Thailand

I have been getting requests for “CR” from Thailand. Don’t know what “CR” stands for but I can hazard a guess. Seems like the longer I postponed writing this post the harder it got to actually do it. Mostly because I know the people requesting “CR”s will be bitterly disappointed…

 

I spent three weeks in Thailand. One week in the Bangkok/Pattaya region. I wanted to see tigers. But made a bad call about drinking water and paid the price. I got sick. Did see some bits of Bangkok and Pattaya that I wish I hadn’t. Actually I don’t really wish I hadn’t, but I did find what I saw to be deeply disturbing. If you don’t know what I am talking about, it is the rampant sex tourism that goes on in Pattaya and some areas of Bangkok. I thought it would be cool to see Walking Street in Pattaya but I could not stomach it. So I was relieved to leave the area behind and go to Railay.

Super stoked to be climbing in amazing surroundings, but the heat beat me up too severely to even consider climbing during the first couple of days. Good news was that the beach was great!

When I finally felt like I could do anything in the heat, I hired a guide, because my partner had never climbed before. I did mention I met a girl right? Anyway, the guide put up the topropes, instructed Wi in the art of belaying while I was climbing and I tried to control the feeling of panic as my hands got sweatier and slicker with every move.

Because we had a guide, I didn’t bother with the topo. Just asked him to give us some easy stuff. As it turned out, Wi is an absolutely stunning natural climber, and absolutely crushed the 5’s we started on. Moving on to 6’s she did not get shut down until 6b/c. I couldn’t do it clean either, but managed all the moves at least. But doing hard moves without being able to chalk up, and feeling every hold slipping under your fingers was very discomforting. But there were some cool routes and cool moves, and since I just toproped, it was pretty chill. Oh, I forgot to say we stayed at Railay Phutavan resort, where we could watch people climb at Diamond Cave Wall as we ate breakfast. So this all went down at Diamond Cave wall. Climbing ended when the mosquitoes started ganging up on us. Did not want malaria, and there seemed to be enough of them to actually cause significant blood loss. Reminded me of a distant holiday in Finnmark, except I was not wearing shorts and t-shirt back then…
I do apologize for the fact that I cannot say with certainty what I climbed. But all toprope, so it doesn’t count anyway, yea?

 

After that it rained for many days. It seemed I just hit the last bit of the rainy season. Because it was wet. A lot. But I enjoyed my time regardless, saw some sights, went in to Krabi town and swam. And drank beer. Good times. Then it stopped raining and we went to the beach. Bought a beach volleyball and played around with that. I was pretty decent when I was 17 so I found it hard to adapt to the way I sucked. So I tried to make up for lack of technique with a never say die attitude, diving like a madman for every ball. On one such occasion I did not land too well. A stabbing pain in my chest followed. It hurt a lot. All the time. It hurt to take a shower, not to mention trying to use a towel after the shower, it even hurt to breathe. So I thought I had cracked a rib. In retrospect, silly conclusion, but in my defense, I have never actually broken any limbs in my lifetime. Either way, it took me several days to realize that the fact that it always hurt more in the night and the morning, and less in the afternoons and evenings pointed to a muscular bruise. Anyways. Rain, heat and broken rib syndrome took away about 10 climbing days out of 14.

 

Day before we were going to leave I felt decent in my chest area, and the weather played nice. So we climbed again. Same procedure and location as the first time, but a couple of new routes. And I managed to climb a 6b clean, but it was still toprope. I was just not feeling any desire to lead. The ragged slings around thin bits of stone scared the crap out of me, and the thought of slippery hands at the wrong moment was not too comforting either. So, to use Nigels word, I was pussified. Even so, I had a lot of fun on the wall, and fully expect to return in the future.

 

Now, looking at the topo from the comfort of my own home, I will go ahead and list the routes I think we toproped.

 

Khay-Khad 5

Run-a-Way 6a

Mr. No Name 5

Chok Dee 6a

Mod Deng 5c

Keep the Jamman 6a

Nuliaktion 6a

Diamonds are Forever 6b

Tacktit 6b+

I repeat, everything was toproped, and Diamonds are Forever did not go clean. But Tacktit did, and I was well pleased with that. If I had led it, it would have been a new personal best. But yea, clipping would have made it harder…

 

I do apologize for the wait, and the rubbish and utterly disappointing content.

If it is any consolation, I am now trying to get a job, and if that goes well I will soon be unable to make these kind of trips whenever I damn well please. That would help, no?

 

Slow recovery

I was sick for 8 days. 8 days of diarrhea. The week from hell. Took everything out of me.

 

This Monday was the first “normal” day since I got back. Normal in quotation marks because I felt so weak. But I went to see my personal coach, and it was a really good session. Lifted my spirits significantly, and made me think in more empowering ways than had been the case the previous week.

Today is Saturday and I am still pretty weak. I go for long walks every day, 2-3 hours worth of walking. But it is slow. 50% slower than my normal walking pace. And it takes everything out of me. I am wondering when I will be ready to work out again. But the walks are lifting my spirits, the colors, the crisp autumn air, being out in nature, and moving my body without worrying about where the nearest toilet is located (an unspeakable relief).

At the start of every walk I am experiencing stitches in my right side. It is a worry because it seems unrelated to food and water intake, and occurs at low walking speeds. It gets better after a while, but never completely goes away, and is one of the factors hindering my progress in terms of walking pace. The only time it goes away is when I walk steep inclines late in the walk. So it seems to be related to the force of impact between feet and ground. And since slow walking does not generate much impact compared to running, it is a worry. I am hoping it is something related to my illness, and that it will get better as my body recovers.

During my 3 weeks in Thailand I felt nothing in my left knee. But as soon as I started walking again back home, the discomfort was back. Perhaps the lower temperatures has some sort of effect on my joints? I started using a knee support I found in a drawer from my meniscus problems in 2006 (that was in my right knee though, so unrelated), and it helps a lot. I will be using it on my walks for a while at least.

So, that is basically what is going on now. As for the tales from Thailand, I will be getting the pictures (not taken with my camera) next week. When that happens I will post the stories and thoughts about the trip. Until that day, then.

Ramblings

I’m just going to warn you right off the bat. This post is not about climbing, training, or anything like that. Furthermore it is not really for you, but for me. If you still decide to read on, be warned, it will probably make little sense… Now I will write about my trip to Thailand, and in fact I have lots of notes ready, but I will not write much about it now. There are other things I need to get out of my head urgently.

 

I feel like I am going to explode, or implode, don’t know which. There are so many things I want, to happen, to do, to see, to experience. But it seems all things chosen means losing something else that is important to me. I want my cake, and eat it too. But I hear life is not arranged that way. And it certainly feels that way. So instead of cultivating an attitude of abundance, I feel this tremendous sorrow for all the things I will inevitably have to set aside through priorities. And this sorrow leads to an overload, and I am unable to make any choices, indeed unable to do anything productive towards creating a positive future for myself.

 

My trip to Thailand changed my life completely. Mainly I met a wonderful girl, and fell completely, utterly, out of my mind, in love with her. And now my priorities are completely different. But the overwhelming challenge of balancing this relationship, with a career and climbing leaves me with a feeling akin to being repeatedly pounded in the gut with a sledgehammer. Now this post is probably all ready terrifying my parents, so I am writing a little yellow note to myself to call home when I publish this post.

 

I spent the time in Thailand avoiding all thoughts about “real life”, maintaining an attitude that it was not a temporary dream, but an actual reality. Then I come home and I am hit by the stomach virus from hell, laying me low for 5 days, and only now, after 6 days, did I feel more or less normal again. Weak, but normal. Well, normal and normal. Still being pounded in the gut with an emotional sledgehammer, but what can you do? Either way, this has given me a lot of time to think, and too much time to think, and no opportunity to do is never a good thing. Especially not if you have my particular history and disposition. You think too much, she says. And she is always right…

 

I walked for 2 hours today, thinking about everything, and I just can’t make sense of it all. I need some help. Monday I am going to a personal coach, and hopefully she will help me make heads from tails of things, and allow me to reach a decision. Then go all in, and all out. That is what I want. A target and direction. So I can stop thinking and just do. I am at my best when I just go all out and create results.

Life is about making hard choices. And everything has a cost. This is true for everyone. Even the most privileged of us must make choices. Why it paralyzes me that it is this way for me is completely beyond me. It is not like it comes as a surprise… The problem is like I said earlier. I don’t want to choose. I want my cake and I want to eat it too. But the sledgehammer in my gut is me contemplating the costs of the different choices. Hurts too much, makes it hard to breathe, and I just don’t know what to do. I can’t sit still because I feel like exploding or imploding, and when I get out and walk it feels better for a while, but I can’t walk all the time, and when I get back the sledgehammer goes back to work and the feeling returns. I am desperate now. Desperate.

This is probably way too much, and I doubt anyone following this blog wants to read this. But like I said, I needed to get it out of my head and out there. Even if no one makes it to this sentence, I needed to get here. I feel slightly lighter, but more importantly, I have put down my thoughts on something resembling paper, and I can come back to it later. Maybe it will give me slight respite from the thinking too. At least while I was writing this I thought about writing this, and not about the sledgehammer in my gut and the feeling of impending detonation. And that is worth a lot right now.

Almost there

A few worried people has been in touch wondering how I am doing (ok so it is just my parents) so here goes.

 

This week has been a little weird. Monday was good, Tuesday I went to the chiropractor, and she knocked me out for the rest of Tuesday and pretty much all of Wednesday. And boy did she find problems with me…

 

My hamstrings are too tight, so they put pressure on my hips and lower back, aiding and abetting my lower back problems. Also the front of my left thigh was extremely tight, a reaction from the body to protect my knee. So she put me through hell trying to untie the knots. Thursday was good again, and then Friday I went to see her again. I was better, but it was still pretty damn uncomfortable, and I have been pretty out of it today.

 

Good news is that my body felt much better yesterday, and with a little stretching of the hamstrings and giving the knee some time off from steep hills (it will just have to accept the climbing) I should be right as rain in no time.

The bad news is that Hell Weeks 2 and 3 have been cancelled, and a weight loss of 3,5 kilos is pretty far short of my aim. But again, it is better than nothing, and all in all I can’t complain.

 

But now I am super STOKED to go to Thailand and climb! Tomorrow I take off, and after a few days in Bangkok ( There is a Tiger place there) I will head down to Railay to find my groove back. Yes, it feels just about right just about now.

Computer says nao…

Or rather, body says nao. My knee says no biking, my hips say no running and my lower back says no body weight strength training… So what else is there?
In other words, Hell Week 2 was hell, but not as intended. Most of my time has been spent sitting around feeling sorry for myself. It was pretty damn bad.

But today commences Hell Week 3. And with fasting, walking and preparing for the trip, it should get me to the neighborhood of where I wanted to go…

I hope all the stuff that needs to be got, fixed and made ready, time will pass more quickly than it did during the original Hell Week. Also the itch in my left knee suggests that the healing is continuing, and I hope it will not interfere with my climbing. But if it does, I will make damn sure I enjoy my time in  warm and bright land as darkness descends upon the home country.

Which brings me to my last point of the day. I have been feeling the effects of the traditional autumn funk slowly creeping in all ready. I am determined to avoid the big slump this year, but I realize it will be hard. I think a 20 day “pick me up” in Thailand will help a lot, but I will have to remain strong when I return. So I have made arrangements to start seeing a personal coach when I get back. I hope that together we can keep my eye on the ball and maintain good form through the winter. But it all remains to be seen.

Hell Week over

 

Yesterday I had 2 good sessions with 4 and 3 passes of my favourite hill. The second session was supposed to be 4 passes as well, but I was a little late getting out and wanted to make it back for the United game. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. I felt pretty nauseous after the game and decided to leave well enough alone and rest the remaining hours of Hell Week.

This morning I walked to the store and bought eggs, bacon, bread, milk, orange juice, a potato and an onion. Then went home and made the best damn breakfast I have had since Smith Rock and the Sunspot. Home made hash browns with golden onions, crispy bacon and eggs over easy with toast and real butter. Yummy! But too much and now I have a tummy ache… I think today will be recovery day, before I start the hard training tomorrow.

The plan for this week is as follows.

Monday: Rest and food.

Tuesday: 3 laps of my favourite hill before breakfast, then food and rest before heading into town for bouldering.

Wednesday: One hour bikeride before breakfast (so long as my knee cooperates), then food and rest before 3 laps of the hill and antagonist workout.

Thursday: One hour bikeride before breakfast (can be substituted by 3 laps of the hill), food and rest before bouldering.

Friday: One hour bikeride before breakfast (can be substituted by 3 laps of the hill), then food and rest before 3 laps of the hill and antagonist workout.

Saturday: One hour bikeride before breakfast (can be substituted by 3 laps of the hill), food and rest before bouldering.

Sunday: One hour bikeride before breakfast (can be substituted by 3 laps of the hill), then food and rest before 3 laps of the hill and antagonist workout.

Then Hell Week 2 transitions into Hell Week 3. Another week of fasting before I hop a plane to Thailand. Can’t wait…

 

The end is nigh

Completely thought I had made a post yesterday, but today it seems I did not. What can you do?
Yesterday was better. I walked a bit, 9,5 km to be precise. It felt good. There is a nice 800 meter hill nearby, and I did 3 passes up and down over 2 sessions, and felt no badness in my knee.

Today was better. I walked a bit, 12,8 km to be precise. It felt good. Did 6 passes of the hill over 2 sessions, and felt no badness in my knee. As close to happy as I think it is possible to get while depriving one self of basically everything but water…

I will try to make 3 more passes in a third session around 6 o’clock. If it feels as good as the first two sessions, I will test the body even more with 3 x 4 passes tomorrow. It does feel like I am approaching the limits of what I can do while on this diet, so I will see how it goes. But to be able to walk a fair bit down hill, and push pretty hard on the way up without discomfort in my knee is very good news. And it hopefully means I can work hard next week, and have a decent activity level in the last week of the program.

Two interesting phenomenon discovered as well. Number one is the fact that I feel perfectly fine in the morning, and completely shit at night. I anticipated feeling like shit, so that is no surprise, but feeling perfectly normal in the mornings this far into Hell Week is surprising. It seems my body refuel the glycogen stores from my fat reserves during the night, which means my energy levels are actually normal in the mornings. Then they are gradually depleted during the day, and when empty somewhere around 5-6ish (based on how I feel) leave me feeling like shit all evening.

Number two is experienced when walking. On my passes down hill I feel faint and weak. But when I up the intensity and my pulse passes 140 bpm or so, I suddenly feel fine. And so the hard uphill passes feel better than the easy downhill passes. Odd? I think so. But certainly not complaining. Oh no!

And that concludes the blogging for today.