This spring has turned into a complete whirlwind! So many things have happened that it has been hard to completely wrap my head around. To kick things off I got my prosthetics certification! I am really excited to be a full blown professional. It has been a journey that has been six years in the making since I started college! I have been practicing for the past year and a half and I absolutely love what I do and am blessed to work for the best company in the business.
I am officially in the midst of our next project, documenting my journey to become the first amputee to climb the V10 bouldering grade. It will be a journey that hopefully comes to fruition over the next year!
My first climbing trip on the agenda this spring was to Hueco Tanks. I was feeling strong from all my training and my goal was to tick off my first V9. Over the four day trip I was able to get on four different V9's, coming agonizingly close on all of them but going home with the send on none! Hueco has a very dynamic climbing style which seems to suit me perfectly. It is almost like a rock playground with heinous moves in-between decent holds. If you can crank down hard you can send hard at Hueco. I was also able to check out some potential V10's while I was there. The biggest difficulty with this whole project has been finding a climb that is actually going to make sense to project. I realized that doing my first V10 is a huge undertaking, and having a climb that is thousands of miles away from me does not help my cause any, especially when I only get to try it for a couple of days before taking off again. I did manage to send my second V8 second try, the sit start to New Religion. Along with ticking off some other classics while in the area. I can't wait until my next trip back, too many projects, not enough time!
After doing some thinking after the Hueco Trip, I decided that the climb that I have the best chance for success is right here in the Southeast. This fall I managed to do my first V8 called Harvest Moon. It is a really powerful project and a true gem of a rock climb. It has a sit start, that adds 3-4 difficult moves into the stand, that clocks in right at V10. Here is some bad iPhone video of me sending the stand this December!
So long story short I was supposed to head up to the southeast to start trying the moves on Harvest Moon sit, then I picked up the first bad finger injury of my career. I thought I was taking it easy, but I guess I needed to give my body some more time to recover after Hueco Tanks, and ended up tearing my A4 pulley in my right middle finger. That effectively ended my spring climbing season.
Its funny how some things are a blessing in disguise......right around that time we moved from a 5,000 square foot facility at work into 22,000 square feet, officially making us one of the largest prosthetics facilities in the country under one roof. The week after that I moved from staying with a friend into my own apartment. As all of this was going on I had two speaking engagements to plan for along with adaptive climbing clinics in New York City and Joshua Tree National Park, all tied in with a trip to Venezuela for my grandma's 90th birthday! I think that if I would have had the pressure of training at a high level also that I would have been on the verge of collapse! So while it is never fun being injured I have to say it may have been for the better this time!
Both of my speaking engagements went well, my grandma's 90th birthday was a blast and a great opportunity to reconnect with family. The adaptive climbing clinic at Brooklyn Boulders in NYC was a huge success! We were able to introduce 31 people with disabilities ranging from Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injury, Upper and Lower extremity amputation, vision impaired among others to their first climbing experience over two days! NYC has a vibrant adaptive community and it was inspiring to get the opportunity to work with them. Check out some video done by Brooklyn Boulders here! http://vimeo.com/39219966
Part two of this post coming your way later this week!