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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!

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

sorry for your ankle Paul...
I holp you can make a good and fast recovery and top out the Never Ending Story as soon as possible!!!

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Your attitude is so commendable, not many would be able to come out of that with a smile on their face (in their writing?). May you have a speedy recovery and come back even f-ing stronger.

Anonymous said...

I Think Rita's is still open for the season so you will have a couch and water ice with your name on it!
See you next week.
Mom and Dad

Abbie said...

Sorry to hear about your foot Paul :( I hope you have a speedy recovery!

Anonymous said...

Don't know you dude, but read your blog all the time. You deserve big props for finding positive motivation within this setback. That'll get you farther than anything else. Get strong and shred at the ABS Nationals! Here's wishing you a quick recovery. Looking forward to reading about your sends to come in 2009. And remember, for a distraction you can always read Ethan Pringle's blog from the first half of this year.

Anonymous said...

Dope blog Paul. Please post the training, because punters like me find it useful and inspirational. Good luck over the coming months dude.

Cady said...

Damn Paul.....very sorry to hear about the accident :-( I hope you have a speedy recovery!

Anonymous said...

That was sad to hear. Hopefully you'll be in even better shape after the recovery.

Anonymous said...

Very sad to hear and yet incredible to see the pysche you still have on!! Props on the positive attitude, come back even stronger, keep on crushing and keep on being an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

hey dude,it may sounds awfull,but thats life,it can heppend to anybody,good luck with your recovery,hope you will be ready for ABS,and of course,continue to be pozitive like you are now,tats how you will get better soon :)
wish you speed recovery

Anonymous said...

not much to say apart I'm really sorry to hear what happened to your ankle. it's great to see the positive attitude you're showing though, hope you'll have a fast recovery.

Anonymous said...

Your attitude is incredible! It is probably what makes you such a great climber to begin with. I have no doubt that you will get Never Ending Story and any other project you set your sights on. Speedy recovery mate...

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul. Ryan told me what happened a little while ago, and I'm so sad to hear it. Im really glad to hear how good of an attitiude you have about it though. I probobly would have exploded (probobly moreso from the climb I had just fallen off the end of than the ankle) Glad to see you definately left your impact on magic wood, even with the time you had. You show those Euros whos boss in the bouldering world.

And that was awesome of you to take Ryan on the trip of his life. Hope you're getting better wayyy before 6-8 weeks.
See you at bouldering nationals.

Best,
Brian A.

Michi said...

Hi Paul,

Sorry to hear what happened... Wish you a good recovery and hope you'll come back to finish your projects in Switzerland...

Michael (who got you into NESI on your restday ;-) )

p.s: @ Brian: What do you want to say with your studid sentence about showing the euros the boss?!
It ist nice to meet new people everywhere in the world and climb together with them... not against each other!

Fococlimber said...

Paul, man thats some bad news, I am just curious if you have made it back to the states to get a second opinion, It seems nowadays its almost better to start rehabilitation immediately, since you tore ligaments it might be different, MICE = Micro-movement, Ice, Compression, Elevation. But anyways sorry to hear about your injury and I hope you get a second opinion and have a speedy recovery!

canyondust said...

Paul! That sucks SO bad!!!!

I did the pretty much exact same thing on a hike up to see the Cobra Crack.
Having a very similar injury, I just want to say : DO THE EFFIN' REHAB!!
It's boring, it seems dumb and pointless... but it really isn't, believe me. :) :)

Anyway you're young and strong as F(*& so be strong in mind and the body will follow. Oh yeah, be patient with yourself too :)

-Dustin.

AndrewC said...

Paul, recover well! You'll be fine, do the rehab and the process will be quicker than you think! Excellent attitude btw.. which almost everyone has commended you for thus far. :-) I read your blog constantly bud, continue to update - let us know how the healing and training go!

Best wishes yo!

Peter Beal said...

Hi Paul,
That's terrible news about the fracture. Now it's time to get back to making art. Are you coming back to Boulder or staying in NJ?
Peter

Dan Turner said...

hey dude, i met you and garrett at the start of your trip (english dude that screamed a lot lol) hope all is well man sorry to hear about your ankle, sucks! inspired by your attidude though bounce right back man. Anyway i am thinking i maybe in colorado for a month in the summer be cool to meet up and you could show us around. i think i got your email somewhere so i will drop you a line, keep cranking and hope your not in too much pain DAN

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,
First time leaving a comment...You have everything it takes to get back in shape soon. A great, open-minded and learning-based attitude is essential for good healing to take place. Reading this post reminded me of when I broke my arm climbing. The operation, the pain, the disillusionment, the moment you realise what it all means...
Funnily enough, I think it was the best thing that happened to me. My climbing got better, and I also appreciate it a lot more. Life offers us some important trials. Might as well enjoy it...

Phil from Montreal

entropy said...

Wow...so sorry to hear that Paul. I hope the healing goes extremely well. Take care.

Mikael Andersson said...

Hi Paul, sorry about the ankle, but still happy that u can see the future coming. Good luck with the rehab,

Greetings Mikael and Karolina, Sweden...

P.s my legs are growing big because of the carrying out of the woods..help!!!D.s.

Anonymous said...

Your attitude is an inspiration to everyone who has ever faced an unexpected physical disappointment. "Never Ending Story" won't stand a chancee next time given your "Never Ending Optimism."

sd said...

Fuck man. That sucks.

-sammy d.

Daniel D. said...

Dude, the same day in boulder canyon on my project I sprained my ankle. Weird. Anyway I'm glad you've decided to be positive. Win ABS Nationals!

Anonymous said...

This is crazy, I sprained my ancle badly that day as well, during warm-up though. This was on my first day and I felt really strong after 3 months of indoor training. I was mentally cruched, so it's really inspirering to read your posivive atitude. Im also goin to train my forearms and upper body like crazy now!

Best wishes and speedy recovory
Jens Gad, Denmark

sock hands said...

get fiveten to re-sole your boot of doom for lowball campusing and traversing! it's great that you are not too dismal in your outlook... keep the psych up, but definitely don't push yourself too hard when you come out of the boot of doom... that's how i re-snapped mine last summer... TOO psyched too soon... play it safe and start making a list of really really low but hard traverses to crush until you can recover more fully... the soft tissue takes much longer than the bone.

if you need a list of less obvoius gimp-mode lines to try in colorado, hit me up.

best
--j

Christian said...

sorry to hear about the ankle. it's been a lot of fun to read about all the great problems you've been climbing. it inspires me to get out and explore.

i had surgery on my thumb this summer that kept me from climbing for over two months. it sucked but i worked hard at the therapy. i still don't have my full pinch strength back but it feels so great to be back on the rock again.

it renewed my passion for climbing and has inspired me to train really hard. i hope your injury does the same for you and that you come back with the renewed passion to crush all your projects!

Anonymous said...

totally right attitude. I did the same thing 7 years ago and let me tell you, your attitude is far better than mine. Like others have said, focus on the recovery.

Anonymous said...

Tough Break!! However, your last 6 months bouldering have been better than 99.9999% of most peoples entire lifetimes of climbing. I'm sure you'll be crushing again this spring. While most of us can't even hope to emulate your climbing, we can be inspired by the humility and grace under pressure. Best Regards from San Diego!

matt said...

bad news on the clutch foot! are you back? VR (sorry EC) campus sessions? my elbow is on FIRE!

paul trendler said...

broke my tibia on the inside corner at the ankle last may. just like your accident, i was just passing the crux of this crack at the Widgi boulders in oregon.
down time can be frustrating, but very motivating at the same time. stay positive, time to get body, mind, and ankle strong!

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