In the 3rd minute repeat the sequence at full lock. In the 4th minute you need to do 10 pull ups on the smallest crimp you have. Now you can rest for 10 minutes. A successful session is when you perform 5 sets. Best advice I can give is to record your exercise and if you fail on a grip type use that time to rest for the next one. You’ll be able to see increases in your performance through recording your outcomes. When you are scoring 100%, add weight or choose new holds that are harder to use.
  • 1 arm repeaters — same as the repeaters but with only 1 arm and maybe one finger to aid you in staying on.
  • Campus routes. Here’s the video.

Other than this, I’ve been bouldering with an emphasis on maximum power. At the end of my bouldering sessions I try to do an add on with my training partners to get up to a 30 move problem. Great fun when you’re already tired.

My outdoors climbing has been going well recently but nothing eventful. Been working the boulder problem that injured me in Swinburne, Dunce on Fire (7C+). Got close but no cigar. This weekend coming weekend will have my sights focused on it again. Along with Andrew’s project Tempest (31/32?) This is a route that has a very big move to a mono hold, pretty rough.

Also been working Violent Streak (8b) at Chosspile but it’s a bit warm still. When I was with Andrew this last weekend I sorted out all the beta for a project there called Bass Hunter (32?) which was the first time I’ve ever linked all the sequences 🙂 I can’t wait to get back on all these lines!!!! Fun times!

Violent Streak (8b)

Violent Streak (8b)

Violent Streak (8b)

Violent Streak (8b)

Coaching from the tree @ Chosspile

Coaching from the tree @ Chosspile

Violent Streak (8b)

Violent Streak (8b)

Here is a new toy!! Outward Ventures sent me a brand new 80m Roca Dominator 9.2mm!!! Look how pretty it is!!!

 

20140323_145958

My pretty lady lounging around in the hammock.

My pretty lady lounging around in the hammock.

SOOOO PRETTY!

SOOOO PRETTY!

The Tempest Project (8a+/b) in Swinburne

The Tempest Project (8a+/b) in Swinburne