Archive for October, 2008


A Weekend in Yosemite

October 29, 2008

A good friend gave Ursula and I the chance to babysit his Volkswagon Vanagon and so we set off to Yosemite for the weekend.

Doing 60 on the highway we got there in a good 4.5hrs, the sun was setting and so we stayed at the fist campground after the guard entrance.

Vanagons are amazing, you drive it and then you can stop, turn on the gas and cook, then read a book in bed before closing the curtains and falling asleep!!

Ursula doing important stuff on the Vanagon…

As we drove there I kept thinking/feeling that it was the beginning of a really long trip, we were driving with our bed/house with us!  Alas, it was only a weekend trip.

Me thinking about making this a several-year-long climbing trip:

We didn’t bring firewood or even a lamp (other than the headlamps) so when night came we ate and snuck into the Vanagon for…. READING!

Here we are, into the Golden Compass:

Here is Ursula, enjoying her new sleeping bag and her first ever view of El Cap!

There is it!  El Capitan.

Ursula and the Capitan

Enjoying Bridaveil Falls… at least where it usually is when it is but it wasn’t…

And finally we got our hands on some Valley bouldering!!!

The temps were warm/hot, not ideal for hard bouldering and especially not ideal for hard Yosemite Valley bouldering where the feet are small and smeary – very friction dependent.  It was still fine to mess around on easier things.

This was a sweet V9:

And this was the sweet greasy sloper on that sweet V9….  I’ll be back in the winter.

The temps may be too high for much bouldering but the leaves were changing and so hiking was a very good option:

And this was the last picture of the trip:

See you later Yosemite!!


Routine Sweet Routine

October 21, 2008

I, and most people I know, have a bitter sweet relationship with training.  It is the whole having a routine but wanting to not get stuck in a routine, in the boredom of a routine, so it still needs to have spontaneity, but then spontaneity becomes sleeping in an extra half-hour, or an hour and then spontaneity becomes not-doing until one feels the need for a strickter routine which then becomes boring and training stops altogether….

Anyone else had that?

Well, I (seem to) have found a good combination and am feeling better than ever.

In Oakland my routine was:

5:00am wake up & get out of bed (the second is not always implied by the existence of the first), stumble to the bathroom and have a cold shower – that wakes me right up.  Drink some cold lemonwater with a pinch of salt.

Put some Jack Johnson or some Oliver Mtukudzi on and start doing some movement which progresses into some yoga with pushups and situps mixed in.

6:00am sitting meditation or visualizations in meditation (these vary from anatomical visualizations to erotic astronomy visualizations or life visualizations.

6:40 make food, check email, eat

7:30 Leave the house with my ipod playing good energetic music such as “Shout” by Tears for Fears, “Look out young son” by Grand Ole Party or, of course, Pat “TIMELESS AWESOMENESS” Benatar.

7:50 Now at Berkeley Ironworks

– 10 minutes of gentle rowing at one of those Concept 2 machines.

– 15 minutes easy traversing the climbing wall

– 30 minutes weights

9:00ish At this point it varies:

– Campus board workout

– Front Levers on the rings (these have become a favorite of mine recently)

– Bouldering

9:50ish !!!!!SAUNA!!!!!!!

By 10:20 I’m home for a warm welcome by my beloved wife and a very light second breakfast followed by focusing on astronomy.

What I notice about a routine, an everyday routine, is that it can, and has, become effortless.  Oftentimes I would go to the gym (climbing or weights or the pool) and feel like I needed to get a hell of a workout because it had been X days without working out.  With a routine which I do everyday it becomes easy mentally, just waking up and doing, settling into my duty, settling into alignment with myself.  It isn’t hard because I can do it all at a tranquil pace, enjoying the time, no need to get anywhere.
Anyway.  I find myself in Gainesville at the moment, working on the PhD more intensely, and have settled into an awesome routine here too!

ROUND TWO: Gainesville Routine

5:00am Wake up, cold water on the face and put some water boiling for Oatmeal.  Drink my inevitable undeniable All is One All is one All is one lemonwater 🙂

5:50ish leave the house (Thank you JORGE for your hospitality!!!)

6:10ish Standing at the University of Florida SWAMP, the Football Stadium.  Put on my “Motivational and Upbeat” ipod playlist and start doing stadiums.  Generally just going up and down all the way round the stadium.  This takes approx. 40 minutes.  The playlist is really only 25 or 30 minutes but it lasts 40 since I play the Pat Benatar at least twice!

The photo below was taken at the first time I did stadiums, those guys convinced me to try it, and dor Justin (in red) it was his last day since he moved to LA.

7:10 Sitting with my feet dipped in the outdoor Florida Pool.  Do 1000m – 10laps.  I mix it up, kicks, one arms flys, crawl, backstroke, butterfly, whatever feels right.  And it isn’t too hard to feel right staring into the blue water with its underwater lights and doing backstroke while looking at the moon….

7:45ish Gym.  5 or 10mins rowing followed by light weights (other than today when I was pscyhed to push it a little!).

Yummy shower, walk to my office, write down a quick summary of my morning and my goals for the day and settle into the flow of        yet    another    day    in     this      world.

Ahhhh  Routine Sweet Routine