1024 x 768 Vol 2

1024×769 volume 2

In this tour of duty to create a much better world for all of us to live in, I am in constant pursuit of a better self.  Military tactics are of no use in my mission.  I have an arsenal of meditation, books like Sidartha, 7 years of tri-weekly religious school, and amazing people to learn from.  I have even gone so far as to partner my professional life with this passion.  However it never seems to surprise me how jealous, determined, and competitive I feel when a strong female rightfully sends my project faster than I. Fade out, flash back, zoom in real tight, and rewind to two weeks ago.  Sangria is flowing like water from Poland Springs, 3 different plates of Tapas (Spanish appetizer’s) ranging from potato omelet, to sausage, and squid.  Outdoor seating at a Spanish restaurant in Harvard Square, Kelley, and Steph, and yours truly.  I’m drinking to get drunk and eating to get full.  Thoughts of proposals, firewalls, spam, ringing cell phones, and technology swim throughout my brain like a room full of those Space age automated vacuum cleaners.  You know the ones that bounce off objects and go in different directions.  I think the Jeston’s had one, it would pop out the Rosie’s chest.  Too much of a good thing can turn gold to bronze and five hard days of work can turn ambition to routine.  Like a battery needs to be charged, we need our weekends, and mine are always best spent on a rock in a forest.

“Andy, remember that time we went to go bouldering and it rained, cleared up, but the boulders were still wet?  We said hell with it and climbed anyways, dried up what we could, and dealt with the water.  The easiest problems were at our limit!  Well it’s about 90 degress, and 90 percent humidity today, be prepared for wet bouldering round 2.”  I always strive to stay positive when I’m convincing Andy of something in doubt.  I figure that his motivation will serve as a hallucinogenic to my perception, so we can both be positive.  As always I receive the usual “Sweet, I’ll see you there.”

There’s a reasonable crew today, much like the one’s found in rowing, but no “Head of the Charles” for us.  We’re after an individualistic goal, to ascend our own 6-12 foot high pieces of granite. John and I begin the day showing off some of the new rock we claimed to have discovered, in a spanish sense however.  Like Columbus discovering America, we discovered previously chalked up boulders.  Hey it’s new to us!

It’s this one cute boulder with three very distinct problems on it.  On the left is a nice arete that involves some left hand wapping and right hand crimping.  It’s a wonderful line that’s good to get the blood flowing.  Kel dedicated part of last saturday to this piece of rock and she looks determined to make this an appetizer.  After two quick attempts and one forced 5 minute rest she devours the problem in nail biting fashion.  The center line from a stand is not much more than a two move crimp ladder, boring, and without elegance.  The sit however involves a four point off dyno, from horrible slopers, to a one arm grab on a three finger crimp.  Seeing Alan scream and float his way through that move gave that problem “Sinatra” (This is my own personal fresh term, I want props if this spreads.  I mean who’s giving the “Cash Money Millionaires” credit for “bling bling”.)  Squeezing, dynoing, and campusing my way up the right arete gave me a sense of elation and accomplishment the weekend prior.  Seeing Stephanie flash it with ease and boredom had a much different affect on my oh so delicate ego.  With my usual impatience and selfishness, known to those who can claim the ranks of younger brother, I hurried the group along to the days project.

I’ve seen this line two years ago when Rio and I were among the areas first few inhabitants and explorers.  I’ve heard it had been sent already, but the cobwebs and lack of chalk brought out the Columbus in me.  Let me walk you through it.  Start sitting with hands on a good full ten finger edge, about head hight.  Paste the left foot and fire out left for a three finger, full pad, crimp.  Switch feet and fire up and a little right for a index mono with half pad crimp for the neighboring digits.  Lock of the right hand and get the left foot on the starting hold, at about waist height.  Reach arms length up with the left hand to a side pull sloper.  Lean on it and release the right hand to the top.  Chuck out left hand for a sidepull below the lip, dance the feet up, and slap and mantle the rest of your body over.  You’re topping out at about 12 feet.

This day not being unlike any other day, since the 7th day that God rested, Alan and Andy sent with relative ease.  One making it look easy and the other, well he did it quickly.  The intensity needed to endure that mono crimp was not proving strong enough for me to solve this equation.  Well that is until the genetic makeup in my DNA, known to most as chauvinism, gave me an adrenaline boost to the heart.  The stimulant to the ego induced boost has a female name, Stephanie.  In brilliant and deterministic style she bouldered her way to the ultimate grand prize, a pleasant down climb.  Not more than the time it takes thunder to follow lighting, I was chalked up and unwilling to touch ground unless it was coming to me at 9.8 meters per second per second.

From the top I could see Kelley and Stephanie exchanging looks and laughs.  I acknowledged my fault and thanked Stephanie for being so freakin strong.  Thank Buddha I’m going back to work tomorrow.  The keyboard is so much easier on my fingertips than Pawtuckaway’s granite.


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