Month: April 2015

5 Reasons Climbers Should Eat More Kale

As the sport of climbing grows, performance related nutrition seems to be gaining momentum and interest within the community. While different bodies function best under different conditions, increasing your kale consumption might be just what you need to stay healthy and train hard for this year’s goals. After all, if Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgenson ate kale while climbing the Dawn Wall it can’t hurt, right? Here are five reasons why climbers could benefit from eating more kale: It’s an anti-inflammatory food: After a hard day of contorting your digits into thin cracks or crimping micro edges, it’s not uncommon to wake up to sausage fingers. Just as you should stay away from inflammatory foods (like tomatoes) before a sending day, anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce swelling from periods of hard climbing. Kale is so effective as an anti-inflammatory it not only helps prevent but can also reverse effects of chronic inflammation (including arthritis). It’s high in manganese: Manganese is an important mineral for the formation of connective tissue. Consuming the recommended portions can aid …

Climbing Past Injury

As climbers we demand a lot from our bodies, especially our fingers. Hand injuries are among the most common injuries for rock climbers, and as a result, are also some of the most feared. When I first injured my hand I scoured the Internet looking for the answer to my pain. I read about flexor tendon tears, collateral ligament strains, hairline fractures, and A2 pulley strains and tears. The fear of four to six weeks sidelined seemed to be a growing reality in my mind. Images of tendons snapping like rubber bands and ligaments shredded like corn beef haunted my dreams. As much as I wanted to avoid the hassle of a doctor’s visit, I made an appointment. I wasn’t exactly aware that I had injured my hand when it happened. I was climbing the start of O’Kelley’s Crack (in Joshua Tree National Park), which starts as a thin crack just high enough off the ground to make it a challenge to reach. I repeatedly tried the same strenuous move – left hand in an …

Running from Injury

The trail paralleled the main road entering the park. My body felt slow and heavy, weighed down by far too many thoughts. Each step was cumbersome. I stopped at a small boulder and cautiously climbed the featured face with one hand, careful to keep my right hand safely tucked behind my back. Five weeks – that’s how long it has been since I’ve climbed on rock. I can’t remember the last time I’d gone this long without climbing. I don’t want to remember. Adam and I considered ourselves lucky. We’d never experienced a serious injury from climbing, or from anything for that matter, up until now. I replayed the climb over in my head. Hindsight taunted me with my own reckless behavior, but offered no capacity for change. Stubbornness had willed me to try the same strenuous move over and over and over, until finally my hand stuck in the crack – but not without consequences. Once lowered off the climb, I leaned my right hand against a rock to untie my shoes. White-hot pain …