Sunday, 8 November 2015

In Praise of Climbers

In mid-September I was pulling hard on the Keen Roof undercut when I felt something go in one of my fingers. I stepped off and my DIP joint on that finger stayed hyperextended. Over the next 2 weeks I did my normal rehab - gradually do more, try not to do too much. It felt ok after that to the point where I could crimp again, and I returned to manage my hardest ever boulder problem, and gain vengeance on the hold that had hurt me, by tricking my way up Keen Roof.

Keen Douche (8B) (photo: Ethan Walker)

Unfortunately, the very next day it seemed to re-injure itself all over again. Cue starting the rehab again, only this time it didn't work so well. 4 weeks later and my finger was still was prone to looking hyperextended. Strangely there was very little pain or swelling, my finger would just be pointing in the wrong direction! Getting worried I went to see the hand centre at the Sheffield Northern General hospital. Their diagnosis was an injury (probably a tear) to the volar plate and they advised splinting that joint 24/7 for 4 weeks. This surprised me a bit, so I started asking around and it's here that I want to praise the climbing community for being so helpful and quick to respond to questions, thanks especially Ru Davies, Volker Schoeffl and Dave Macleod for their help.

The finger is now in a splint to stop the DIP joint hyperextending, and I've now got a new training strategy which involves a shit load of core, some more core, a bit more core, and then a shit load of back 2.. and a few index monos just to make sure I'm properly injured. My uninjured, weaker, hand might have time to catch up with the other one too. Fingers crossed for being back in the game with abs of doom by 2016!

Back to Black, 8A (photo: Mark Tomlinson)
With rather unfortunate timing some shiny new Organic Climbing pads just arrived as well, thanks to Organic and Mountain Boot company for these, pity I only got to use them once before being incapacitated! The brief try I did have with them left me impressed however - they're well nice to fall onto and great to sit-start off without feeling like all your energy from an ass bounce is being sucked up by the pad!

Happy (9a climbing) Hippo
Ella on Paint it Black (7C)

Keen Roof (photo: Ella Russell)

Trying Badger Badger Badger (photo: Ella Russell)

Ella testing out the new pads on Piranja Start (7A)