Injury Update 122817

I am 30 days back in and have already felt some of the aches and pains of my age (53.75 years). A week after reentry I felt an odd back pain running up my side, I figured it was just a small strain from the last session. That discomfort lasted a few weeks and began to scare me that something more ominous was happening to my body as it would not leave and I feared it might be organ related.

I was not doing anything super strenuous and decided to ice, stretch and just go easy. I kept climbing but just a high volume of easy V0-V5 range problems, stuff I could repeat without much work. After a few weeks, the pain subsided and that issue seems better.

Soon after another session, one that seemed benign as far as straining anything, my right middle finger knuckle felt stuck. I could not bend it 50% and almost felt like something was binding. I just assumed it was inflamed, I had no pain just pressure when I bent the finger. I iced, massaged the knuckle and used some Aleve for a few days, the finger seemed to go back to normal and now seems fine.

Wednesday of this week at home I was doing some hand strengthening exercises, the Towel Pull Up technique to slowly build more hand power.

I started with dead hangs for 10 seconds and followed that with ten sets of five pull-ups on the towels. I felt fine and no issues.

Thursday I hit the gym with the goal to send a V7 I have been working. I go through my normal warm-up (repeating several easy climbs (V1-V5) and see some new problems and instead of hitting my project I just have fun climbing the new stuff. These problems ranged from V2-V7 (flashed the 7, sweet!). As I was completing most of the new problems I felt a weird strain on my left shoulder doing a traverse move, an easy move but felt something funky in the shoulder.

I sent the problem and then rested (10 minutes) for the project. I could tell my shoulder was unhappy, but I went at it anyway. I could not send the problem and after two tries figured there was an issue with the shoulder and I should stop and rest it.

That night I massaged and took an Aleve. The next morning (Friday) it felt worse. I am a bit concerned but decide I will just rest, massage, ice and see if time will calm down the injury or issue. I woke this morning Saturday and 95% of the pain and discomfort are gone, the rest and rehab seem to have worked.

Of course since I felt better yesterday (Saturday) I did ten more sets of towel dead-hangs, honestly to see if that exercise is the culprit or if my shoulder was just tired from the volume of bouldering on Thursday.

My plan today is to continue some grip work to warm up and hit the gym today (Sunday). I will keep you posted on the body and how it reacts and of course my project and progress.

I believe these minor injuries will be continuous during this journey, I believe if I can pay attention and not abuse these as they occur I can stay healthy enough to continue training and hopefully on track to hit my goal in 2019.


The Journey Begins Again!

From early in my bouldering career, I was always intrigued with sending V12 there was just something mysterious and daunting about it. For a long time, it was the gold standard and only a few in the world had done it.

Time has past and the V12 grade while still impressive is no longer seen as the top of the scale. I believe at this point V17? is considered the top of the grade (click here to get a better look at the bouldering grading systems).

Over the years I have achieved some decent climbing accomplishments based on personal goals, these were typically centered around a particular climb or a grade. When I was in my mid 40’s I hoped to one-day climb V12 before I turned 50. I had achieved V10 (the¬†problem has since been downgraded I believe) and thought if I put my mind to it and found the right line I might actually achieve that goal.

Scott Sanchez boulderingUnfortunately, one fateful day in 2012 while monkeying around on the Campus Board (showing off for a friend), I felt a pop in my left elbow. I was in peak shape and I thought I was ready to break through another plateau. I had just returned from Bishop with a few V9 sends, one was a flash and felt like I was ready.

That injury was more serious then I had originally thought and took well over 18 months to heal, I did not climb during this time and really just spent time in the gym working general fitness the best I could. I had lost the drive to get back in climbing shape. It has been six years since that occurred.

During this time I joined a competition BBQ team and rather than get lean and climbing fit I became really good at cooking brisket. While not completely inactive, I really had no fitness goals and anything driving me from a fitness perspective.

About 30 days ago I was heading to see my mother in the hospital (she is doing better now) and thought I would stop by the climbing gym (Hanger 18 Mission Viejo) and just boulder for a bit. I needed to get out of the house and move. I was greeted by several of my old friends and was energized to climb again. I am now 53 and turn 54 in March of 2018.

I had ditched sending a V12 by age 50 goal during my injury. I have since reset my timing and thought, why not try and accomplish this goal by age 55. I know how to make my body strong and if I clean up some weaknesses (flexibility and movement), who knows maybe I can get this done.

This blog is a real-time look at my journey to get back in shape, improve my weakness and send a V12 boulder problem. I hope you enjoy the blog and if you have comments or questions during this mission please send them my way. I added an email sign up please join the list and continue on this journey you can follow along. I will try and chronicle different training techniques and lessons learned so you may integrate these as you strive to hit your goals.

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