Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It's a new day!

After rereading my previous post (wow, it's been a while!), I have to say, things are looking up! I'm in college, woo!!!, studying some awesome things, climbing outside here and there, competing a little bit, and spending some time with some awesome people. MIT gets intense sometimes, and my brain is definitely in better shape than my body right now (minus the sleep deprivation), but I'm pretty thankful to be am where I am right now.

I'll start at January of last year, when I finally had my shoulder rehabbed enough to start climbing hard again. MIT gives us the month of January to do whatever we want, so I decided to live with my sister in Washington, DC for the month. I worked at a web startup during the day writing content for their marketing team, and trained for ABS Nationals at night. I got to climb at Earth Treks Rockville, which is a fantastic gym, and also happens to be where Taylor Reed coaches!

Earth Trekking with Emily and Taylor (Rockville, MD)

One weekend I had to go to a fraternity conference in Indianapolis, so while I was there I checked out this awesome gym there called Hoosier Heights, where they have a DWS simulation wall built over a foam pit. It was so much fun!

Climbing "The Snake" at Hoosier Heights (Indianapolis)
Sadly I didn't walk away with many photos from Nationals, but I managed to have a good time anyways. I was one of only a handful to flash the last qualifier route, which felt pretty cool! I missed Semifinals by a couple of spots, but it was still the best performance I've had at an Open Nationals, with some pretty significant constraints on my training schedule.

Fast forward to spring break: I got the chance to check out the Red River Gorge, and it was awesome! I flew into Cincinnati, met up with Alex, and set up camp a few hours south at Miguel's Pizza, one of the greatest climber hangouts on Earth.

Trying for the redpoint on 8 Ball, 5.12b (RRG) photo: Alex Bugaj
I was awestruck by the Motherlode cave, and was really excited to try Flour Power,  one of the most aesthetic climbs on the wall. I've had a poster of Emily Harrington crushing this climb since I was 13 years old, so it felt surreal to finally be pulling those moves myself! Halfway up the wall, there's this ledge where you can sit down for a no-hands rest and read one of the magazines people have left there. I even saw a coloring book, but sadly, there weren't any crayons.

Fast-forward again to summer: I was back in LA, working in an Artificial Intelligence lab (robots everywhere!), and climbing out of LA Boulders. Some highlights included learning how to surf (thanks for teaching me, Jay!), hitting up Black Mountain with Isaac, and a road trip to Ghost Ranch with my sister and Greg.

Learing to surf (Malibu, CA)

Sunset from Kitchen Mesa (Ghost Ranch, NM)

This past term I've gotten outside a few times with Matt, and discovered that Northeast bouldering is pretty good!

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

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