Archive for April, 2018

That’s what I need to take it to the next level- local endurance. “Local endurance is a muscle group’s ability to sustain effort over a period of time.”

I was climbing on Sunday, the second time in a comeback attempt after an injury. My finger strength is good- no real decline there. I can crimp on half finger pads, but I have maybe 12 to 15 feet of crimping and I’m done for 15 minutes. After flashing a 10a I’d never been on, my partner and I set-up a 10d on top rope. I knew that I needed to climb fast to make it through the 25 feet of sustained 10d climbing. I was just past it making the next somewhat easier move when the strength drained out of me. I reached for the next hold just above the directional quickdraw we had placed. My fingers would not grip. I came down and my right middle finger went right through the gate of the carabiner, stripping a half inch of flesh off adjacent to the nail. Had I grabbed for the quickdraw? No, the injury would have been much worse. My extended finger meant I only peeled some flesh rather than broken a finger or skewered my hand. Instead, my finger should be good in a week or so. I’m not a free bleeder, so after a momentary spirt of blood, and a shake out (hands above my head to prevent further bleeding), I finished the route without much difficulty. But how frustrating, to be one move away from completing the climb and getting shutdown. My overall strength is sufficient for higher grade climbing, I just need this local endurance. So here are two websites that describe training for this deficiency:

Learn to Train: Local Endurance for Climbers

Training: Maximize Your Endurance

I hope to increase endurance through these workouts. I am always having to balance responsibility, desire, time pressure, enjoyment, higher priorities, and relaxation. I like to play hard and rest well. I am thankful to God that I still can, but wonder with my most recent injury if that will be possible much longer. I wasn’t doing anything extreme or foolish. I just strained connective tissue from midway down my leg to around the knee. For a time running and climbing stopped and even walking any significant amount. As they say, things just don’t heal like they used to. Both life and climbing are challenging and take strength. 

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Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news? If you read this first, you are getting the bad news first, but it ends with a silver lining.

We had hiked a very moderate route on a beautiful day. I had eaten less and differently that usual. My stomach had hurt slightly the last several days. I parted with my brother and his grandson after a very pleasant day. We had stayed at the Donley Cabin the night before, and I was returning to have a quiet night alone- no water, no electricity, and no electronics. When I arrived I didn’t feel very well- tired mostly. I thought, no time constraints as to when I fix supper, so I laid down to take a nap at about 6 PM (Times are all conjecture since I had no time piece.). Perhaps an hour later I woke up with my stomach hurting and a strong urge to go. In the outhouse I totally cleaned out both ends. I slowly made my way back to my bunk, sleeping fitfully for the next 14 hours or so. During my waking moments I awoke to sounds of mice chewing, rain pelting, and wind blowing. A strong stitch in my side prevented anymore than short naps and finding a new position. At what I think may have been around 8 AM I finally got up. I had to put every stitch of clothing on to get warm, probably because of lack of food more than morning chill. With no appetite, I planned my retreat. I didn’t think I had the fortitude to make two trips to the car, 0.3 mile away. We had come up twice upon entrance, and I had used my great-nephew’s pack (40 liter perhaps). So I set about consolidating everything as much as possible. That is when I found what the mouse had been working on all night, a 1-inch square hole through the front pocket of my day pack. And to beat it all, he cut through the top part of the plastic bag that didn’t even admit him to any goodies. You know, I’ve done this camping thing enough years to know to leave the pockets open so these things don’t happen- chock it up to delirium?

I plodded to the car and began the 4 hour drive home, only stopping once to text my wife that I was on my way home (first cellphone reception in 48 hours). My intention in staying the extra night by myself was a time of prayer and reflection concerning future decisions and concerns for my family. I did spend some time in concentrated prayer on those topics between naps in the night. I was much more efficient in what I had to say. I admit that I was not clear enough of mind to listen much.

Today, after sleeping in my own bed and having a shower, I was again lying down next to my napping wife. Still short on food but not short on sleep, I laid there thinking about what it would be like standing before my Savior. It seemed like more than mere drowsy contemplation. After it faded a poem came to me related to what I had thought and seen:

All of Adam’s race
But one day face to face
Our sins He will displace
Their presence He will erase
His glory a fond embrace
All by His sovereign grace


At the cabin door


Notice how wide the floor boards are.


Come sit a spell


Donley Cabin


A mouse that knows geometry?

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On Resurrection Day
God’s power on display
No better way to say
Death’s sting has gone away

Great exchange took place
The Pure One for the base
Elect ones of the race
Will meet Him face to face

Now I have been set free
From death, sin’s penalty
Live no longer for me
For God and His glory

Death to life He will bring
Sinless life enabling
All Creation will sing
Saints with praise rejoicing

Reflect on His goodness and grace on this Resurrection Celebration Day. We have been made alive; we have hope; we have a purpose and a message to share. Rejoice!


Signs of New Life

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Overflows from the Heart

"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…" Matthew 15:18


Pointing to the One who made, saved, and sustains