Student Health, Health of Students, Health Students for Healthy Students?

I went to Student Health this morning.


So I told the doctor what was “wrong”: my pinky knuckle has a sharp pain when I bend my finger forward, but not backwards.

He asked me if I injured it.

I told him there was no specific event in which something drastic happened… it just hurt one day after climbing. It’s been like this for 2 months and has not gotten better or worse.

He said, oh so you did put stress on it.

Well because it’s been hurting for so long, you absolutely must get an x-ray.  If it was just a sprain, it would’ve healed by now.  It’s broken.

I asked if it looked broken while staring at both of my hands and seeing no difference in knuckle size… no swelling, no redness, nada.

He said for something lasting that long, it’s probably broken.

I know my finger is not broken.

I went and got x-rays.

My finger is not broken.

The doctor calls me saying that my finger is neither fractured nor broken.  But I have to come back in to get a splint anyway.  I have had a splint from CVS already.  I tried splinting already.  It didn’t help.

I’ll go back tomorrow and just ask to be referred to a hand specialist. Which is why I went in the first place.

I’m going climbing tonight.



Training schedule screen shot

I shall be in Virginia again this weekend due to grumpy weather.  But all is well, it is Halloween and my friend Jessie’s birthday on Friday, so I feel like I should stay home this weekend anyway.

On a bummer note, a knuckle on my left pinky is hurting pretty bad.  It started hurting at the end of August the day I tried Have Guns.  It was weird because it didn’t hurt at all while I was climbing, and it only hurts if I bend it forward, but not backwards.  And I’ve continued to climb on it… it still doesn’t hurt when I climb but it hasn’t seemed to have gotten better or worse.  But it is a sharp pain 😦 I’m going to have Student Health look at it on Thursday… I doubt that will be helpful.  But I know I can’t see a hand specialist unless I’ve gone to Student Health first, which is dumb.  Hopefully it’ll get me on the right track at least.

I did some rock climbing things this weekend.

And I didn’t even leave Charlottesville 😮 (Richmond doesn’t count as leaving)

It was… relieving almost, to know that I could have a climbing-focused weekend without travelling ~600 miles round trip.  I just needed an attitude adjustment I suppose.

This past week at school was a hell week that I was rather unprepared for.  Maybe going to Boone the weekend before 3 midterms wasn’t the best decision, but it was too late to do anything about that.  Once I was finished on Friday (with good data from my lab experiment too!) I was in a delirious state of happy-but-too-exhausted-to-actually-be-happy.  So naturally what did I do (instead of jumping straight into bed)?  I went to Peak to forerun some problems for the ABS competition that was the next day (being child-sized is good for getting these gigs).

I am happy I went… the setters were pretty much wrapping up, making some final tweaks, adding footholds where I said they were needed (they actually listened to me, what!) and putting the finishing touches for comp day.  I felt like I’m becoming homies with those doods and it’s nice to feel like my opinion really did matter to them.  Someone went and got pizza for all of them (because they had been working endlessly) and they told me to grab some slices! I don’t know why that was so exciting but I felt like part of the gang…tehe  Not to mention, I’m also psyched for a whole new set of boulders!

Saturday I slept all day. Which is also something I don’t get to do if I’m travelling.  Nice to catch up on those zzzzs.

Today, I had a trip set up to take a bunch of newbs from the Outdoors Club out onto the Blue Ridge Parkway to do some bouldering.  It was a really good time, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves (or at least I hope so!).  It was myself and a couple other more experienced climbers and then 10 totally new climbers who had never bouldered outside before.  So we explained footwork and spotting and got everyone on some bowldas!  One of the more experienced climbers on the trip is a local guru and he and I were able to get on some harder problems.  And hey!  The boulders were not nearly as chossy as I thought they were gonna be!  Nothing particularly special… but not total shit either and with the short approach, it wasn’t so bad.

So I was able to do some rock climbing things this weekend.  And it might not be enough to keep me in Virginia every weekend, but it’s good to know that I don’t need to mope around feeling sorry for myself on weekends I’m in Cville.  I can get off my ass and make it work.

Spreadsheets are my friend

So this may be a strange thing to be excited about but… my training spreadsheet for August through October is almost done.  Which means…. new spreadsheet time!!!

Here’s what ol’ faithful looks like

Training schedule screen shot

What a beaut (format totally stolen and modified from Melise’s training sheet).  But it’s getting into the meat of the bouldering season now which calls for some changes.

This spreadsheet was successful in allowing me to track my activity over the course of these couple of months.  However, everything I did was pretty irregular.  I would usually schedule my week the weekend before based on what kind of work I had to do the upcoming week… and I would only sometimes keep to what I had scheduled for myself.  But it turned into more of me just logging what I had done that day rather than me carrying out a work out I had planned.

The problem I have is that my week is generally irregular.  My class schedule is consistent, but what I am doing in lab changes from week to week, and what I am planning on doing over the weekend is different too: sometimes I am travelling to climb, sometimes I am going back home, and sometimes I am staying in Charlottesville.  My weekly activity changes based on what I need to do to prepare for each of these: I train hard at the beginning of the week then take a couple days off if I am travelling, I train consistently through the week if I’m staying in town, etc. etc.  So it feels difficult to create a schedule much farther ahead of time.

I think what I will do this time around is make quotas for myself for each week.  Cardio 4x/week, climbing 2x/week, arms 2x/ week, core 3x/week, etc.  And have a subset of quotas within each of those like run 2x/week, intervals 2x/week, 4x4s 1x/week, etc. And then look back on the week and see if I have met my quotas.

I am curious to see how this will work out.  I’ve definitely dropped the ball on keeping up with training for the past couple of weeks… but I blame that on midterms and me just being in a general slump of tiredness and grumpiness.  New spreadsheet=renewed psych!

And obviously, new colors duh!

Bootyful Boone

Aw lawd… my legs are SORE!  Tips shredded. Coffee necessary.

This weekend was… good at times and bad at times which is pretty typical of my Boone experiences.

On Saturday I was up pretty early and the people I was going to go out with either didn’t answer my texts or were still sleeping or fall festivalling.  I was antsy to get on da rocks so I went out to warm-up on my own and was going to meet them out there.  But I stayed in the lower portion of Blowing Rock for about 2 hours and still didn’t see anyone.  I wasn’t super psyched on anything in lower… I tried AHR again but unfortunately wasn’t able to work out alternate beta to the bump… might have to wait until it’s even colder but it feels like there’s no other option (although I know others have done it with different beta).  So I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do… I knew I could send Have Guns at Grandmother pretty quick so I figured I might just head there since I couldn’t find anyone at Blowing Rock.

I hiked all the way back out to the parking lot and ran into a bunch of the guys.  They said a couple of the guys were up top at Pref and I figured I might as well stay since at Blowing Rock since I was already there and just go up high since I hadn’t really tried a lot up there. So I hiked up to the Mushroom Boulder, started making my way down to Pref but the trails were not so obvious… a lot of leaves had fallen since I had last been there, and I’ve only been to the upper part 4 or 5 times.  So naturally, I got lost.  And I got really frustrated.  Because I get lost in Boone a lot.  In the boulder fields and driving to the boulder fields.  It’s kind of hilariously sad to drive down 221 and be like, “Oh yeah, I’ve had a meltdown in that church’s parking lot.  Oh, ha there’s the waste plant I sat in front of and cried.” because I have no fucking clue where I’m at and I am alone for one reason or another because I couldn’t find someone to climb with or someone bailed.

And then I yell and curse a lot and I cry some and then I get over it and somehow find my way back to civilization or the trail.

Anyways, I never found any of them and did like I do: made friends with strangers and climbed with them.  So it turned out alright.  In total that day I hiked down to the 5.10 wall, down to Juice Weasel, back up to the 5.10 wall, out to the parking lot, up to the Mushroom Boulder, down to Pref, back up to Pinch the Loaf, back down to Pref, then hiked up and out from there.  Which is why my legs are so sore.

Luckily, the next day turned out way better and I did what I went to Boone to do: send some shyt.  Hailey and I went to Grandmother, just the two of us, and it was lovely.  She was able to do some work on her proj’s and I day flashed Have Guns.  Then we went to Biscuit which I had never been to before and I flashed The Chronic, then did Iron Chronic (direct?).  There is some eliminate way that I didn’t do…and I don’t know but I did that rock climb and it was fun and I was psyched to finish it.

Got home at 11PM last night, went over to the lab to take care of my cells, turned in an assignment that was due at midnight, and now I have three midterms this week.  Psssyyccchhhh.  All in all, I am happy I went to Boone… but I think I’m going to buy a mini crashpad so I can get by climbing on my own if it comes to be that way next time I am there.

Weekend Plans

El Sol is coming back to the Southeast!  Which means I shall be making my way down to Boone this weekend.

So much to get on, here’s mah list:

Blowing Rock

  • AHR
  • Bitch
  • Tendon Sammich
  • Pinch ze loaf?
  • Portobello?
  • Thresh  + Juice Weasel
  • Maybeee Preferential Treatment


  • Have Guns Will/Keep Travel(ing)
  • French Lip
  • Klamper
  • All jazzed up??

errrr ya! I don’t really have any projects on 221 cuz I haven’t seen most of it



Sick Day

I’m sick 😦 Feeling like some doodoo… tired, stuffy, sad.  I’m skipping out on the climbing gym tonight to rest up… hopefully I’ll feel well enough to go tomorrow.

Sickness=lots of internetz though and I’ve finally gotten to watch the Portland Boulder Rally from this weekend and schmooze through the climbing blogosphere.

Fave video of the day: Sasha making the FFA of Viaje de los locos 

Fave article of the day: The importance of rest from Rock and Ice

The Climbing Gods

Well, I was stoked for Fall Break this weekend, but then the Climbing Gods were all lyk


with the forecast looking like doodoo… rain all weekend all along the east coast.

But I have learned that it is best to listen to the Climbing Gods and obey.  What happened last time I went against Their will (aka went to Boone in the middle of a snowstorm)? I fucked up my pulley and it still isn’t fully healed after 7 months.  I’m sorry Oh Mighty Ones, I will never disobey you again!

Anyways, it’s time to stop bitching and moaning about the weather, accept it, and recalculate my game plan for the month.  Now that I am not leaving this weekend, I can get lots of science done which opens up possibilities for the couple of weekends after.  I will wait for beautiful weather then pounce!

For this long weekend (Sat-Tues) I will keep my training mentality and travel up to Sportrock for at least one day.  Also probably do a trip to Peak.  Git stronk and crush pebbles when the Climbing Gods decide it is time.

Til then, I will bide my time with monotonous gym exercises and plastic.  PSYYYYCHHHH!!

Hound Ears Wrap-Up


Ah, the picture above sums up my life pretty well: sitting down with some caffeine to study biology the day after returning from a climbing trip… J-tree is a necessity, especially after the sharp crimps of Hound Ears.

This year’s Hound Ears was everything I could have asked for and more.  And since I am one who enjoys lists, here are all of the reasons why it was such a great time:

1) The climbing

The rock of course!!! WOW, Hound Ears is pretty amazing, and was definitely my style.  Crimpy climb after crimpy climb, I got to show what my little fingers could death grip and crank off of.  I finished 10 new climbs and was attempting climbs until the very last minute of the day.  A full value day of running around with friends and speed sendin’ fo sho.

2) The girls

Yeah, I said it, I LOVED DA LADIES.  The night before the comp, I got some great advice on climbing, boiz, and life in general from an established group of female crushers.  It was fun to talk to other climber girls who have similar experiences to me in many sects of life, and it’s not something I get to do often.

The day of the comp, I got to see some seriously impressive sends from my female competitors including the epic finish of Becca on Fuc Yo.  Holy shit, I have never been so psyched for another climber’s send before!!!  It was amazing to see her cruise through such a difficult climb and it made me want to get so strong!  Not to mention she has got to be one of the nicest, most humble people I have met.  I was definitely super happy for her second place finish in Open behind Lisa Rands.

It was also super fun to have some girly send trains with Becca and Melise.  We went 1, 2, 3 on a handful of climbs and we definitely had a great dynamic climbing together.  It was a solid group to spend the day with (including an honorary female, Mike).

3) The results

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t super happy that I won Women’s Advanced.  I was pretty nervous that the scorers were going to bump me out of the category into Open, but I got really lucky and they kept me in.  It was nice to feel strong on real rock and like my training efforts had paid off.  And I got a baller and warm new puffy which will keep me toasty this season 🙂

I don’t know where I’m going to be next year, with me graduating and possibly moving to another area of the country, but if it works out, I would love to come back for next year 😀


I don’t know.  I feel like I have the feeling, “I’m doing life wrong” more often than I’d like to admit.  But then, I also feel like a lot of people have the same feeling more often than they’d like to admit.  I guess it’s pretty difficult to tell how everyone is actually doing when we pick and choose the best parts of our lives to put on social media to make everyone think we are getting along quite swimmingly.  As eloquently put by Arthur C. Brooks in the New York Times (link:

It makes sense. What do you post to Facebook? Pictures of yourself yelling at your kids, or having a hard time at work? No, you post smiling photos of a hiking trip with friends. You build a fake life — or at least an incomplete one — and share it. Furthermore, you consume almost exclusively the fake lives of your social media “friends.” Unless you are extraordinarily self-aware, how could it not make you feel worse to spend part of your time pretending to be happier than you are, and the other part of your time seeing how much happier others seem to be than you?

Anyways, that’s not the point of this post.  The point is that I feel like I’m doing life wrong.  But I know that there really isn’t a right way to do it, so how could I possibly be doing it wrong?  I mean, that’s the logistical way to think about it.  And if you look at my life objectively, it seems like I’m actually doing a pretty decent job at it: I’m graduating from college this year, I’m getting started on finding a job, I’m heavily involved in the outdoor community here in Charlottesville, I climb a decent amount. I’m kind of ok at climbing.

But it’s SO hard to log into 8a and look on my sidebar and see that all my Boone frands are crushing new climbs while I’m climbing in a made-over raquetball court and trying to get psyched to do a shyt ton of leg lifts so I can maybe get stronger.  And that’s when I feel like I’m doing something wrong.  Where are my priorities?

rocky top
ye olde Rocky Top

UGH. Melise and I were talking with Jeremy Tyler Walton at the Craggin’ Classic and he told us that while he was in school, he completely stopped climbing and just focused on school.  Because when he does something, he wants to put everything he has into it.  And it kind of makes me think… if I’m not putting 100% into climbing, should I be putting anything into it?  Maybe I should just stop while I finish school.  Lawd knows it’d make my life about 500x easier.  I could really build my friendships here in Charlottesville instead of leaving almost every weekend.  I could thoroughly study for all of my classes.  I would have more time to do experiments in my lab and could get more results for the professor and increase my chances of being published by the time I graduate.  I wouldn’t be exhausted every Monday morning with my room being a complete wreck and my car being disgusting because I lived out of it for the weekend.  I would save SO much money on gas.  I could go home more often and spend time with my family.

But… rock climbing… but… I love it…

I don’t know what my priorities are.  And I don’t know how to do life.  Or if I’m doing it right, or wrong, or somewhere in between.  I guess this is the classic adventure of an angsty 20 year old.. but I don’t think I like it much.