A crazy end to a crazy year: a lumbago & taking a fall while bouldering outside

2020 was crazy and we’re all glad it’s over, am I right? But honestly, the ending wasn’t less crazy for me than the rest of the year. Or rather, the rest of the year wasn’t all that crazy since I wasn’t all that affected (not as much as other people anyway). However, the ending had not just one but two memorable events.

I had a PhD writing lumbago

I had a lumbago shortly before Christmas. It was super painful and I was informed that I have an anatomical anomaly in my back which makes it likely this will happen again. Yay. But well, it didn’t take so long (two days of pain and a week to fully recover) but it was extremely painful while it lasted. My doctor, who – it turns out – had just recently done the certificate class to become a chircopracticioner, did a few moves and it was repaired. I think the fact that I’m quite fit and stretchy at the moment might have helped the quick recovery.

The pain lasted for quite a while and I wasn’t able to continue working on my dissertation as intensely as I wanted to. Stress from dissertation writing and sitting with bad posture for many hours were probably the causes, even though I’m actually quite fit at the moment with running, strength training and bouldering.

But compared to the summer where I actually did a little “learn skateboarding” challenge which had me get up every 1-2 hours to go outside and move, this winter time I worked for 6 hours straight and then went running. Then I went on to stretch and use a back roll. And that’s when it happened. Part of what shocked me is that I felt “too young for this shit” and also, I thought this happened mainly to people who aren’t fit and not moving regularly. After all, I had gone running and stretched every day. But well, that’s what it was. I think I need to take actual breaks from writing and get in some movement at least every 1-2 hours from now on. And maybe, change my life in 2021 or whatever it is you do (or swear to yourself you will do) at the start of a new year 😉

I had my first fall while boulering outside

Actually, the fall wasn’t a big deal. It was my first time bouldering after the lumbago. I was feeling surprisingly fit (and maybe a bit overly excited and energetic from the lumbago-induced regeneration time) and I was incredibly lucky. I was just “playing around” maybe 1m max. from the ground. My friend wasn’t even looking as I fell.

I think I just lost the grip because it was a bit icy. Normally, I’m overly careful when it’s cold and potentially slippery. The hold I fell out of is one that I can just barely reach standing on my crashpad but I had my feet on the wall, so there was a about a meter below me. I slipped out, just with one hand, so I guess the fall was relatively slow. But still I don’t remember it well.

All I know is I landed softly on the crashpad but due to the ground slopeing downwards, I rolled over the top of my head onto the ground. I did one whole turn before I stopped – at that point, my friend had realized I had fallen off. Since I was just playing around, she wasn’t spotting. She wasn’t thinking I would actually climb up from the ground. I thought so too. I’m such an idiot. I shouldn’t have done it either, it was stupid. Especially since I had just had a lumbago.

The fall didn’t hurt at all, despite falling on my back. I missed all the roots when rolling off the crashpad, so really I was very lucky, it seems. But I just wanted to let you know about this so you don’t make the same mistakes.

Always be careful what your partner’s doing, even when they’re just “playing around”. Don’t climb when you know your partner isn’t looking. When the ground is steep and you have a spare crashpad, really lay out the area well (we would have had one but it was lying around somewhere else – so incredibly stupid!).

I’m usually overly careful, especially in winter-y conditions and was very shocked at myself. I had never actually fallen outside. I mean yeah, once or twice I fell out of the climb but it wasn’t high and I landed on my feet like nothing happened. But this time, I actually rolled around and landed flat on my back. I could have crashed on my neck or whatever. I’m really grateful now at how lucky I was.

So people, as a New Year’s Resolution, if you’re a climber and climbing outside due to Corona: Be extra careful and don’t get too comfortable because that’s when you make mistakes.

I guess we have been going to the same spot too many times in a row, so now I’m feeling too adventureous. Usually, we change spots a lot but with the snow, not so many work that well anymore. So we always go to the same one. I’m really hoping the bouldering gyms will re-open some time soon because I’m afraid I’m going to do stupid stuff again 😉 I’ll try to be careful but still.

So that’s all I wanted to say.

Stay safe – and don’t forget to get up from your work to move at least once per hour!

S


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