lawnrrd: (kitty)
Last weekend’s theme was frustration.

As planned, I got up early Saturday to drive to the Gunks to climb. I hadn’t felt like going when I signed up, and I didn’t feel like going when I got up, but I went anyway. I do really enjoy climbing, I knew that if I didn’t go, I’d get annoyed with myself for pissing the day away, and I figured that I’d get in the mood once I got out there. I figured wrong.

Saturday the lawnrrd got wet )

On the frustration meter, though, Saturday was a minor blip compared to Sunday.

Sunday the lawnrrd got cryptic )

It’s been two days, and I still start to shake when I think about it.
lawnrrd: (kitty)
I have been fighting inertia for most of the summer, if not longer. I wish I could say that I've been winning. I’m sure that there was a reason for the initial slowdown, but I have no idea now what it was, and now it’s just feeding on itself: inertia leads to anxiety, which leads to avoidance, which leads to inertia. Lather, rinse, repeat.

For all that, I’m also happier than I’ve been in decades. I don’t know whether I can describe what K means to me in any kind of way that makes sense. It feels as though I’ve spent my whole life to this point trying to find a part of the world that feels as though I belong there, and now I have: it’s a bubble that has K at the center.

K and I were married in March, and she’s been pregnant for most of the time since then. The baby is due on New Year’s Day, but we both think she’ll deliver before then.

K has stepped up her efforts to break me out of my do-nothingism. At her urging, I’m getting up early tomorrow to go rock climbing—one of the few times I will have done it without her. At this moment, I think I’d rather sleep in and piss the day away playing computer games. But I know that if I do that, then I’ll be annoyed with myself tomorrow night for having pissed away the day with computer games.

Ski Bums

Feb. 13th, 2013 10:50 am
lawnrrd: (kitty)

I've really started to like skiing, and so has my son, so last weekend we went skiing in the Poconos. This was his third day skiing this winter. It was my fifth, which means that I've spent as many days skiing this winter as in the previous forty-mumble years combined.

I had badly wanted to ski that weekend, because it looked like my last opportunity for the season. I managed to pick up a double hernia late last year, and I'm having it repaired in just over a week. That'll put me out of action until mid-March, and I expect skiing will be done for the season by then. (Especially because, right after the all-clear date, I'm going to Florida for a week.)

I had hoped to leave Friday evening, before the snow got too bad in NYC. When I came to get the kid, though, his mom and I differed vigorously about what "too bad" meant. I backed down and agreed to stay in the city overnight, planning to leave in the morning. For four hours after that, the city got nothing but light snow, so I fumed a bit.

The roads were in excellent shape on Saturday morning, despite the 8 inches or so of snow that fell overnight in NYC. Moreover, they were empty, making for the fastest drive to the Poconos I've ever had. We had an early lunch and then headed for the resort.

The original plan had been for the kid to spend all day Saturday in ski school, but our midday arrival quashed that. So I signed him up for a group lesson in the afternoon and then took to the slopes myself. I warmed up on some longer green trails and then started looking for manageable intermediate trails. One trail was just right, and I did it a few times, but it was short. Another seemed mostly ice and moguls. Still another was so intimidatingly steep that I didn't even try it.

There's a kid in there, I promise.

At 3:30, I picked up the kid at the end of his lesson. The instructor said that he was doing really well, so, for the first time, we took the lift to the top of the mountain and skied the easier green trail down. We did it again, but then agreed that we were tired, so we went to the hotel to check in.

A dinner of pub grub in one of the restaurants was followed by video games and then bed.

Sunday morning, we packed up and checked out and then set out for the resort again. The GPS seemed unwilling to accept that one key road was closed, so it took a lot longer to get there than I had expected, which led to a cascade of other problems, each one adding to the delay. Still, I got the kid into ski school only a little bit late. They tested him and sent him right to the top of the mountain.

I warmed up on a green again, and then went back some of the mixed green/blue trails that I'd had the most fun with the day before. I got to the top of the scary-steep trail but psyched myself out and took a different way down. Then I took the lift back up and made myself do the steep trail.

The steepness, as it turned out, was not so much a problem as the ice. K, who had gone ice climbing for the weekend instead of skiing with us, would have been much better equipped for that slope. (On the other hand, K reports that her hikes to the climbs were hindered by a lot of fresh powder, which at least made for a nice symmetry.)

I fell a few times. The only real problem was that, one of those times, I lost a ski, and it wound up about 10 feet straight uphill from me. Straight up the steep, icy hill. Between my ski poles and the edge of my remaining ski, I managed to inch up to retrieve it, but it was hard work.

I was tired and hungry when I finished, but I didn't want to stop right after a run that had given me so many problems. So I went back up, skied down an easy trail, and then got lunch.

After lunch, I did a couple more trails, including the blue that was the longest trail on the mountain. But I tired quickly. It was my second day of skiing in a row, the slopes were getting icier and icier, and I was losing my patience for dodging kamikaze boarders and skiers.

At 3:30, I retrieved the kid from ski school. He'd made a lot more progress, skiing his first blue trail that afternoon: he'd done that same longest trail. Twice. But he was tired, too.

We went back to the car and drove home, stopping first for dinner and then to pick up K at the train. Then we all went back to my place and were tired together.
lawnrrd: (Default)
It's been a long time since my last update, and there's no way I'm going to catch up on everything. The short version is that things are going well: work is good, the kid has been at overnight camp for the past three weeks and is going to be there for four more, and K and I have been able to see a lot of each other.

Which means also that K has been keeping me busy. For example, I took off work Thursday and Friday, which, combined with the holiday, made for a five-day weekend. In that time, we went to a barbecue, climbed for two days upstate, kayaked, and did a lot of push-ups.

I honestly can't remember the last time I was this happy.
lawnrrd: (Default)
Yesterday morning, I slept in for the first time in, oh, it has to be more than a month. During the week, there's work, of course, and I haven't been able to catch up in the past few weekends. It's hard to sleep in when there's a seven-year-old about, and we had that week in Puerto Rico at the start of the month and a weekend since then. Then there were the two consecutive weekends for the rock climbing class. So yesterday I slept in.

I needed it, too. I must have: I slept nearly until 10, and then I got up for about 90 minutes, during which I could think of nothing but food. I was too tired to think coherently about it though, so eventually I just scarfed a lot of leftover trail mix. Then I went back to bed for about two more hours.

Saturday had really tired me out, too. It was a long day, beginning at 6 AM, when I woke up and got ready to drive to New Paltz to climb during Welcome to the Gunks Weekend. The weekends of April 14-15 and 21-22 were the climbing class, and WTTG, two weeks later, is where the club tries to help the new graduates find people to climb with by actively pairing them with experienced leaders. (After that, you sort of have to find your own partners.) Since my Seattle trip fell through, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and climb.

I left home at about 6:30 Saturday morning with a passenger, stopped in Morningside Heights to pick up more passengers, and then drove to New Paltz. After a quick stop in town for more 'biners, we made it to the West Trapps lot just before 9 AM.

At the lot, I met B and P, who were experienced members of the club. B was going to lead, and P and I would follow. We did the first pitch of Bloody Bush, and then moved down the GT ledge to do the second pitch of Rusty Trifle. After that, we rappelled down.

Doing just those pitches and the rappel took nearly five hours, which surprised me. By the time we finished lunch, it was nearly four, and dinner was at seven. We decided to try to find one more easy pitch and walked further down the cliffs to look for Easy V. We stopped along the way to watch a very impressive snake—which turned out to be a copperhead—as it moved along the road.

We reached Easy V and I set up the anchor as B and P got out the rope and gear. B scrambled up a bit, and was about to place the first piece of pro, when he looked up and said that the rock looked really wet. After a short discussion, we agreed and decided to punt.

Dinner at the Gold Fox was good (or maybe I was just starving), and the after-dinner entertainment was in fact entertaining and not too long. Still, it was nearly ten by the time we got back on the road, and about 12:30 am by the time I got home after dropping off my passengers.

This was my first time climbing in the Gunks, and, aside from a few pitches during the class, my first time climbing rock outdoors. There were some moments of real (if not quite justified) terror, but I was mostly able to pause, breathe, and concentrate on the climb. Stil, adrenaline flooded my system, and when it wore off, it left me drained. I think I felt that yesterday as much as anything else.

For all that, the day was fun, and I'm glad that I did it. I'm looking forward to my next trip, although it's unlikely to happen before June. My climbing technique itself seemed improved, in that this was the first time I had ever climbed anything without my arms getting pumped. I hope that after a few more trips will be enough to get past most of the anxiety and focus more on the climbing.
lawnrrd: (Default)
I have heard reports of moms in our social circle being impressed that I, a mere dad, managed all by my self and on my own initiative to put together an overnight trip to go skiing with the boy. Dude, it wasn't all that hard, and it's kind of disappointing that expectations are so low.

Then again, I like being impressive.
lawnrrd: (Default)
After skiing on Saturday, yesterday was a quiet Sunday at home for me and the boy. We were both tired, he was a little sick (he had been pretty snotty in the car on the way to the Poconos; good on him for having fun skiing anyway), and it was awfully cold. We played video and board games, watched TV, and cleaned up a little in anticipation of his mother's return that afternoon.

I'm still sore, mainly in ways and places I didn't expect. My ankles and lower shins are blistered and bruised from the ski boots: I'll have to wear thicker socks next time. I have a low-grade stiff neck, and my lower right leg is also a little sore and stiff. Some of this is doubtless due to unfamiliar strains on various parts of my body, but pushing the boy around likely strained muscles and joints in ways that are unusual even for skiers.

My left elbow is also still a little sore, probably from climbing last Tuesday with the boy, [livejournal.com profile] regyt, [livejournal.com profile] novalis, [livejournal.com profile] kinfae, and another munchkin. At the boy's insistence, I tried a dynamic move a couple of times while bouldering, and I may have strained something while trying to catch the next hold.

Then again, also while bouldering, I fell off the wall and, while falling, noticed that the small persons had somehow wandered into my landing zone while I had been paying attention to the wall. I had to twist to avoid squishing them and landed badly. Maybe I hurt it in the fall.

Whatever the cause, any joint or muscle pain is making me unduly nervous these days and probably will do so for the next few weeks or even months. I came down with a throat infection of unknown origin shortly after having finished a course of antibiotics for something else. Because of that history, my doctor prescribed a second-line antibiotic of doom, which had interesting side effects on me such as fatigue, dizziness, and anorgasmia. What is more pertinent is that other side effects can include tendinitis and even tendon rupture. Whoopie.

I am going to try very hard not to get any more infections ever again.
lawnrrd: (Default)
I got a lot of exercise last week, including climbing and a lot of various forms of cardio, and culminating with skiing yesterday in the Poconos. Today, I'm a little tired and sore, and I've been famished all week.

This was the third time I'd ever tried to ski. Cut for length . . . )

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