Working back from this injury has been frustrating, to say the least.
Mentally, I’m struggling, especially when looking at a move or a climb that I know I could have done before or could easily do with a healthy finger. Perhaps even more importantly, I’m having a difficult time reminding myself to avoid overusing the finger while I’m on a climb.
This happened last week while climbing the sketchiest indoor route I’ve ever been on – a thin arete climb at ET Rockville. I fell into a slopey crimp with my left hand – not too strenuous, and with an open hand grip – when I felt a pop in my finger.
In my head, I immediately started freaking out – but I was at the second bolt without it clipped, and had I fallen, it would’ve been a little too close to the ground for comfort. So I down-climbed to the bolt, took, and assessed the damage.
Surprisingly enough, the finger felt great – really great, actually. No pain, no soreness, good range of motion and flexibility. It continued feeling good throughout the rest of the night, and it still feels great a week later.
Obviously, awesome and welcome news. I’ve heard of this happening to friends before – and I think I can attribute it to the shifting or breaking up of scar tissue. Which makes sense because my doctor friend tells me I’ve got some scar tissue buildup around the pulleys. Not surprising.
Physically, I’m happy with my progress. It’s been slow but fairly steady. I feel comfortable and confident on most 5.10s in the gym, and I’m beginning to work on some 5.11s. On boulders, I’m comfortable on V4 and the occasional V5, and some harder problems feel fine depending on the holds.
I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting some fitness back – pretty much everything but finger strength, and I do believe that I’m getting better in that regard, too.
Currently, I’m at home in New Jersey, in limbo between the DC area and Berkeley, CA – where I’ll be moving in just a few weeks for grad school (and climbing). I’m taking some rest days now, as my last few weeks in Maryland were filled with plenty of climbing.
I’m feeling the impact on my fingers now, but they’re finally feeling better after 5 days of rest. I dealt with some pain and swelling in both middle fingers (neither of which have been injured previously), most likely due to the fact that I was pushing too hard before I was ready. Old habits die hard, and I’m trying to not learn these lessons the hard way…again.
Luckily, the injured ring finger has been feeling quite good, and I think I’m starting to come out of the initial stages of recovery – finally.
I did leave Earth Treks Rockville with a V6 send that I was mighty proud of – a boulder filled with slopey dishes, tension moves, and an abysmal right hand edge before the finish. Still, I’m sad to see that phase of my life end, but I’m beyond excited for the next steps I’ll take in California.
So for now, I shall continue enjoying my rest days (that is, until this weekend…I do believe a trip to Brooklyn Boulders is in order). Hopefully, the motivation to write more frequently will return. I’ve got some ideas, so now I just need to follow through and not get too overwhelmed.
I hope everyone is enjoying the Summer season and finding some nice cools temps in which to crush. Stay stoked and climb on guys!