Tuesday, September 18, 2012

High Country Calls are always answered

In 2001, I had only been climbing for 3 months when I competed at the Hound Ears comp. I had a bionic knee brace after just tearing my ACL but for some reason I had no fear getting up my first v3 (Jaws) which is roughly 20 feet tall and requires you to squeeze between two slopping top outs and transfer boulders with your legs dangling in space. Scary. But with climbers below and screams of encouragement...send. I was hooked. The comp introduced me to bouldering and the community of boulderers in Boone who are still my friends to this day. When my friend Andrew Kornylak, whose work I have always had such appreciation for, asked me to be a part of The Tribe, a video he was doing for prAna and the Triple Crown of Bouldering's 10th Anniversary I couldn't help but say yes! So after completing a very challenging semester of PT school, I left for a week long trip to North Carolina. 

It had been at least 5 years since I'd been to Boone so I was pretty excited and also open minded about what lay ahead. I knew for sure that it would be filled with green, humid summer days and possibly less than perfect sending temps. But I know it's going to be a good time.

My parents picked me up at the airport and we drove directly to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Where, unlike in my undergrad days, I could only finish half my donut. But it was sooo delicious. God bless the south and thank you Dad.

We stayed with Kim and Paul Fuelling and when I arrived at their house I was all alone, free to wander and take in my new surroundings.

I walked around the house,

looking at the wood growing lichen on it and the
corrugated metal they used for the siding.

They have an airstream that I covet in the side yard and I sat there for a while trying to figure out how they got it there.

I peeked in the windows (confession) to see a
home with open space and deliberate placements.

I wandered across the street and down the hill to discover their garden. Everything was just so green!

Jimmy Webb

Grayson Highlands State Park

Not a pretty place at all.

Wild ponies,


gray boulders.

Native tongue. A mushroom that looks like the earth grated cheese for you.

Paul Fuelling

Jim Horton. He's funnier than he looks.


Pretty and soft

Trying not to be eaten
 by no see em's.

Kim Fuelling


Just another pretty project that could be 
a piece of modern art.

Motorized Scooter

The Fuelings have a functioning gallery 
in their house which proved 
to be perfect for scootering and skate boarding 
after hours.

Paul is a master wood worker.

I love this jewelery box.

View from the plane home.

This is but a snippet of the trip. The best story is told by Andrew in the film, The Tribe. (click to view)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bad blogger. Go sit in the corner

I have been going borderline insane with work lately. Admittedly, I have been a bad blogger. For the last month my husband and two kids and I have been in Flagstaff AZ. My husband owns Bright Angel Bicycles which is the bike rental and guiding business located at the visitors center at the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The past two years they have been operating out of an outhouse sized kiosk with 75 bikes. This year they were concessioned, a building was built, and they now employ 27 hard working souls. Needless to say he is busy. I have been doing my acute therapy internship at the hospital here and am working 40 + hours a week plus research. Did I mention we have two children? So this is my excuse...I will be better in three weeks. Promise!

Here's a little recap of the past month:
I am officially back in shape. I've been rushing out in the evening or doing early morning weekend visits to various areas here in Flag. I try to hit up Buffalo park if I get out of work in time cause of it's proximity to the hospital. I basically climb anything I can get my hands on!
Yesterday I was still feverish from a virus I've been fighting for the last week but it wasn't enough to stop me from getting a little fresh air with some friends who were in town from New Mexico. Brandi Proffitt send The Receptionist making her the fourth woman to do it by my count. GO BRANDI!!! And also for the record, she's 5'2" making her the second shortest...
I was able to eek out a send of The Girl and attempted the long finish but the sick had my lungs in a vise. I'll be back for you! It's the first v10 I've done since being pregnant with Sebastian.

It feels so great, working back up from null. I remember trying to climb v2 in LCC last summer and having to work it. This was a year ago! Thinking back on all the challenges other than loss of sleep and starting a new grad program and moving cities. I had to fight those mental demons telling me that it's too far of a trip to go from v1-v10. It's a huge trip! Along the way I've had some amazing people giving me the extra boost I needed to keep my spirits focused. You know who you are: 8 am in LCC, babysitting so I could go climb, the extra "You can do this." when I said I couldn't. I just want to give you all big hugs right now and say thank you. I love rock climbing. It's up there with being a mom. It's up there with being a wife. I would be so intolerable if my husband had to put up with me without rock climbing in the picture. The B word comes to mind. What meter for ambition and passion would my children have if I didn't climb? Right I'm getting my doctorate in PT but I could do that sitting on the couch watching tv too. People get their doctorates all the time: out of shape, unsatisfied...I am passionate about climbing, about Physical Therapy, about health. For me it's the whole picture and if any one part is missing, the pieces don't fit.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A stroll down the Priest Draw

I knew today was going to be out of the ordinary after a yellow mustang almost hit me head on while passing someone illegally in a residential zone. A shocking sort of day I might say was in store.
Just a day ago Ava and I made the summer pilgrimage to Flagstaff to be reunited with my husband and baby boy. I'm here doing my first of four clinical internships for Physical Therapy school. Being that I am back on my old familiar turf I chose to take my shoes and stroll down the Priest Draw. The area that I have spent countless hours of my life "hanging" out in. (Just love the pun for me. I know its cheeseball.)

It was 9:30 am and the first person I saw was a woman with a baby on her back walking in the new morning air. I started at the White wall, which in my head I call the refrigerator. I ended up trying this insanely hard little problem sort of mid wall with tiny greasy crimps. (Fess up people, who's done that thing. It's stinking hard.)

After flailing I decided to do a nature hike:

Nature's Folly.

I saw this little guy three separate times. I can tell cause he had this weird little stubby tail and sort of red eyes.

Anyway, I was really surprised to see several bikers. By 11 am I had seen more hikers/bikers than climbers. It was strange. It was also graduation last night so I assume everyone was hung over.

I was on my way to Mars Roof when I crossed through what I call the "For the kids" corridor. (a great boulder for kids) and my reminiscing mind was interrupted by this:

               This roof used to look like this:

It always reminds me of a cresting wave frozen in the desert by time. I mean, I've done Anorexic naked and barefoot (alone thankfully). The first v8 I ever did was Carnivore and I got the FFA of it. This boulder is my right of passage and to see it charred and my favorite sitting spot trundled and obliterated was enough to bring me to tears. Assholes.

So I have two questions.

Firstly, can we clean the soot off without damaging the rock?
Secondly, how do we take back the draw?

Something has to change because I have heard that this is not the first fire under the anorexic roof. All I can think of is booby traps. But then I may get a climber and not a red neck...assholes.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Active and Pregnant: ACOG guidelines

Amongst Physical Therapists and Exercise Physiologists there is an understanding that in order to have a healthy level of fitness you must exercise daily: 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days per week according to ACSM guidelines. I've always wondered why this same principle hasn't been applied to women who are healthy and pregnant. I mean being pregnant isn't like its an affliction!
Recently, the ACOG (American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology) released guidelines for exercise during pregnancy.
They list some of the benefits of exercise:
  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, swelling
  • May help prevent or treat GESTATIONAL DIABETES
  • Increases your energy
  • Improves your mood
  • Improves your posture
  • Promotes muscle tone, strength, endurance
  • Helps you sleep better

They go on to say that regular activity helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor. Plus it may make it easier for you to get back into shape after the baby is born!!!

They listed some activities that are safe and I was surprised that running was amongst them. It's been long communicated that running was definitely not a good exercise. I've known MANY a pregnant runner so it's nice to see a change in the old mentality. And they mention cycling as a safe activity as well. "Aerobics is a good way to keep your heart and lungs strong."

I gotta say, I'm impressed.

Click HERE if you'd like to read the report in it's entirety.

A quick note, there are physical therapists out there, who have experience with women's health so if you ever have an issue: pain while exercising, not sure if an exercise is beneficial for you as a pregnant woman, or just pain during the pregnancy period. These therapists are the best resource for healthy fitness during pregnancy. If your insurance won't cover direct access to a therapist, ask your OB/GYN to refer you to one. Plus, they may know the therapist and save you some search time!!

So beautiful pregnant ladies and fathers to be, have fun out there!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Triassic, UT


Triassic is pretty close to Joe's valley. We had heard that you could climb there when it was snowing everywhere else. The drive down the snow covered dirt roads was unsettling given that we had driven 2.5 hours from Salt Lake for a day trip that may turn out to be a driving trip only. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the rocks provided a warm sunny spot to melt away the cold January Saturday.

The best looking problems in Triassic are tall and the top outs stand on their own. So be prepared. It's totally worth it.
Hannah Von atop the Sweet Boulder
(She brought Ava a giant pommelo as a gift this morning and presented it to her remarking, "I found a dinosaur egg!" Ava was delighted as she is somewhat of a dinosaur expert :)

Crazy Boulder

Me on Dynosaur

Dain Smaland

Another day stolen from the icy grip of winter.

Rock layers

Best problem of the day. I have no idea what it's called but it's on the Rum Boulder. Sit starts at the base of the left arete then follows up the prow. Mantel move to the jug in the middle of the face, then slab to the top. Brilliant. If it doesn't have a name, we shall call it, "Indian Paintings." After the only soul we saw out there stumbled upon us and announced he was "just walk'in ta see some Indian Paintings." classic. ps there are lots of petroglyphs (apparently. I think they were covered in snow) and Triassic is on the way to a dinosaur quarry. I am absolutely bringing Ava next time, though it is closed in the winter.

Indian Paintings :)

Hannah and I geeking out over cool hand holds and rock formations

Get Some Two Fingers
The top was covered in snow so we will just have to come back again for this one and many others. And maybe we'll get to see some indian paintings!