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Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Training Begins

After sitting in bed for about 1.5 weeks i could not take the lazy life anymore. Since i am not allowed to put a single ounce on my left ankle my set up has to be very simple for a while. My dad and I picked up a hang board and he constructed me (Thank you!) a nice low to the ground set up to train on in the garage until i can start putting some weight on my left foot again.

The set up is very simple but it should do the trick. I don't think that it has been up for 12 hours yet and I have already done 3 intense sessions on it as well as my daily push up and sit up routines. Push ups are a bit harder when you can only use one foot. I am excited to build up my workouts on my hang board and look forward to possibly adding a board above it to start working on once my ankle starts to heal a bit and maybe some screw on crimps around it to campus around on. As for endurance, i think that once i am able to put a small amount of weight on my ankle in a few weeks, i will start roping up and climbing 1 footed. I hope in the next few weeks as well i can start to campus at my local climbing gym.

Here is what i have so far! yes, verrrrry simple but am very psyched to be back training again!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thank You All!

Hey everyone, thanks so much for the kind words at the end of my previous blog post. I am now currently back in New Jersey after a 9 hour plane ride from Hell. But the pain and suffering was definitely worth it to be back home with my family, in a comfortable, bed, and have home cooked meals all the time!

I am still unable to do any sort of physical activity due to my inability to move my leg what so ever without shooting pains coming directly from my ankle. I am hoping with in the next two weeks this may subside and i can start to do some push-ups, pull-ups, and maybe a small amount of campusing. But for now it is the bed for me :(. Lots of sitting around, sleeping, and just trying to pass the time until i will be able to start some physical activity again.

Unfortunately it has been quite an epic trying to find a foot specialist to see me after getting home. It has come to my attention that doctors don't really want to work on helping people get better if they did not originally do the surgery to begin with. It does make sense but unfortunately it has been quite a problem trying to get a good foot specialist to take over where the hospital in Switzerland left off. I believe that i may have an appointment tomorrow with one tomorrow in Philadelphia if the doctor ever ends up calling us back. I can only hope that they will!

Anyway, thanks again for all the kind words. they were greatly appreciated and have helped a ton! Hopefully my next post i will have done something besides laying in a bed all day. Until then, thanks for all the support out there!

Friday, October 17, 2008

bad news at the bruno bloc

It is quite crazy to think that you can be at the top of your game and in my case coming so very close to sending the never ending story and then only a few days later emerging from bed that I couldn’t physically get out of and not being able to make it to the door only 10 feet away on my crutches.

Let me recount the past couple of days. Tuesday October 14, 2008 I wake up at around the same time as any day in Claro and decide that I am psyched to climb in the Magic Wood today. Both my friends, Garrett and Ryan were psyched on a rest because their skin was shot from the day before. I was really psyched to get back on Never Ending Story having felt really good on it recently and with the power endurance up. We headed into Magic Wood and it was a bit warm so I just set up all the pads and waited for the cooler afternoon temps. When they arrived I was psyched! I warmed up quickly and gave my first attempt on my project for the day. First go was pretty crappy and I thought maybe today was not going to be the day since I didn’t get too much sleep the night before, unfortunately. But after a nice rest I felt good to give it another try, this try was different from my previous attempt, I did not feel tired, I fired through the crux and was staring at the finishing hold. Right as I was about to do the last v2 move to the final jug my heel hooked slipped out and I was on the ground in no more than a seconds time. I was bummed! I had just practically sent my project but for some reason was standing on the ground without any sense of accomplishment. So instead of getting all upset I told myself next go will be the one and continued to rest for 20 more minutes.

The time finally rolled around for another good go at the line. I chalked up and fired through the bottom and again, like my second go, made it through the whole crux not fatigued and was psyched that this could be the send go. As I neared the top again all felt great and I was psyched but again my foot slipped but this time it was fast and shot me down and to the right. The fall was much unexpected and as I hit the ground my left ankle rolled over top of itself and I knew at that moment something was wrong. I quickly tried to put weight on the injured foot and it just gave out with the weight. At that moment, it all hit me. The 3.5 month dream trip to Switzerland had come to its final halt and that would be that would be the last time I would be climbing for a while. I hobbled over to the river and dunked my ankle into the water while people quickly packed up my stuff and brought it out to the car for me. I would first like to thank an amazing Swedish couple, Micha and Carolina (I am so sorry if I spelled your names wrong! Please comment if I did) and two Englishmen whom I never caught their names. I was practically carried back to the car and from there Garrett, Ryan, and I drove to the closest hospital, Kantonsspital in Chur about 30 minutes away.

Once there it was straight to the ER. From there x-rays showed that yes I had broken my ankle (Tibia bone) and that I was going to need to go into surgery to put a screw into my ankle to connect the tibia and fibula bones together. I was knocked out for the surgery and woke up hours later in a hospital bed with a huge boot on my left foot in great pain. The next morning I woke up the doctor coming in and mentioning not only did I break my ankle but I also tore the ligaments in my ankle and that they had sewn them back together and that the healing was to begin now. After a few days in the hospital and an epic learning how to walk on crutches (They don’t use the armpit style ones here) I have been discharged and am beginning my recovery process! I have hopefully 6-8 weeks or so before my boot can come off and then the physical therapy will begin. It is unfortunate to have ended my trip this way but it is life and you just have to take the punches as they come even if it may be multiple in a single few days period. I know my blog won’t be as interesting as it was the past couple months but I will keep everyone informed with how the healing is going. I obviously don’t plan to stop training; I have never been a super powerful climber so I am psyched to start working on my campusing a lot, definitely very low to the ground of course! So for now I have a few months before ABS Nationals in February. My goal now is to be well enough to compete in this comp! I know my upper body will be ready with the tons of training I plan to be doing I can only hope my lower body will be able to pull through and let me compete on the tall walls of the Spot in February!

As for the healing process, I get my stitches out (10 on the inside and 6 on the outside of my ankle) in about 12 days. I am able to crutch what any healthy human being could walk in 30 seconds in about 10 minutes, and I am allowed to put about 15 pounds of weight on my ankle as I crutch along. I will be flying home within the next few days and have a couch at my parents house with my name written all over it!

Until the training begins, thanks to everyone that helped me out that day it was very greatly appreciated! If I ever see any of you four again I would love to buy you all dinner for the support that day. I look forward to the day I can hike back into Magic Wood using both my legs and show the “Never Ending Story” that I will not give up on it and that I will send it one day when I am all healed up!

Thanks so much to Ryan and Garrett for an awesome trip even though it was shorted!!

Goodbye Europe, the times have been great!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Project Day 2

Today was the true day one on my project. I made some really good progress from my few brief attempts earlier this week. The crux is a 3 move sequence that revolves around some really small crimps. I was able to stick the first of the 3 moves but the other two are so so so hard! I got kind of close to sticking both the other moves. They are both going to take a long time to do and to link them is going to be a whole different story! I am so psyched to keep working on this amazing line!

This project though quite amazing is very sharp! I think that after today’s effort I may have to take two rest days to heal my tips up before I am able to try the line again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


The past few days have been nice climbing in Brione. It seems as if the days in Magic Wood are going to end soon with the snow coming in. The lower down areas are starting to get good but still are quite warm. hopefully within the next few weeks the temps down here will start to cool down as i am getting very psyched to start working "From Dirt Grows the Flowers" in Chironico.

Other than that i am in the search of a project to leave my mark on swiss bouldering. I think i have found a line that is going to be amazing and also very very hard! For now i will say it is very steep, 9 moves, very crimpy and a crux sequence that upon my first attempts will be two moves of around 8a+/b back to back! This thing is phenomenal. Though i was not able to complete either of the two crux moevs on my first day of effort, i do feel like some progress was made and i cant wait to head back up to it with some fresh skin! For now i have named it the "bipolar hi roller project"

Keep updated for more updates in regards to this amazing project! i will upload photos soon!

"Vecchio Leone"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Romania and back

Just the other day I returned from my 5 day trip to Romania and the trip was a success. I competed in an annual bouldering competition in Bucharest, Romania known as Tottonne. The comp was in a park on 4 very nice recently made wooden walls. The walls were simple and the large features added a lot to the problems. This comp unlike ones in the United States, was a team competition. My team consisted of Matt Bosley, Charlotte Jouett, John Ene, and myself. The competition consisted of two rounds of 4 climbs. Each climb you were given twenty minutes on to work on as a team and then it was directly on to the next climb. I was the only one in the competition to finish all four problems in the qualifying round. After a few hours and some dinner it was on to finals at night. There were 17 teams that started the comp and 6 made it finals. Again, we had 4 climbs and our team killed it in finals! We came out of the competition in 1st place and it was a great time! This comp was definitely one of the best comps I have ever competed in! I loved the team concept as well as the comp setter was exceptional. The climbs were so well set and separated the field exceptionally.

Now I am back in Switzerland. Garrett and I picked up my good friend Ryan Sewell at the airport yesterday and today was our first day of climbing. Though it rained a good portion of the day we still got some good climbing in at Brione. I managed to get the 2nd? Ascent of “the cellar door,” a classic climb of Dave’s from Dosage 3. After that it continued to rain until night fell so not much more climbing went down. It seems as if it is going to continue to rain through tomorrow but then the next few days after Friday will be perfect!!!

Here are some pictures from my trip to Romania.