Monday, August 09, 2010

The Body Fights Back

In summary, I got sick bad a few weeks ago on my final day in Acadia. It was Lyme disease, and I fought what I thought was a feverish flu for five days until I finally went to the emergency room in search of help. The comeback has been slow but noticeably progressive. I started with slow 30-minute swims every other day and, over the course of a couple of weeks, have built up to medium-paced 60-minute swims every day now. I've only tried cycling once, and that was a near disaster (I almost passed out when I finished due to the dizziness). I'm going to wait until next week to bike again. Hopefully things go better then. Yesterday, however, was my first day climbing since getting sick.

The doctor told me no climbing when I first saw him a week after the emergency room visit. My liver was swollen and he knew it was going to be that way for a couple of weeks, but as he explained to me how I was going to recover both gradually and noticeably each day, I started picking out a weekend that seemed appropriate to get back on the rock. Sunday was the day, so I met up with "Caboose" and "Blow" and another friend at Rumney where I figured I could play more easily than if I was plugging gear in the 'Gunks.

We started off at the Meadows and ended up at the Parking Lot Wall. No, we didn't move very much but that was because we didn't need to. While there were quite a few people in both of these areas, the day never felt busy. We got on whatever it was we wanted, pretty much whenever we wanted to, and figured there was no reason to risk possible crowds and annoying hikes if we didn't have to. Being so close to the cars helped us to get more climbs in anyway, which conveniently allowed us to refresh ourselves in the Baker River and grab vittles at the Common Man afterward without going too late. In all, regarding this aspect of the day, the day was a success.

I'm not sure how many climbs we did, but we took our time and really enjoyed things. I felt pretty strong all day, not because I was climbing hard, but because my endurance actually felt solid. I expected to hang a lot, but I didn't, only hanging on two routes at the end of the day when I was getting noticeably tired. The doctor said that I'd be at about 90% come September, so I figured I was somewhere around 75% since it was still early August. I only fell on TR because I wanted to protect my liver from any sudden impacts. I took at one spot on lead several times on one route at the end of the day for the same reason. I was able to pull past the crux, but the point was the same: climb, but be careful, as it isn't worth ruining tomorrow's trip for today's glory.

I'll be doing some easy climbing for a day or so in Acadia this week, so we'll see how the recovery after the first day of climbing goes, but in all, I can't wait to get back to the 'Gunks in a little more than a week's time. The goal is to be ready for when "Jello" comes east for a two-week climbing trip starting Labor Day Weekend. Climbing every day, and most likely near or at my limit most days, will be a challenge that I'm not only looking forward to, but hoping to be physically ready for.

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