Monthly Archives: February 2015

Yoga Is More Than Asanas

I started yoga off and on about two years ago for the physical benefits of the practice.  The Asanas have led to a noticeable improvement in my flexibility, balance, and core strength which benefits my climbing.  I still consider yoga exercise which means I do not enjoy it.  However, I have related it to my climbing (something I love to do) so I have stuck with it.  I try to go to yoga class 6 times per week now.  I do enjoy Savasana which signals the end of class and is actually relaxing.  When class is done, I usually feel relaxed and content.

The feeling of contentment lasts for about 5 minutes because riding my bike home is rather stressful.  Every time I ride my bike, cars and motorcycles pass dangerously close, unexpectedly pull out in front of me, and randomly stop forcing me to swerve around them.  So far I have dealt with this by cursing under my breath and in rare cases actually screaming at drivers to avoid being hit.  By the time I am home my nerves are frazzled and I drink myself to sleep to calm down.  Now, it’s not as bad as I make it sound every day and I don’t usually drink myself to sleep.  But I think there must be a better way to handle this.

I’ve known this for awhile but there is definitely a spiritual aspect to yoga.  Recently I’ve done a bit of reading and learned that there are eight aspects of yoga, Asana being just one of them.  So I am going to start learning about these other parts of yoga and hopefully it will allow me to keep that feeling of contentment on my bike ride home.

Railay – Day 1 + Chong Phli – Day 34

A couple days ago I went to Ton Sai and Railay with Thomas and Martin.  Thomas and Martin climbed Cowabungalow 6b on Ton Sai Wall then we moved over to Tyrolean Wall and climbed Missing Snow 6b+.  I climbed it clean on my second try.  It is a fun pumpy route with polished feet.  After this, we went over to Railay.  Anong and I ate lunch while Martin and Thomas went over to The Keep.  After lunch we met them at 123 Wall.  I was thinking of climbing We Sad 6a+ which starts by jumping up on a stalactite but couldn’t see the bolts / slings up to the anchor so decided to go over to Muay Thai wall and climbed Tamada (Normal) 5 and Hello Christine 6a.  Both led cleanly.  I might have climbed these about 3 years ago the first time I came here but I don’t remember them so I’m calling it an onsight! 😛

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On my way up Hello Christine 6a, there is a cave to the right that I climbed into. Kind of neat.

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At the top of Hello Christine 6a.

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It was a long day. Got back to Ao Nang as the sun was setting.

There were a few days at Chong Phli I didn’t write about but today Anong and I went climbing there with Martin, Dorothy, and Thomas.  I warmed up on EFZ 6a+ then tried Buzzsaw 6b on top rope.  After flailing around on the start for a few minutes I got it figured out and made it to the top without too much trouble.  After this did a few more laps on EFZ 6a+ and called it a day.  There was no breeze so it felt very hot and I was getting tired.

Valentines Day

Ate pizza at the Spaghetti House in Ao Nang followed by some pasta.  They like to advertise that they have no Thai food.  Which I guess is a good thing.  I’m always suspicious of the restaurants that have Indian food, Thai food, hamburgers, and Italian food on the menu.  They can’t possibly cook all cuisines well.  The pizza was ok but not what I like.  The crust was paper thin and crackery without any chewiness to it.  But it was bread, meat, and cheese so it was still good.  The pasta I thought was a bit better.  Then I had a glass of red wine that was not very good.  Overall, about what I’d expect from a restaurant in Ao Nang.

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Chong Phli – Day 30!

Wow!  Hard to believe I’ve climbed here 30 days already.  I met Martin and Dorothea today.  Martin was really wanting to get on a 6b today so after we warmed up on EFZ 6a+ we were looking at some of the other routes nearby.  I have been up McLovin 6b a few times but got stuck on lead halfway up so was wondering if I should try to put up a different route.  But looking at the other routes I wasn’t feeling stoked to try them.  So I decided to go with the devil I know and got on McLovin 6b.  The first half of the route goes well.  I get up to my previous high point (which is also the crux), clip the sling and even though I’m feeling pretty good, I decide to rest for a few minutes.  I study the rock and see some footholds I missed before.

I decide I have some beta that should work so I give it a go.  Easy.  That was the crux?  But now I’m committed.  The last sling is around my shins and I’m still 3 or 4 feet away from reaching the next sling.  The move here is an awkward high left hand side pull with small footholds.  It’s not that difficult but I’d be looking at a 10 or 15 foot fall if I don’t make it.  Definitely a mental crux here.  Well, I got up there without much trouble and clipped the sling.  Now it’s sustained 6b climbing up to the anchor.  I rest a couple more times but finished the route so I was feeling good about it.

Also climbing with us was a guy named Thomas.  He’s from Switzerland and speaks German and Thai with a little bit of English.  So I got to have a little conversation with him in Thai which was fun.

After we each had a turn on McLovin 6b, I climbed it one more time and moved the rope over to the anchor of Momentum 6b.  We each climbed it on top rope and I got up there with one take.  I could have got up in one go but I went right when I should have gone left near the anchor and had to rest for a bit.

Breakfast

Wine and cheese have let me down.  But this morning I made pancakes with real butter and Log Cabin maple syrup that proudly proclaimed “No High Fructose Corn Syrup” on the front label but the first ingredient on the back is “Corn Syrup”.  OK, so technically it’s not HFCS but still corn syrup…  It also does not actually contain any maple, only some chemical that smells and tastes like maple.  But it didn’t matter.  It was still delicious.  I ate so many pancakes and maple syrup that I felt ill after breakfast.