The Itch You Can’t Scratch


Sometimes you just have to accept that you aren’t the young pup you used to be.

Over the weekend I celebrated my 34th birthday by doing chores around the house! Riveting isn’t it.

What I really wanted to do was to get out with my family and do some climbing. The weather was decent, cool and in the 50’s but not too bad. Sure the rock would have been cold to the touch, but I wanted to do some bouldering so I we wouldn’t have our hands exposed for too long. The problems weren’t going to be hard. V0 – V4 were the hardest. Easy since we’re new to the game and our endurance and skill is still building. Plus we would have had our little guy with us and wanted him to experience success as well.

Challenge was my body and my time didn’t permit such adventures. Responsibility and wise decisions supplanted youthful and irresponsible desires to skip what I need to do and shrug off doctor’s and physical therapist’s orders to scratch the itch and satisfy the appetite of adventure and fun.

It’s Monday morning and I’m sitting here drugged up from a OTC pain-relieving medication that doubles as a sleep aid from the prior night. Feels like a pinched nerve or an out-of-place vertebrae in my upper back above the rods holding my mid to lower spine together that pulls and causing pain to sometimes radiate down my arm. Add this to the shoulder tendonitis that  I’ve had for the last 2 months that I wasn’t sure was ever getting better (but it is). I have to accept that I’m 34, not 24 and my body can’t be pushed like it used to.

Oh I’m still young, but my body can’t take the abuse like it used to. I go to the gym often. I don’t go to ‘keep in shape’; I go to train. I push myself to the limits and I get my heart-rate up towards the maximum. I was proud of myself when my heart rate hit 177, just 10 beats per minute below my max rate. My wife thought I was on a quest to make it explode, I told her “This is how I train”. I am still feeling the effects of said training!

I still want to get out and climb, but wisdom says that if you don’t heal it’s going to hinder your future endeavors. So I have to accept that I can only do so much, that means also a limited routine in the gym. I find myself gripping everything like it’s a hold on a route or problem. I pinch door moldings, undercling tables, I even catch myself crimping the pew during church service (sorry Jesus, I promise I’m paying attention).

Boy, do I want to scratch that itch!

Categories: Climbing, Insight | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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