All paths lead nowhere, choose with heart

shake n bake west September 25, 2014

I really thought and hoped I would be able to put Shake N Bake West (to define it from regular shake n bake in Hueco) together before the end of the summer, and I haven’t. I just need to talk about it.  The first day I went to it was with Jill. I was able to do all the moves, but felt uncertain of this weird, kind of ‘catch the jug as you fall’ move in the dead center of the problem, before you go into the top out which is shared by a v6. Not an easy topout but half a dozen sessions later I never mess it up anymore.

When I miss the falling catch move, it looks like this

When I miss the falling catch move, it looks like this

Click to watch me stick the transition move. why is it so hard!?

Click to watch me stick the transition move (links you to Vine) why is it so hard!?

I went back with Paula a few weeks later and felt very close to sending, overlapped the difficult moves and the weird falling catch move in the center. Then a random part in the beginning became really impossible and the session kind of died.

Went again a weeks after that, with the moves fresh in my mind, and that’s when I couldn’t find it. That sucked but it was a fun rainy hike with three pads on.

Gave up a little bit after that. If I can’t find the darn thing there’s no point getting all motivated.

Went again a month after that with Rebecca Taggart. We found it! (They found it I did not help) and I set about relearning all the moves, which happened pretty quickly, but it was very hot and I was not able to pull it together. Seemed close.

Went again two weeks after that to the day, alone, found it! Overlapped it in some new ways, figured some things out to make the bottom more consistent – weird flags and thigh scums abound. Kind of just lost that falling catch move at some point. Here’s a few shots from that session.

snb1 snb2

Went back the next day, total skin fail no surprise.

Went again yesterday, a week later, with Ryan, who is learning to use cameras. Did a new low point, finishing the problem from two moves in from the start, which was cool. Climbed really well felt strong for hours, lots of video and photos which is fun. Then I just kind of lost one of the low moves and couldn’t get it back. I let the day get to me, didn’t rest long enough between burns, and felt rushed. Wore my new Futuras on it, which are very comfortable and seem amazing. But I’m nervous that they will stretch out fast, as the Solutions did, and become useless except as toe hook shoes less effective than the Teams.

happy even though it's hard. cute booties, eh?

happy even though it’s hard. cute booties, eh?

I felt so disappointed hiking down yesterday. I’m leaving next Tuesday for Europe and Way Lake closes for snow and stays pretty much under snow until late, late May/June. I ignored my other two California projects this month to focus on it, since they will be around all year. I got into that headspace of like, maybe it’s:

too hard for me

I’m not good enough at moving my body on steep rock

What is the point of these enormous arm muscles anyway if I can’t even put this line together?

I got in my head around Jill having done it quickly. That she is a real climber, a person people regard as ‘nails strong’ when she isn’t around. I’m just flailing and being a jock and talking.

What is all this training for? Is training not working? This WHOLE SEASON is going to be like this because no amount or strategery of training could possibly make ME strong enough to do Shake N Bake West because it is beyond my genetic potential, or maybe I’m just past my prime. \I have peaked in bouldering forever and I’m going to just do classic mods for the rest of my life and anything that takes longer than two days is just never going to happen, and then those won’t happen either, and I’ll just be fine with it because  AT LEAST I HAVE MY HEALTH.

And at that point it’s like, wait. This does not make any sense, given previous experience, empirical evidence, and basic math. Then I calmed down. Abhyasa Variagya, consistent practice over a long period of time without attachment to a particular result. That’s my favorite thing I learned this summer in Yoga Teacher Training. I’m going to say it a few more times. Abhyasa Variagya. Practice over time without attachment to a certain result. That’s what bouldering is for me. I practice moving on rock, intimate experiences in infinitely magnificent settings, focusing and experiencing my body and mind and the natural world. Without attachment to outcomes or results. That.

So I am probably fine, I am just working it out. I do this on all my hard boulders, this is how it is for me. It takes a lot of sessions and I don’t need to get impatient or frustrated because it’s all there, just needs more finesse, which I only get through practicing the moves. I think it only feels so intense in the case of Shake N Bake West because I know that I won’t be on it again for so many months, and so there is this sort of imposed pressure. And much can happen by then. That I could forget how to find it among the least of them! It triggers worry about the future, which I’m usually free of, and I guess I had invested this line with setting the tone for the season. One of my goals this summer was to do one hard boulder a month, May through September. Something that took me a few days, or that I had been wanting to do and not put enough time into. I did a few,

May: Angry Beaver at the Tramway

June: Showtime at Black Mountain

July: Moonraker at the Buttermilks

August: Nothing I guess

Sept: ???????

Pretty sad stats actually, although Moonraker was kind of amazing in freaking July. But I have been in the gym like a monster. I don’t know. I hope I am able to enjoy myself and try really hard and find sends this fall.


Regarding that time I went to Lego Land in Tahoe May 6, 2014

Filed under: Climbing,The Past,Trips — sendann @ 9:27 pm
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And hung out with Jim Thornburg….




Moses, Waves March 5, 2013

Filed under: Climbing,Picture Taking,The Past,Waves — sendann @ 9:21 pm
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Dug into my old Bennington College photography class lessons and made some black and whites of a big swell in Hawaii, and a swell day on East Spur. Not exactly the poetics of light and contrast that I remember fumbling with in the darkroom, but making these made me excited about making more.







Forest Days with Ashley February 12, 2013

Filed under: Climbing,Crafty,Music,The Past,Trips — sendann @ 6:38 am
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Just little clips of little rocks, beautiful places, good company and flowing movement.

click to watch on vimeo. Thanks!!

click to watch on vimeo. Thanks!!


Experience Aubrey Organics - 100% Natural Hair, Skin and Body Care


my epic super flail gossip project December 3, 2011

Filed under: Over-Shares,The Future,The Past — sendann @ 6:30 pm
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For example, you are about to tell someone the news of what happened. “Guess what? You don’t know yet? Let me tell you.” If you are alert enough, present enough, you may be able to detect a momentary sense of satisfaction within yourself just before imparting the news, even if it is bad news. It is due to the fact that for a brief moment there is, in the eyes of the ego, an imbalance in our favor between you and the other person. For that brief moment, you know more than the other…Many people are addicted to gossiping partly for this reason. In addition, gossiping often carries an element of malicious criticism and judgement of others, and so it also strengthens the ego through the implied but imagined moral superiority that is there whenever you apply a negative judgement to anyone. – Eckhart Tolle

I’ve been slowly eradicating my gossip habit for almost a year, and my progress feels pathetically incremental so far. I decided I was done with gossip after a 20+ career as a talker, listener, and “this is what the deal is with that person”-er. It’s still a problem for me, but I’d say I’ve gotten to “lazy contractor” status at this point. It’s the process that is the destination that is the journey or something, I guess.

After an thoroughly embarrassing couple of years in the personal realm where the things I heard about myself were so terribly painful, even if they weren’t content-ually vicious, I had to change something. I can’t stop anyone from saying what they want to say, but I can make it my mission to never again be the source of that feeling of betrayal and shame for someone else.

And maybe eventually I’ll meet my karmatic gossiping debt and not be a subject, or I’ll grow as a person through a program of prayer, meditation and focus and become impervious to the harmful words of others. Neither of those has happened yet. I still hear “news” of myself via the proverbial and pathetic “birdie” and it still feels like burning. If I had to give Lily a dollar every time she has to quote her brother Luke’s song, ‘Let ’em Talk, let em talk, even if they’re talking about you’ , she’d have paid cash for her dream house six months ago.

potential lily dream house 1

The main goal of my quitting gossip project is:

Don’t discuss people’s personal misfortunes and business when they aren’t around.

Simple enough, you’d think. Even if it’s just to say that I feel bad for them, or to allay someone else’s concerns or curiosity. Just, no. My moderate success has come mainly from unhooking from friendships that were largely based on news sharing and hate speech. But when I do reconnect with people, it’s very hard to not fall into the old pattern. It might even be impossible, possibly.

When I’m caught up in a conversation and a gossip situation is eminent, my first method is to refuse eye contact and say, repeatedly,

“I really don’t know. I really don’t know. I have no idea. I’m sure they’ll figure it out for themselves. I really don’t know.”

Usually the hint is gotten and we move on. Sometimes not, however, and that’s when I tend to do this really stupid thing. I frantically change the subject to myself and start sharing my own private business. Smart, I know. Which is a nice way to introduce part two of the project:

Don’t share personal information with folks who do partake in the gossip scene.

Because some folks can totally handle it, and that’s cool, I kind of wish I could. But my newly hightened sensitivity and hair-trigger despair are counting me out. If I really like someone, though, or if I think they’re going to reject me or find me boring, I try to hang onto their interest by over-sharing about my personal life. So no gossiping means no gossiping about myself either. This part is probably the crux.

you look so cool and nice!

But sometimes neither of those tactics is effective, so I think I’m going to have to introduce a new, somewhat more blunt, method. I’m playing with the idea of a “I feel too weird talking about that without her around” kind of statement. I think I’m liable to get punched if I start saying that, though. So maybe not.

Of course, we all live in the world together and some situations do require some discrete discussion. If my friend feel’s like hell because some jerklesauce is oppressing his swagger with wickedry, he should be able to express that to me, and I can listen without it being a malicious gossip situation. But it’s tricky to know where to draw the line. So far as I figure, it’s this:

Keep the focus on myself.

Which should be super, super easy. If I’m discussing my business, and someone else is involved, it’s fine to express it or tell the story to a trusted friend. (“I can’t believe he said/did that to me. I feel so sad/stabby.”) But no character assassination (“s/he’s like that because s/he had this experience in the past, but really it’s because his/her father abandoned them and they just need to just gtf over it”), or judgement (“she is a bitch”). And no pretending like it’s my business because I have feelings about it. (“I just feel so angry on her behalf because he is such a jerk to her. And here are the ways in which he has been a jerk over the years”). But of course, if I feel angry on my own behalf because you were such a jerk to me, I’m gonna tell Lily and Emilia. And if you messed with my friend, he’s gonna tell me about it, and I’m gonna tell him to ignore you because you are not worth his mental efforts. K?

mess with my crew at your peril

Non-bad gossip is also off limits, I think, at least for me. Because I have this way of turning it into a kind of carbon-trading market sort of conversation. If I say this mean thing about him, and pass on news of their break up, and assess then assassinate the character of his new girlfriend, I can make up for it by talking about how proud I am of someone or something else. Nah. But I will tell you that Emilia has secured epic sponsors for the Rock Rodeo, and Thomo is crushing at the Red, and Allen did a really hard boulder problem.

As for theoretical underpinning,  I’m realizing that gossiping and “having the scoop” or even sharing about someone else’s situation and my feelings about it, is a form of being controlling. Like if I know what’s up, and I control what someone else knows, and I tack my judgement onto the news, well, I kinda control the message and therefor…the WORLD? Realizing that you’ve been discussed and assessed in your absence is, for me at least, the most powerless feeling I’ve ever experienced. I try not to hold it against myself that I feel so strongly upset by something so common. Just because there’s nothing I can do about it doesn’t mean it won’t feel horrible. And it does.

That’s all I have about that for now. Also, I’m sorry for gossiping about you. I promise I won’t do it again.




is this totally silly? November 6, 2011

Filed under: Climbing,The Past — sendann @ 7:53 pm
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Before I tell you how awesome the Triple Crown ended up going, which was beyond-beyond expectations of awesome, I have to ask you, is this silly and lame? It’s a new “page” with all my climbing comp results on it, and a list of times I’ve been in mags or on magazine websites. Basically, just a little climbing- attention inventory. This guy at the Triple Crown asked me if I’d ever done anything, and I was like, well, just this little stuff and that nothing thing. He was like, that’s real stuff, you can make that into a kind of rock climbing cv. Which sounded super self-important and ridiculous to me at the time. But then I was like, it’s not like I’m doing anything else these days. Might as well account for my time and work with what I’ve got.


Ok, you’re right, it isn’t lame or silly. A little cheesy maybe, but that’s going to have to be ok for now.


Hey, good talk!


so like September 24, 2011

A few shots by Heather from back in June. Looking through her trip pics, man,  I just love climbing in Flagstaff. It’s on my list of places to be this spring. Of course, I hate to plan anything post-Hawaii, because I want to reserve the possibility of not coming back from Hawaii. I was talking to dad last night about it, and I was saying, “I always thought that if I were a bird, I’d fly to Hawaii and stay.” And he goes, “Well, now you’re a bird.”

Here’s Flag…Thanks Heather!!!!

Kelly Canyon

I think this is "BadAss" at Priest Draw. That's Bolder in the corner.