Tag Archives: ohs

Bob’s Aortic Adventure

At this point in my own recovery, I have less to say and I say it less often (which is a tremendous current state of affairs if you ask me), so now my role is connecting with others who are going through, at various stages, their own valve replacement sagas. Bob is one of those people who somehow found my blog, connected with me via email before his surgery, and is now recovering (and blogging about) his own aortic valve replacement procedure. 


Like me, Bob moved from the east side to the west(ish) side. Bob is also a climber, and a very proficient trad climber at that. And like me, Bob has a mechanical aortic valve prosthesis. Like me, he has to navigate things like rock climbing while on anticoagulation therapy, and hiking up mountains with a body recovering from open heart surgery.

Bob is telling is story, like I told mine, like so many people these days choose to do after major surgery/ traumatic event. Doing so gives us power, knowledge, solidarity, and new friends.

Bob invited me on a climbing adventure some time next summer. I keep telling myself I’m going to start training for that…

Here is Bob’s Aortic Adventure Blog!

http://myaorticadventure.blogspot.com

Return to Sport Climbing

constant reminders...

constant reminders…

I’m going to brag and show off a bit in this post, so please excuse the narcissism! I was extremely pleased to return to sport climbing this past weekend with a trip to Holcomb Valley in Big Bear, CA. This was my first time sport climbing outdoors since my first surgery (November 2013).

Sport Climbing, in a nutshell, is type of climbing that involves climbing up a rock face with a rope attached to your harness for protection. As you climb, you attach your rope to bolt hangers that have been pre-bolted into the wall. You attach your rope to these bolt hangers using quick-draws (two carabiners attached together with a sling). This is called lead climbing, because you clip your protection in as you go. When someone has lead the route before you, and your protection is already at the top of the route, that is called top-roping.

I spent the early part of the day top-roping. I did not yet feel confident to lead. I felt nervous on the wall. I felt exposed. I could feel my heart pounding and clicking away. I thought about my surgeries. I thought about how difficult my recovery has been. I thought about all the challenges, and how I deserve to be on this rock, right now.

After top roping several climbs, we moved to a new crag to a climb that I was familiar with called ‘Powder Keg” (oh yeah, every route is named by the first person to ascend it). I’ve climbed it before. It isn’t too hard (difficulty: 10a), but it has an impressive move out of a big roof. I remember climbing this when I was a beginner climber, so it felt appropriate to lead it now.

roping up...

roping up…

I climbed Powder Keg flawlessly. My training in the gym, my patience after each surgery, my frustrations, anger, sadness, optimism, everything; summed up in one action. I felt emotional as ascended the top portion. I enjoyed it like a delicious beer, savoring every moment. Sorry, I had to get those scar shots in 🙂

What a kick off to this year’s climbing season! Next week we will be bouldering in Bishop. I can’t wait to crush. This weekend I’ll be cycling in the Levi’s Granfondo ride. I orginally signed up for the 100 miler, but I downgraded to the 65 mile ‘medio’ ride. Between work, school, coaching, and climbing, I haven’t had time to train for it. No worries, we’ll still have fun (and suffer a bit). Thanks for reading!

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i'm on bloodthinners... helmet: check

i’m on bloodthinners… helmet: check

The roof move.

The roof move.

:-D

😀

finish easy

finish easy