Still moving


After I published my first blog post in years, I saw a reference to another one from years ago. All about bouldering with the kids. I’d quite forgotten about that post. Logan and Kaia do not look like that any more. He’s seventeen and she’s fourteen, soon to be fifteen.

So much has happened in that time it’s difficult for me to process. When viewed through the lens of some of my previous posts, this hiatus from serious writing has been lengthy indeed. On the plus side, I have gathered much raw material with which to shape narratives.

Back to bouldering and building. It was a great long weekend for activities. And conversation.

Activity Summary (all exercises in the 10-12 rep range):

  • 8.31
    • Barbell squats x 3
    • Dumbbell tep back lunges x 3
    • Dumbbell Romanian deadlifts x 3
    • Nordic hamstring curls x 3
    • Climbed V0s, V1s, and a couple of V2s (sidepull on one hurt my shoulder, so backing off those)
  • 9.1
    • Arnold dumbbell shoulder press x 3
    • Dumbbell side lateral raises x 3
    • Dumbbell front raises x 3
    • Dumbbell bent over lateral raises x 3
    • Dumbbell shrugs x 3
  • 9.2
    • Barbell flat bench press x 3
    • Barbell incline bench press x 3
    • Dumbbell incline flye x 3
    • Decline strap pushups on knees x 2
    • Dumbbell overhead press x 3
    • Cable pressdown with rope attachment x 3


Taped to the wall at The Pad Climbing

Apparently , 8.24 was global climbing day. It was also the day I hit the reset button. I needed to set a goal and then go for it. And it’s time. So I made 8.24 the start.

And I have work to do. I’ve been off-and-on with the routines for a number of years *ahem, decades* and about a month ago I started climbing with Logan, my amazing seventeen year-old son, at The Pad Climbing in SLO. I did this because Logan was interested and because I have a year-long lingering case of plantar fasciiatis from my last sustained activity regimen—a combination of trail running + soccer + not acknowledging my age and need for recovery.

(As an interesting aside, Firefox’s or WordPress’s native spell check doesn’t know the word “fasciitis.” It keeps trying to make me spell “fascistic” or “fascists.” I’m not sure what that’s indicative of, other than the general state of our discourse today).

A couple of decades ago (there’s that word again, putting me in my place) I climbed pretty consistently. Mostly indoor; mostly bouldering. (Add “bouldering” to the list of words the spellchecker doesn’t know). I stopped because of a nasty case of tennis elbow, two children, two jobs, and a graduate program. So I was excited to get back to climbing again. Too excited. After the first month, I’ve got an aggravated left shoulder (previous injury) and right wrist (previous injury). By now, this piece feels to me like a list of everything wrong with my body, but I want to be honest about where I’m starting from and where I’m making mistakes, so that at least my future self can read back through this and say, “Yep, that’s where you screwed up, Blackwell.”

I have other work to do, too. Like on my writing. I seem to have lost my voice in the vast ocean of work email and professional correspondence over the last couple of decades. It may take me a while to find it. And when I do, it may be different than the voice I had. Years alone on a metaphorical desert island speaking only to its metaphorical self can profoundly change one’s voice.

My goal with this blog and my training is to do a little bit every day (or most days), warm up thoroughly, and pace myself to avoid injuries. Given that I’ve already injured myself, I predict much trial and error in the course of this project. Which should at least be entertaining for my future self.

Activity breakdown:

  • 8.24
    • Barbell squats x 3
    • Nordic hamstring curls x 3
    • Step back lunges x 3
    • Dumbbell Romanian deadlifts x 3
    • Climbed V0s and V1s (slowly and carefully)
  • 8.25
    • Kneeling wide-grip pulldowns x 3
    • Standing medium-grip pulldowns x 3
    • Standing bent-over dumbbell rows x 3
    • Standing dumbbell curls x 3
    • Seated incline dumbbell curls x 3
    • V0s and V1s (slowly, carefully, lots of feet first)

30dpc – Day 6: Obsession


This photo may need a bit of context. My 10 year-old daughter is obsessed with Littlest Pet Shop. To the point of providing Santa with about 20 pets complete with lot numbers that she wanted for Christmas.




The “self portrait” photo prompted me to peel open the cover of my copy of The Portable Nietzsche, translated by the irreducible Walter Kaufman. Here’s a selection from Nietzsche’s “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense” that goes right to the heart of how I, how we, how people, experience “truth:”

What then is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms—in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.

We still do not know where the urge for truth comes from; for as yet we have heard only of the obligation imposed by society that it should exist: to be truthful means using the customary metaphors – in moral terms, the obligation to lie according to fixed convention, to lie herd-like in a style obligatory for all…

The Portable Nietzsche, p.46-7

Agree or disagree with his statements, the man wrote with *style*. I happen to agree, since I see “truth” through the lens of objective probability.