Look, Mom, No Brains!

After healing up for two weeks from my injuries I decided it was time to get back on the horse. I come up with some really bad ideas sometimes. It’s like my hobby, and would you expect any less from somebody who spells safty wrong?

The first few pitches went just fine, and we climbed moderates while my friend placed her first pieces of pro and did her first trad leads. I’m really glad that I went and was able to be there to support her. After the first few pitches I thought it would be wise, with a broken finger and broken toe, to climb a finger crack.

After that last finger crack pitch my toe felt like it was exploding up into my foot and for a brief moment I actually believed the truth–that they were indeed broken. But I’ve never been one to shy away from a fight, so I just gritted my teeth and downplayed how bad it actually hurt. With a little sleep that night and a large dose of tenacity (ibuprofen) in the morning I’d be good as new. Wrong!

We only climbed six pitches the next day, but we were content. Even after leading all six excruciating pitches I was still willing eager to do another climb climb–my ritual end climb Left Ski Track Direct–but Sally opted to just go back to our cars for lunch. I’m wondering now if she only did so out of pity for my dumb rock addicted ass.

The next day, back in San Diego with my family, I hobbled like a wounded animal cursing my stupid ambitions. My finger swollen and throbbing from the finger jams, and my toe filled with screaming heat every time I weighted my right foot. I was thinking about addiction and compared my actions in the past to my stupidity in the present, and are alarmingly similar. Feeling ashamed, I promised myself I wouldn’t climb until the toe healed. What kind of a dumbass goes out climbing with a sprained foot, bruised tailbone, bruised hip, bruised ribs, broken toe, and broken finger?

I hobbled around the remainder of the Labor Day weekend and spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday with my Mom and Grandpa watching the Padres beat the Dodgers. Tuesday we installed a new window in the backroom of Grandpa’s house, and Wednesday we poured a concrete footing and set the first row of blocks. My foot was showing progress! My friend Ben (check out and follow Ben here) is in town so I was really psyched to catch up with him. I hadn’t seen him since I left Lander.

He and his partner in crime, Karli, are getting ready to start an epic journey to Patagonia by car. We decided to go to the Peoples Wall in La Jolla, a man-made cobble stone retaining wall that is about 20ft. high at it’s tallest point and traverses across 200ft. It’s a great training wall. Hell, if I was able to survive the concrete pour earlier in the day I should be fine to play around on a little easy traverse without problems. Wrong!

As we walked down the beach towards Windansea I joked that my toe will never heal, but deep down a dark revelation started to make itself known… if I don’t start taking care of my injuries I really might just hobble around on this gumby ass foot for years. Now for the addicts broken promises: I’m swearing off forever, I’m switching from climbing to body surfing, from running to biking, and I’ll start doing Yoga! I’ll be disciplined and consistent in my core training routines and up my hang board time–anything but climb! I won’t climb; I’ll only train to climb!

Right… are you convinced? Because I’m not…

Author: saftythird

Defying convention

3 thoughts

  1. My wife says the same thing about me with flying. I can get away with a lot more physical discomfort due to the nature of what I am doing compared to the physical demands of climbing. She tells me all of the time that I don’t take care of myself.

    It is hard to set aside the opportunity to do something you love, and the older I get the harder I think it gets. Maybe it is the uncertainty of knowing how many more times you will get to keep doing it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think I have to side with the people who are closest to me, and likely similar to with your wife. What I find is that when I actually do take it easy and stop being so obsessive I actually make more progress because my mind and my body have time to heal, but I never do that anyways.

      Can’t say if its the uncertainty, I think it’s just true passion. We are among the fortunate people of the world who have found that thing that makes us tick–something so personal and profound to our being.

      Liked by 1 person

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