Well probably the easiest way to say it is that I was fired from my job. It was a really good job and I made pretty decent money and allowed me to travel to climb give me plenty of free time and of course that's what led me here to create this blog in the first place as an extension of my Seven Summits Quest.
That firing led to a Mad Dash scramble to replace my income. First of all I tried to make money from my books, but I didn't have any of them ghost-written by that one super-successful ghost-writer dude, so that was a dead-end. I made arrangements with several international guide services, unfortunately about the same time Facebook went on a rampage and deleted all the fake followers they'd sold me and hid my posts from my own groups. I spent three years writing a 300 page hiking and mountaineering fitness training manual and released it at the same time as a celebrity author's training guide.
|From one of my Ebay Sales|
Pity party for me, hey?
So it was back to the 9-5 if I could find a job that would pay enough to make all of my bill payments go all smooth and happy. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way and I ended up having to move to Utah along the Wasatch Front where they were plentiful jobs in their new tech boom. And of course working 8 hour days and commuting for over 2 hours a day and having to deal with all of the miscellaneous family commitments and other major issues (like keeping cars running and moving everything out of storage and back into our house we were trying to sell) robbed me of all of my free time.
It was about this time that my oldest son decided to go ahead and switch from road bike racing to mountain bike racing and one way we could alleviate some of his fees was for me to become a volunteer assistant coach. I never been on a mountain bike before to be honest with you so I had to spend a few hours here in their learning how to ride a mountain bike because it's much more technical.
|Mountain biking in backcountry Moab with my son|
Anyway enough about that. Let's get back to climbing.
I've been a bicycle commuter for several years off and on including 3 years round the year in Salt Lake City. you would think that there would be some carryover and of course there was riding on the relatively flat firm roads. I was quite a bit faster than most of the jr. team members that I was coaching. Over time I progressed to become a NICA certified level 3 mountain bike coach.
I managed to steal enough time from life and work and commitments to My son and good friend Todd to Ouray to spend a few days of the most intense ice climbing I could possibly squeeze out. we had a blast tons of fun did way more than I done on a single trip to Ouray ever before. I even experimented with doing a 2 rope 2 team member simul-climb as I belayed from the top. That was pretty good too.
|Ice Climbing with Todd Gilles and my son|
But no solo.
I was trying to figure out a way to get in more climbing and thought I had it figured out. Unfortunately that's when I had my accident. I crashed a bike at 22 miles an hour. Ironically it was a commuter bike on a commuter Rec path on my way to the train station in the morning in the dark. I hit a pothole that was quite deep and large - about the size of an inverted bosu ball if that gives you an idea. I hit hard and tore up my whole right side - knee elbow shoulder hip - lost a lot of skin. I was able to get to work and back that day but over the course of the day I discovered that I wasn't able to raise my right arm.
At that point in time it looked like it would take about a year or so to get my arm back in shape, if ever. Unfortunately it was possible that it was permanent which kind of freaked me out. I was able to hold my arm out at a low angle enough that I could continue to ride the summer for my coaching obligations and began therapy on my own and with the help of a massage therapist.
Then came a financial crisis caused by the loss of our property in Colorado which was sold at such a ridiculously inverted deal that it would seriously take us 5 years to recover from it. Unfortunately the first year was really horrible to endure which forced me to have to sell almost every single last bit of my climbing stuff.
|Someone got a heck of a deal on Ebay for these babies.|
All of my gear closet gone.
All except for a couple of choice pieces that I totally loved including my rope solo gear. I thought that I would be ready to do some ice climbing the 2017-2018 winter but I was wrong.
I've just started doing weights again for my upper body and stretching really hard to extend my range of motion and strength. Right now I can swing a tool to about neck level with my right arm which if I really really had to I could make work.
In the meantime I am going to just post a few stories here and there and maybe a few bits and pieces of things I have heard other people talk about on my various expeditions including guides and other expert climbers. Sorry for the long delay in all of this and I should have said something sooner but it was too close to home and I wasn't ready.
|Weight training selfie with my left hand.|
Thanks for hearing me out.