Tag Archives: running

Strength and the gym


Starting March 17th, 2021

Gyms in Oregon have opened up again!

There wasn’t any announcements that I saw – Just one day, going for my run, I saw the lights on in the gym.

Like a barfly returning to a pub after getting kicked out, I hesitantly crept my way toward the door… the warm light calling me, and the clanking of weights beckoning from the quiet evening.

(Editors note: You can’t actually hear the clanking of weights from the first floor of Ben’s gym. I don’t know why he’s being poetic tonight, but please bear with him on his artistic license)

As I cautiously pulled open the front door, the gym staff called out an enthusiastic greeting. I returned it, and quickly learned that gyms had actually been allowed to open and this wasn’t just the imagination of someone completely sick of cardio… if you can call slow runs around my apartment complex, combined with 30min sets of dancing in the livingroom, cardio.

I started back in that very night.

I’d been thinking about what to do, once the gyms opened again, but didn’t quite have a plan laid out just yet… so instead, I lightly tested myself. I did a few reps of everything, feeling how my body reacted to the extremely light weights that I tested myself with. Bench pressing the bar, curling the lightest weights, squatting and deadlifting in the assisted machine, and even trying a few cable pulls.

Going forward, I’ll have a full plan laid out. A rotation of bench, lats, squats, and deadlifts. Bookended with cardio, to make up for the Saunas still being closed, and staggered out as best as I’m able.

Slowly, I’ll build my core back up, and hopefully (finally) fully recover from the pulled nerve that I got right at the beginning of COVID.

2021 is going to be a good year, I can feel it.

The worst day of the year run – Running my second 5K!


Saturday, 01-Feb-2020

I ran my second 5K, and my Mom came out to watch!

It’s exciting!

I didn’t quite do as well as I’d hoped, unfortunately, but I was still proud that I was able to get out and keep going. It was tough… I’d actually say that it was harder than the first time we ran this race, surprisingly. I think the difference was that, for the last race, both Sarah and I had been focusing on running as a method of physical therapy and recovery. But this time, neither of us had really been running much at all, except as short warmups before climbing or lifting.

But you know what? Even if my time wasn’t great, I still finished the race. I call that a win. Especially in the rain, and especially having ran it with friends!

A Roadtrip to the gunks: Climbing! First Trad of the 2014 season!


A beautiful Sunday, 06-Apr-14


Daniel, Erin and I woke up… not early, but not late.  After a quick breakfast and packing up / cleaning the Hostel, we were tearing down the road towards what we expected to be a rather empty parking lot.  But instead…

Butt tons of people.  Seriously, how were there so many people climbing?  I mean, I know that it was perfect and amazing and gorgeous out, but… it was raining the day before!  That means I get the whole wall to myself!  No!  Stop climbing and having fun!  Give me back my walls!


Ribs (5.5 PG)

Pitch 1 = Daniel took the lead here, and I’m glad that he did.  While the moves were clean, everything was just… kind of thin.  Not positive, and a lot of sloping holds that would have kept me shaking.  So Erin followed him, and I cleaned the gear while making my way to the first belay ledge.

Pitch 2 = From the ledge I led onward, into a route full of pumpy and slightly overhanging moves.  It swung up on huge blocks, with many fair placements, and a lot of exposure… basically exactly what I love climbing.

At the top of the route, we set up an anchor and prepared to rappel down on our double-ropes… when another team came up from the right.  We helped them clip into our anchor, saying that they could drop down our ropes first, since they only had a single rope that would require two rappels.

Then another team showed up from the left.

And then a fourth team came in from the right.

And then a fifth team rappelled down onto us from above.

Seriously.  Our belay ledge was POPULAR.


Black Fly (5.5 PG)

We’ve done this one before, and it’s somehow always sketchier than it should be… a single pitch, and I took the lead on it.  Overall it was clean, but I had a bit of fun with the route-finding about halfway up, and hit a real nasty patch about 10ft from the top.  It was good though, and I’m glad that I took the lead.

However, we ran into trouble on the top rope.  Erin took the second ascent, and took a short fall about 3/4 the way to the top.  A short fall… but just long enough for her foot to get caught on a small ledge.  Sprains-ville, population: Erin.

The solution to this problem was, of course, to give Erin a bit of time to self-evaluate, and make sure it was actually a sprain.  Daniel burned up the climb quickly to get the gear back, and I did a bit of first-aid on the offending ankle.  From there – escape from the crag.

Escape revolved around me moving very quickly, and Daniel being burly.  So we both won in this situation.  Hell, Erin won too, because she got to get carried out by Daniel.  Who was also carrying his own gear.  And my gear.  And Erin’s gear.  Like I said, burly.  While he was flexing and grunting though, I was trail-running to get the car, and then driving at speed to meet up with them in the upper parking lot.  Like I said, moving fast.

Sum total: Enjoyment for all, and Erin was recovered safely.  Just in time to get dinner at the Gilded Otter…