Sunday, September 28, 2014

Finding my feet again

One of the biggest perks of being a teacher is having an entire summer off.  Although I usually take the opportunity for a road trip out west, this summer I chose to stay more local and fit in two great trips to the Gunks before somehow pulling a tendon in my left foot.  It was good for me in a way, getting to focus on the less active things that I don't often make time for anymore, and in the process letting my mind remember how to be still.

It was a month before I was walking normally again, something that I actually had to make a conscious effort to do after adjusting my stride for so long to keep the stress off the center of my foot.   Starting with toproping in the gym, my endurance was a little less than I wanted, but the movement came back quickly.  Even then, it was another month before I was able to make it onto actual rock, and it showed.

With the weather finally cooling in the past couple weeks, I've had some great days of bouldering at Northwest Branch, Sykesville, and Bushwhack.  Yesterday at Bushwhack was especially fun, with Peter figuring out a low start to the Tourette's problems that I'd been puzzling over in my past few visits there.  Didn't get any video of his send, or his repeat that included him flicking us off while sticking a middle finger mono crimp, but here's Charlie showing how it's done.

Okay, so it's more of a shoulder start than the true sit start that we'd envisioned, but it was a really fun solution that I can't believe nobody thought of sooner.

In this case, I was glad to have someone else's approach to follow, but as I get back to climbing outside I'm also experiencing an imbalance between finding my own sequences and following others'.  On climbs I've done before, my own foot placements come right back to me, even if it's been a year or two since I've been on them.  On new climbs, however, I keep finding myself automatically using whatever footholds others are finding useful, rather than stopping to think what would be more suited to my own body position.  This is especially problematic when following someone who is a couple inches shorter and probably 40 pounds lighter than me, and has frequently resulted in me wasting so much energy that I can no longer finish the climb even once I've stepped back and found a better way.  At least I'm realizing this now though, and can make it a point to keep finding my own feet as the weather gets better and I get out more often.

It's good to be moving again.

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