Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Finger Injury

Photo Ivelin Penchev.

Well, I hurt my finger again. Another ring finger pulley, but the other hand this time. This one feels less severe than the last one, so that should mean a faster recovery. The picture above was actually from an earlier attempt, after grating my hand into the rock while popping off unexpectedly.

I was trying to climb Black Lung in Joe's Valley. I felt pretty close in the winter using the standard beta, but it was feeling hard that way this spring mostly due to the strain it was putting on some muscles that were already bothering me. I decided to play with beta again before refocusing on other things. I tried a method, not one I had come up with, but one I had played around with in the past. Basically, you go all the way from the intermediate, replacing the match with a easier move, but perhaps making the last move more difficult. Right away this started to get me close, coming off the last pocket, but not yet with enough control to hold it.

I had also tried a little with Jason's method, doing the first move and jumping out to the sloper. I hadn't had much luck that way, and partly I just wanted to climb the direct line. I realized though, with the beta I was using it might not be so bad to go out to that hold instead. The difficulty I had before was trying to jump to that hold from low hands, but from the intermediate it didn't seem so bad.

I decided to put a session in using this variation of Jason's method, and if that went well, perhaps do the direct version also. I felt good, but was making some mistakes on the early moves. Eventually getting past that, I started giving some good efforts and thought I might do it. I decided to give a last good effort. I tried a little harder, probably went a little too dynamically since I actually overshot the hold a bit. Simultaneously I hit the sloper and felt a familiar pop in my left ring finger. I remember thinking for a moment that if I could just hold on maybe I could finish the climb, but my right hand was already sliding off the sloper.

Next thing I knew I was back on the ground. Fuck!

Video of the injury go from Ivelin Penchev. You can't really see or hear anything though.

My plan was to be back on the front range for work April 18th, but being unable to climb I decided to come back a few weeks early. I'm resisting climbing, even easy stuff for now, but soon ill start the rehab process. The truth is, I can probably use a few weeks completely off from climbing. I think the last time I took more than a week off was the last time I hurt a finger, about a year and a half ago. Not climbing for a few weeks should be good for the finger, as well as all the little things that hurt, but haven't been bad enough to force real rest.

In the mean time, I'm doing some cross training with my friend Mike who is also injured. We've been running and doing various exercise to improve overall fitness. If all goes as planned, I'll come back to climbing in better shape than ever! I don't know why I always get really motivated when I get hurt, but I guess it's better than the other way around.

However, training isn't really taking up all my time, and I don't start work for another couple of weeks, so I have some extra time with which to occupy myself. One of my favorite rest activities is hiking around looking for new boulders, but it's so costly, driving around all the time, specially with the high gas prices. Obviously I haven't been spending all that time updating my blog, but I have been doing something productive. I been taking the opportunity to learn how to write apps for smartphones. Specifically phones that run Android, since Android uses Java and I like coding in Java. I'm hoping I might be able to generate a moderate income to supplement what I am doing now. All I need are some ideas for some useful software. I guess thats the hard part.


  1. I can't really imagine you running... but good for you!
    I'm injured too, damnit. It has been over two months already and I finally caved in and had an x-ray on my swollen left middle finger. Now I'm waiting for the results. In the meantime I've been working, cross-training (pushups, situps, etc.), and being bored as hell. I wish you can accompany me here in rainy Squampton so that we can sulk together, but I doubt you'd enjoy that very much!
    Oh the agony!

  2. I know, me running... a new leaf, or something like that. Hope your finger heals up for the dry season. I'm still planning to be there in August!

  3. That's awesome!
    I'll be sure to climb more cautiously once I get better... Easier said than done.

  4. have a bouldering weather app that links to existing webcams based on climbing area name rather than local town/municipality/agency names.

    also have weather forecasts triangulated from different weather reporting services.

    i get 5% net revenue. this idea is DOCUMENTED, BISH!

    i will expect my first royalty check in 90 days and quarterly thereafter.

  5. i was actually looking into something similar. get a NOAA point forecast for your current GPS location. some problems though. you need to have cell service (or wifi) to download the forecast. the device needs to have a GPS device, maybe all android phones do. lastly, will people actually pay for it?