altitude slickness

Better than nothing…

It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to get outside, but that’s not to say I haven’t had my mind on things of a vertical nature.

Last week I signed up for an annual membership to the Portland Rock Gym, and have been climbing all the V0’s in sight after work. With all the rain coming down, it’s been nice to get back into that kind of environment and know that I can get back into shape and hopefully improve some of my withered climbing skills. I’ve purposely been climbing the easiest things out there so as to not hurt myself getting back into this, and I’ve dug up some material about training that will help get some structure into my program and show me some results in time for this coming summer.

Tonight Beetle and I went to see Beth Rodden and Tommy Caldwell speak at the Bagdad Theater. We ended up behind them while waiting in line for our pizza, but I didn’t bug them. Some guy came up and had them signing a couple of magazines and a bunch of posters, and you just don’t want to be That Guy. They’re both a lot shorter than I thought they’d be. During their presentation Beth said she’s five-foot-one “on a good day”, and that being that short isn’t necessarily a bad thing in climbing. “It all averages out”, she said, as her smaller size allows her to use holds and moves that would tie the taller of us into knots. They both seemed just like really nice people and very much like someone Amy and I would hang out with. It was just inspiring to see them climb together and support each other so much while pulling off some amazingly superhuman feats. The presentation was first a slideshow from their free climb of the Nose on El Capitan, and then a short film about Tommy’s suffer-fest free climbing both the Nose and Freerider in a day. They answered a bunch of questions and tossed out some gear, and just impressed me as a couple of just really nice, laid-back people.

It was inspiring to see what they could do, and just made me a bit more determined to be able to climb how I know I can and dial up the things in my life that bring me joy. I get distracted too easily and I think I’m just tired of being distracted. I really wish I’d have been able to bring Amy or the Boys… They all would have had a good time and come away just as inspired.

Handing out schwag...

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