Thursday, October 13, 2011

Joe's Valley

When Kyle told me I should go on a climbing trip for a few days in order to night wean Sebastian, my first instinct was to run before he changed his mind. I am amazed with my husband's strong manlyness as well as his caring and sweet fatherlyness. He truly is the best man I've ever met. So, here is a taste of mama CC's first solo trip post babe. I'm not going to say it wasn't hard to leave. I saw a little baby on day two and started crying. I had to walk away and numb the pain on a heinously crimpy rock climb called "Hooters". And I'm not making up the name to fit my story either.

Lewis the dog and I set off in the morning to meet some of my PT school classmates in Joe's. We arrived a bit late, missed the warm up session and went straight to Planet of the Apes (v6).

Scott on Planet of The Apes

I need to get stronger to do this rock climb. I can't use the same holds everyone else does and I end up just sticking to some crimps next to the rail. It's not easy but it's a really cool climb. Even with my beta :)

We strolled up to Will's a fire and were met with a scene of people an pads. No fear here that's for sure!

Halley, Matt, Scott

Me doing my favorite move on Will's a Fire (v6).
Photo by Matthew Paul Irving taken with my camera.

He also took a photo of a disgusting toe that I will not be sharing with you. You can thank me when you see me. I did not send Will's, sadly. The top crimp kept moving further and further away from me. Sneaky crimp. We ended the day on Kill by Numbers. A nice little v5 roof with an awkward mantle finish. Just ask anyone there, I made that mantle look like a ballet. (read much sarcasm in that statement)

Photo by Matthew Paul Irving

There is a pizza joint in Castledale aptly named, "PIZZA" and this is what they sell. I highly recommend this place though sadly, there is no beer available. It is rumored that 4 guys finished one of these in 30 minutes. Just putting it out there.

Day two was full of high ball rock climbing. The agenda that morning was to go do Dirty Hairy and Frosted Flakes. I had neither seen nor heard much about either problem. With a leisurely start that entailed eggy goodness with green onion meatball crumbles, chopped veggies, basil, and parmesaen burritos. yum. breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We set off towards the Hulk area.
The UMWA and The Small one provided a 15 problem warm-up circuit that more than prepared us to crush. We walked up to Dirty Hairy amidst chatter about people flying off the top towards near death and being caught pretty much in the trees. I was paralyzed with fear. I walked up to it and announced that I would not be doing this boulder problem then commenced to analyzing the moves and holds and being increasingly full of nerves. The thing is, it's not really that hard. The moves at the bottom are techy and they get you up the boulder in fast time so before you know it you are pretty exposed for the crux which is the top out. Mike Pirozzi sensed the stagnation of psych and displayed ease on the lower moves. After a moment of contemplation I had a rouse of inspiration and proclaimed that I would, "Take this problem as my own." I watched Halley top it out and new it would be a stretch. Even though I didn't grab the side pull pocket well I was still able to have enough tough and spirit to engage the hold, realize the exposure and rally towards the top. HALLEY-luyah! Phew. Glad that's done. Glad I did it. Done. Now towards the Dairy where the problems are slopey and completely different!

Halley searching for the holds on a problem in the dairy.

Moon rise over our campsite.

Third day on and I was pretty much spent. I barely made it off the pad and seriously considered diving into this beautiful but icy cold stream.

Mike the rock climber.

Mike the angler.

Matt Pincus the crusher.

Will's a Fire will be mine. I would also like to try Big Joe, Big Boy, and complete my slopey proj in the dairy which is named something like Basher the buncher or Beshman or something. I call it "The confident Liar" and I am now a self proclaimed consultant for FA names. I have a whole list if anyone's interested.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Days of Summer

Well, I've tried many times to do a summer post. Believe me I have. But every time I entered the office I felt that I would suffocate from heat stroke. Salt Lake in the summer is oppressively hot and I've heard that this summer was "quite mild". (blurgh) I almost burned myself putting my lap top on my lap last time I tried to write a post. These are my excuses and I'm sticking to them.
It is the first day of Fall and what a glorious change it has been. I feel relieved and almost post traumatically reminiscent of summer.
So here are some highlights:

Rock Mama Posse! I feel so lucky to have found the Rock Moms of SLC.


Rosie and Mike

Controlled Chaos

I top roped the entire time. Unable to summon the lost courage to send 5.12 on the sharp end. It wasn't until John Sherman came to visit and imparted some hard man wisdom upon me. But before I relay it to you...the beach trip:

45 minutes outside of Vegas we had a blowout. 70 mph, I looked up from the passengers seat just in time to see our tire rolling off the side of the interstate. We were lucky and Volvo XC's are just as safe as they say.

San Clemente

Sebastian got his toes wet in the ocean waves for the first time. He loved it! He would just stomp and stare at the water as it rushed up toward him.

A level playing field: Goal by Ava with a strong assist by Luna and Ansel.


Kyle and Bash

I had a whole two week break between semesters so we spent most of it driving :)
Upon returning to SLC we repacked the car and headed to Lander, WY with the Perozi's and Kris Dockstader and Noah Bigwood and their son Benjamin. Talk about some hard rock crushing family people...

Lander City Park. Not a bad place to camp.


Wild Iris: A pregnant and still crushing Cheryl.

I had a hard time keeping up. But those words of John Sherman's kept ringing in my ears. I made the mistake of telling him that I had been "taking" on sport climbs. Boy was that the wrong thing to say, let alone do. So hear it here people.

"Take. I don't know what that means." the Verm exploded. "We never took in the old days. We didn't trust our gear enough to do that."
"So what if the route was at your end range? What if you couldn't make it to the top?" I asked
"We made it to the top no matter what." He said with a tone of arrogance. (Such that any well versed OLD school climber is entitled to.)
"We would down climb, rest, shake it out. And continue up. That's how you get strong."
So this is the mantra I had in my head as we embarked upon Wild Iris.
"Take? What does that even mean?"

I embodied this to the best of my ability and surprised myself. I also backed off of a couple routes that were above my ability but I learned. I also led and fell and cleaned my first 12 since having Sebastian. It was rejuvinating. It scared me and I would totally do it again!

"Take? No way."

Ava sent her own boulder problem and then jumped off the summit. Ala Steph Davis...but not high and without a parachute...

So here's to the end of summer. Thank God. Now lets go bouldering.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Climber

The Climber is the official magazine of the NZ alpine club. It's the only climbing magazine published in NZ. It is an honor to write a piece about climbing while pregnant for this magazine given the line up of bad asses that usually grace this publication. Kiwi's are a hard core group with egos the size of peanuts and cojones that could crush a bull. The article is called, "A kick inside" and I'm happy that the idea of climbing while pregnant is starting to be an accepted one throughout the world. It's really not as scary as it sounds and it certainly made my pregnancy so much more enjoyable.

photo by Kyle George

Saturday, August 6, 2011


It actually feels like summer right now. I just finished my first semester of physical therapy school at the University of Utah. It's a very demanding Doctoral program and I'm loving it but I'm also being tested by it in more ways than just academics. I feel so proud to have rocked it this semester after having just given birth and uprooted my family from our home in Flagstaff to Salt Lake City. It's been quite the trial but it's been so worth it. We are all completely stoked on our new playground and have hit the ground running. Kyle is mountain biking, Ava is swimming in the creeks and playing with the wild animals :)
Snail race with over 30 snails found in the driveway.

We are barely surviving the sweltering heat and I hear this summer has been pleasantly mild...
We are also adapting to drinking the 3.2 beer and I've found it's a nice study beer, being that it's mostly water.
I just finished a 6 week training regimen and am ready to go surf in California before we head north to Lander.

Training Log
15 minute traverse/wall warm-up
System board training:
1. Lock off's

5 sets of 5 lock off's with one arm (other arm is on another hold but doing minimal work). Try doing with same leg as arm, then switch opposite foot on as arm which is pulling for next 5 set of 5.
5 sets of 5 pinches (three up, three down moving up the wall)
5 sets of 5 crimps
2. Hang board or finger board
Choose a size and simply hang for 10 seconds, 10 times

By this point my tendons are thoroughly worked so I switch tracks to endurance.

3. 35-40 minutes of treadmill running.

I can do 30 minutes straight now but when I feel like I'm gonna pass out I switch over to the eliptical to work my quads and I can hold on tight!!! Can you imagine falling while running on the treadmill. I was interested so I googled it and spent 25 minutes either laughing hysterically or wondering what the world would be like without stupid people...

4. Stretching and Pilates to finish.

Now it's time to get outside and play!!!! Have fun out there!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Lovely Little Cottonwood Day

A short day at the secret garden area was fun and fruitful. Twisted is the area classic. Highly recommended. I fell of the very last move 4 times before I could hoist my body high enough to grab the JUG. Kelly showed me the moves :)

Twisted v4
Wren Delligatti (Kelly's daughter) learns to spot. It's a great way to get an 18 month old involved and keep her out of harms way. She stood about 5 feet behind me and we prompted her by saying, "Help me spot." and she would throw her arms up in the air and stand attentively while her mama or I climbed.
We had three kids with us and this area kept them enclosed and happy. There are "tunnels" in between the rocks and LOTS of inch worms to put in an inch worm zoo.

Get up, get out, and do something!

The first few workouts are always the worst. I have to remind myself that if I set a goal, a true achievable goal at the beginning of every workout then I can not only make it through the pain but also come back again in a couple days :) Lesson one: learn to love the pain. It's like Stockholm Syndrome. Put on some good tunes and forget about the work ahead.
My first goal was to be able to run for three minutes at a time.
Do the strengthening part of your workout first.
The work-out:
Rows 40 lbs 3 sets of 12
Push-ups on a box with good form 5 sets of 5
10 v0-v2 gym problems

35-40 minutes endurance
Because my thighs have atrophied (the muscles size decreased) I used two machines. The first was the treadmill which I did 20 minutes of run/brisk walking. Then 10 minutes on level 3 at high speed on an elliptical trainer (basically till my thighs burned). Then 5-10 minutes cool down on the treadmill.
I can't fall at all from boulder problems because my thighs are so weak that my legs buckle...not cool. My friend Leif who is quite tall just plucks me out of the air when I need a catch but when he isn't there I just do more easy problems. I don't trust just anyone to spot me.
I like to do my core workout following endurance. Just trying to do the same kind of ab exercises that I described in my last post. I can do more reps but I still tire quickly. The day is coming though, when I am able to do a full set of Pilates hundreds and the roll-up. Look-out size 4 jeans...I'm coming for you soon!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I zip myself up

To all you climbers out there. You are very strong. No matter if you climb v5 or v15. You are like mutant strong. Working my way back from ground zero has given me a whole new perspective on strength.
I would attach a photo of my grossly overweight and out of shape post baby body but my camera stops working every time I try :) SO you will just have to take my word for it! haha
Every woman's body is different, obviously.
My body does not take to surgery very well. I find it very painful. This C-section is no different. The first week and a half was the worst. Stuck on the couch popping pills to manage my pain. Then, like magic, on day 10, the pain subsided and I didn't need medication. Now wait a second, the pain wasn't totally gone, it was manage-able without meds, thankfully. I still couldn't do anything though. Week three of being on the couch I was able to start moving around and by week 6 I got the ok from my ob to start exercising. Her exact words were, "I'm letting you out of the barn but don't go wild." I may have gone a little wild... I went climbing four times that week and it set me back, way back. I felt this strange internal shooting pain than ran vertically up the midline of my belly. Ouch. It was weird. I learned that when I felt that pain it meant that I had done enough. I still feel it here and there but it is usually when I stretch my abdomen (I'm 12 weeks out now).
We just moved to Sat Lake City so I can attend Physical Therapy School at the University of Utah. I am totally stoked to be here. The school is great, the city is great, the climbing is new and they have a killer climbing gym. I've started getting in the gym and outside to climb on whatever I can hold onto.
Plus, I've started basic abdominal-strengthening exercises.
1. Lying on my back with bent knees, feet on the floor at hip width apart. Keeping the angle of my knees the same I lift my knees towards my belly. Then lower them back down. It's a simple motion. KEEP LOWER BACK ON THE FLOOR. I started with 2 sets of 15. Increase the sets when it becomes easier.
2. Basic crunches. Knees bent, feet on the floor. Lower back presses down towards the floor. Hands behind head. Lift nose toward the ceiling. Raise up only high enough to have shoulder blades off the floor.
3. Plank Position. Hold a push up position for 30 seconds. Think of pulling the top of your head toward the wall in front of you while your heels are pulling towards the wall behind you. lift belly towards the sky without bringing hips up with it. Think long body. Lifting chest toward the sky. Strong arms. Do 2 times. When this becomes easy, try a push up keeping elbows in. No chicken Winging!!


photo courtesy of Kyle George
The last week of my pregnancy was a huge surprise. Not that I didn't know I was pregnant but like in the way that you wait and wait for something without any change and then all of a sudden BOOM. I had a perfect pregnancy. So good it was that my doctors were only seeing me every other week. So it was a huge surprise to all of us that at my 39 week appointment (I went climbing that morning by the way)... my baby had turned breach. I actually went into labor at 36 weeks but stopped it because I wasn't term yet. Not three days later I was laying on my side and I felt this huge movement. I felt water slosh in my belly and I thought to myself, "Wow. That was odd." But it didn't hurt. I had heard that when a baby suddenly flips breach it is quite painful but not in my case.
photo courtesy of Kyle George
So the last week of my pregnancy was spent upside down. I tried everything to flip my baby. Pool time handstands, laying on boards at an incline, a natural herb called Pulsatilla, even manual version. My midwife, who has a 75% success rate, attempted to manually turn my baby and after 45 minutes of excruciating pain and about a quarter of an inch of rotation, we stopped and I scheduled my very unanticipated c-section. I explored my options for doing a natural birth even with a breach baby but with the way he was positioned I couldn't find a single midwife or OB who would perform it. So, I continued with my turning tactics and without any luck I gave birth via c-section at 8:05am on Monday February 14th.

Sebastian Cooper George
8 lbs. 8 oz
22.5 inches long
38.5 cm head circumference

FYI That's a HUGE baby. Not necessarily weight wise but height and head are in the 99th percentile.
**There is the proof that climbing while pregnant does NOT deprive the baby of ANYTHING!!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Climbing pregnant: Week 39

Rock Climbing
Yee-Haw! I'm officially feeling very pregnant. I went climbing in the gym yesterday and it felt great. Each climb is very slow. I have to swing my body side to side to be able to see the foot holds, actually place my foot on it and then shift my weight in order to go up. It's like hula dancing. For the first time I'm not psyched to make it to the top of the route because it means lowering down. I really don't like the lowering part. My harness squeezes my belly and its uncomfortable. Baby is fine, I'm not like cutting myself or anything. It's just uncomfortable. I had to yell down to Doug, my climbing partner, to lower me faster...I'm sure I sounded impatient and demanding. I'm so lucky to have him. He doesn't care. He cares that I'm climbing, and that's it. He doesn't mind that I can barely get up a climb, or that I don't let him fall while I'm belaying. Thank you Doug for being so supportive!
The big day is coming soon. I'm both nervous and excited. I'm trying not to count down the days. A watched kettle never boils.
I'm reading a pile of labor books to help myself prepare. But everyday that I climb I'm thinking more and more about transferring those thoughts and methods to my labor. When I get a little pumped I focus on my breath and imagine myself in the middle of a really hard contraction and I think about opening and relaxing. Climbing is still climbing of course and can't really compare to labor but I believe any kind of mental preparation I can have increases my success of having a natural birth.
Tomorrow is my birthday and I've been waiting until that has passed to start doing "Let's get this show on the road" activities. I plan to take a long walk every day (and climbing of course) following my bday until my son is born. I just don't want to share my birthday with my offspring.
To think, I'll get to meet him in the next couple weeks. It's so exciting!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011 everyone!!!

Last year was great but I have a feeling that this year is going to be fantastic! I've never been one for idols or new years resolutions but I do have goals. My goals for this year are to send labor (at least a 5.22c/d), get into physical therapy school (probably v12), and get back into climbing shape.

photo by Kyle George

On the media front, check out the prAna LOVE!

I can't wait till after I have my baby so I can actually wear my new Kyra Jacket. I love that companies are moving sideways and using natural fibers again. I love wool. Traveling in New Zealand really sealed it when everything was soaking wet and cold but my wool still kept me warm miraculousy!

Health, wealth, and happiness to all!