Sunday, March 9, 2008

Seven Months ... and Climbing! March 9

Three weeks ago, Melissa and I went up to Vermont to visit some friends from Eckerd Youth Alternatives - where I worked with juvenile offenders a decade ago. The first picture is our 3 mile walk - a beautiful sunny day on the road where our friends live. Naw, I don't miss open spaces and mountains at all...

Then, this weekend was momentous. Yesterday (Mar 8) was the seven month anniversary of my accident. It was also the first time that I've been on a climbing wall since. I was a bit apprehensive and doubtful; for the last half year, climbing has taken a back seat to more basic issues (like walking and pain management).

However, the trip went very well. Although I know this number won't mean much to some, I was able to climb several 5.10's - mostly without hanging on the rope. I even made it up an easy 5.11 with a couple of hangs. My foot and ankle didn't really do all the things that they're supposed to, but I'm happy that I was able to use it well enough to climb reasonably well.

It also reminds me that I'm not the only one with limitations. You don't really have to have a high profile, gruesome accident to have physical limitations (I just tend towards the dramatic). Plenty of climbers have tendon issues, knees that don't bend a certain way or shoulders that give trouble. The same goes for other sports. Somehow, it's a little easier to put things in that context - nobody escapes without limitations for long. And part of the task (or even the joy?) of getting older appears to be figuring out how to do a good job taking care of those limitations.

Okay - enough philosophy. On another note, I also carried Teacup for 10 minutes this weekend. Some of you know our arthritic pointer, Teacup. She walks for about 20 minutes, then we put her in the backpack and carry her for the rest of the walk. She's 50 pounds, so not too heavy but more than a day pack. Teacup has summited quite a few 4,000' peaks in New Hampshire that way. Well, today I carried her for about 10 minutes at the end of a walk. It was just like old times, and she and I both appreciated it.

One month from today - April 9 - I get my x-ray. I've started weekly acupuncture and rolfing, in addition to weight lifting with my legs and other cardio options. It's all I can do, so I hope it is stimulating bone growth. I'll know in a month.

Thanks to everyone for your care, friendship and support.


kat said...

Wheeeeeeee for Teacup riding on your back!

Bones said...

ha ha ha, that's awesome. Way to go Mark! Your post made my day, I'm really happy for you.

Alex said...

Good for you Mark! I love reading your updates and I've been thinking about you. Hope life is awesome and you are having a blast.

BTW - I think I'm heading to Montana as a HLC this summer! Peace out!