It’s the sound that every rock climber dreads. You don’t just hear it, you feel it. And you don’t just feel it in your finger, you feel it in your soul. It’s the sound that let’s you know that something very bad just happened. Pop! So quick it happens, but it changes everything…for a while at least.
And last night at the gym, pulling a hard move that I had done just the day before, I heard it. I immediately cussed, and clamped harder with my other fingers, sticking the move. My feet cut, and as my friends cheered below, I got my feet back on, set my heel, made the next move and threw to the rest hold. I shook out, but I knew something was wrong. Might as well finish the route, though, I’m already here. I made the next move with my right hand, set my feet and tried to grab the next hold with my left. My hand, and my finger, was not having it. I fell. I swore again. “Let me down,” I exclaimed.
I arrived on the ground with my friends cheering and telling me how sick that was and how strong I was looking. All I could respond with was “I think something happened to my finger.”
My friend Ben popped a pulley in the gym two years ago. It was one of the loudest, most disturbing sounds I had ever heard. And my brother released a climbing movie about this kid in Montana named Charlie, who was working a V12 project. The conflict in the movie happens when he pops his pulley working the route. Taylor caught the sound on film, and he replays it several times, just to highlight how awful of a sound it is.
So, I’m pretty sure I popped my pulley in my ring finger in my left hand. One can’t really know for sure, since fingers are magic voodoo after all, but it definitely doesn’t feel right, and I can’t pull on it with any pressure.
It is probably a level 3 injury according to Betamonkeys Climbing Injury chart.
If it wasn’t for the fact that I have Horseshoe Hell coming up in 5 weeks, I’d probably hop back on the rock this weekend, but I may actually have to rest it. That certainly wasn’t part of my training plan.
Hopefully this adventure with failure doesn’t last long, though maybe it will give me time to update this blog more often. In the mean time, check out Betamonkeys website, as it is hilarious and disturbingly true. And check out Taylor’s movie about Charlie, which won him a job making films with Cedar Wright. And with that, till next time.