Bittersweet moment in my climbing career…

I’ve talked about how I got into climbing in my last post. Now, I’m going to be writing about a particular incident that happened last Saturday. This story is a combination of funny and horrifying. It’s actually what drove me to start this blog. I thought, “why not put my thoughts out there on the internet for everyone to see and judge and critique?” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ After all, I was starting to get a little bit bored of just laying around the house, recuperating from an injury that I will be talking more about later in this post↓. Anyhow, I also just wanted a way to document my progress with climbing, among other things, so I decided blogging might be a good idea? 👍

Going back to my story…about a week before “the incident,” I’ve been eyeing this particular V4 problem, which involves a small jump from one volume to another. That entire week, I was conditioning myself to not chicken out, and actually try the jump even if I fail to stick it. I just wanted to get up the courage to take the leap.

So when we (my cousins and I) got to the gym on Saturday at our usual time, we warmed up with a V2 problem, which I flashed by the way 😀 Then we moved on to a yellow V3 problem. The V3 route had quite a few crimps, but they felt surprisingly secure so I didn’t have too much of a problem with them until I reached the tail end of the route, where I had a crimp in each hand, and only one small foothold for either my left or right foot. The next move in the sequence involves reaching over with one of my hands around a small corner to a good positive hold. But I was so worried about the tiny foothold the entire time that I found myself hesitating to reach for that second last hold. I tried a few more times to climb the route using different techniques, but I still got stuck on that particular move, so I decided to work on the other routes.

I wish I had photos to insert here to give you a better idea of the routes I was climbing. I will try to take pictures next time.

Anyway, I moved on to a blue slope-y V4 problem next. I have a little bit of love-hate relationship with slopers. While they can be fun, you would need a lot of body control to climb them, so when I decided to climb the slope-y V4 problem, I didn’t expect to actually finish it. I was just having fun trying it, but with my cousin’s coaching, I was able to flash the problem! 😀 I took so long up on the wall, trying to contort my body into different positions, but in the end, I conquered those slopers.

After climbing that V4 problem, I moved on to the other V4 problem that I’ve been eyeing the past week. On my first attempt, I forced myself to jump…and nothing bad happened! I didn’t stick the jump, but at least I got up the courage to go for it. After a few more tries, a climber came up to us and gave us a few tips on how to stick the jump, so I immediately tried it his way and what do you know…I was able to grab the volume with both hands this time! :O The only thing is, it was hard to stop the momentum of my body so I ended up swinging off the volume and landing on my face! XD Oh my! What a sight I was. I kind of wish that I had a video of that dyno fail. Luckily, I didn’t hurt myself. I think I got a little cut on the inside of my mouth, but it was very minor. At that point, I was running on adrenaline. I tried the jump a second time and unfortunately, the same thing happened. I face-planted yet again XD Let me just say, that I was doing this in front of a small crowd of people, but I didn’t care. I was on a high and I felt invincible. After that attempt though, my left elbow felt a little sore, so I decided to try a different route, and save that V4 problem for another day.

So, I went back to the yellow crimp-y V3 problem that I still haven’t finished and I tried different techniques again, growing bolder and bolder with every attempt. I was finally doing things that I would have wimped out on before. On my last attempt at the V3 problem, I managed to grab the second last hold, but I think I had too much momentum, so I slipped, fell from about 6 ft high, and landed on my right arm :\

Climbing InjuryIt all happened so fast that I didn’t have time to think about how to position myself properly while falling. When I landed, I heard a loud cracking sound in my elbow. For the next minute or so, I just laid there in fetal position, scared of moving, and making things worse. Most of all, I think I was just in shock. A staff member quickly jumped into action, getting me an ice pack for my elbow and checking up on me. It actually didn’t hurt too much right after I fell. It was hours later when I actually started feeling the pain.

My arm is still currently a bit swollen, but I’m able to move it more now. I still have trouble extending my arm out fully, but it seems to be healing nicely. I think it’s just a minor sprain, so I’m not too worried about it now. I’m managing to do more and more with my right hand as days go by.

I will hopefully be back on the wall next week…Yes, I do still want to go bouldering. I will just have to learn to pace myself, and to make sure that I’m not taking unnecessary risks. I’ll take this whole experience as a lesson in patience.

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