Thursday, February 21, 2013

Notes from the sideline

Hey look, a bluebird!  Always pretty, and an especially nice consolation prize as I sit here in week five of not climbing.

The whole thing would be much less annoying if I actually knew how I hurt my shoulder, but I guess that's just how it goes sometimes.  At least the rest is paying off now, and it now only hurts through certain ranges of motion.  I can evan hang on it without any discomfort, which means finger training is now an option. Combined with all the cardio and core work I've been doing, I almost feel like I'll come back to climbing as strong as I left it.  And with recent injury-themed posts from Ben and Dustin, at least I don't feel alone!

As I've mentioned before, I tend to approach rest days and injury time as opportunities to do all the things I usually don't have time to do.  In this case, it's meant plenty of time extra time for taking walks to the lake, fitting since this is probably my favorite birdwatching time of the year.  The bluebirds have been the most striking against the relatively colorless backdrop, but I've also been excited to see the water birds that are coming through, including a large group of mergansers out in the middle of the lake and a gorgeous pair of canvasbacks near the dock.

Add in a handfull of the regulars...

and every walk has something to offer.  I've already seen one of the pileated woodpeckers awkwardly flopping past, along with several of the more graceful downies and red-bellies.  The terns will be passing through soon as well, exemplifying the shock and awe style of fishing as they careen toward the water.  An odd thing to get excited about maybe, but it's reassuring to know that natural cycles still exist in my otherwise man-made home.

Fortunately not everyone has been injured, and I've still had plenty of eye candy to give me a vicarious climbing fix.  The crew from Adventures in Pebble Wrestling recently returned from Hueco, and I find myself wanting to go there more than ever after seeing Art's fantastic pics and the video teasers that Paul threw together from the trip.  Can't wait to see the full video!

I've also been excited to see that the cold temps have led to a recent surge in ice climbing activity, which generally isn't something we get a lot of south of the Mason Dixon.  Perhaps my favorite has been this video that Steve posted on Facebook the other day, not of dramatic multipitch waterfalls, but of a tree in his backyard that he turned into an improvised ice spire.  Do it while you can I guess!

Have a great weekend, and stay warm out there!

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