Last weekend was my first time at the climbing gym in well over a month. I was a little rusty, but happy to discover that I hadn’t lost all my fitness. I’ll be back there on Sunday, slowly working my way back up to the level I was at this fall. I’m involved in a lot of different physical pursuits, but climbing is perhaps the one that is the most pure fun for me.
Running can feel like work, push ups can feel like work, but climbing always feels like play.
This week, I found two interesting videos, one of Daniel Woods failing to complete a boulder problem at the unified bouldering championships in 2010, and one of Chris Sharma completing the same problem. Fascinating to watch these two incredible climbers tackle the same problem. Pay special attention to Woods incredible save. That he can hold onto that sloper blows my mind. I’ll never be that good – but that doesn’t mean I can’t be better than I currently am.
I can only post videos of skinny guys running in circles for so many week before its time for a change. This week, let’s watch some videos of a Jordan Jovtchev* the 39 year old Bulgarian gymnast who competed in his sixth Olympic games this year in London.
As an old dude, I always root for the grey beards in sports. I’ve been fascinated with Jovtchev since I read this article about him in the lead up to the summer games. Like many an aging athlete, he competes through pain, as he says in the Times article, just like the rest of us he’s trying to find that balance between doing too much, and not enough. Unlike the rest of us, he’s an incredibly gifted athlete. He also seems like a totally decent guy.
My climbing gym has a set of rings, and I fuck around on them from time to time. Perhaps I should do some more serious workouts on them, maybe modeled off these video Jovtchev shot in his younger days. (Excuse the awful effects, it was the long time ago)
But as with everything else I have going on in my life, where will I find the time? How do I strike the balance? After my climbing session this weekend, I’ll sneak in a little time, and think about the incredible things this old dude can do.
*Or is it Yordan Yovtchev? I’m going with Js since that is what the paper of record uses. Transliteration is a fraught and complex business, someone should write a blog post about that.
My road to recovery continues. I’ll be running my first legitimate “long” this weekend – twelve miles of Brooklyn adventure. I’m really looking forward to it. When I think of long run videos, I always return to this one of Ryan Hall and Josh Cox from back in the day when they both ran in Mammoth Lakes. Hall and Cox run together for an hour and forty five minutes, then Cox continues on, doing a ten minute fartlek and another hour twenty on his own for a total of 31 miles. All to a great Johnny Cash sound track. Good stuff for running nerds.
At the end there’s some footage of Cox reciting poetry which I could do without. I’d just go ahead and skip that.
Side note for the ancient language nerds – the tattoo in Hebrew on Josh Cox’s side are the Hebrew letters yod, hey, vav, and hey -one of the names for God. The tattoo in Greek, I am told, is meant to read “Jesus” but is in fact slightly misspelled.
Awesome vintage footage of running legend Steve Prefontaine. Love Pre’s aggression in his running… he died far too young.
Extremely moving article in the New York Times today about Max Fuchs, the man who was the cantor at the first Sabbath service in Germany since Hitler came to power.
“We bring you now a special broadcast of historic significance: The first Jewish religious service broadcast from Germany since the advent of Hitler.”
Mr. Fuchs, now 87 and living on the Upper West Side, was 22 that day at Aachen.
“I was just as much scared as anyone else,” he said in an interview in his Manhattan apartment. “But since I was the only one who could do it, I tried my best.”
Mr. Fuchs understated-ness about this act is amazing. He did something really special, and yet he never really talked about it. Fascinating and emotional.
Here is a video about that service:
The return of friday videos to get you excited for weekend long runs. Here is one of Anton Krupicka who long runs are looooong. Like a hundred miles long. Krupicka is definitely a dirty hippie, also a really interesting character. Check him out customizing his shoes to make them more light weight and unobtrusive at the begining of the video.
My long run isn’t going to be Krupicka long, I’m just hoping to go fourteen miles.
So this has been a bit of a bummer week for me. Its been raining nonstop in D.C. for days and I have missed two of my scheduled runs. Plus, I didn’t get in to New York as I had hoped. But today is a new day and with a twelve mile long run scheduled for tomorrow, I need to get excited. I figured this week’s long run inspiration should have something to do with the Marathon I am running in October, the Hartford Marathon in my hometown of Hartford Connecticut. Not a lot of videos out there on this race, but here is one that’ll give you the feel of this smaller and cozier regional race.
Good luck to everyone out there on your runs this weekend!