Friday, July 30, 2010

Training - Day 2

Hello World!

So, yesterday was an interesting day. Before we went to bed on Day 1, David told his brother we'd show up at the course at 10:00. We woke up around 1:00 pm, and visited Travis' work to film some stuff, so that was interesting.

We started off heading over to the store, where David introduced me to the most awesome Peanut Butter *ever*. Now, those who know me, know I *love* eating peanut butter, especially right from the can. With a spoon. It was my fall-back food once I was required to stop eating chocolate. Anyway, this peanut butter is whipped like a mousse, and still was crunchy... Anyway!

It was fun heading over to Travis' work, and watched him do some fancy-work for the camera. He's got a lot of guts... He was jumping from stair rail to stair rail about 20 feet above steep ground... No WAY I'd attempt that :P Quite the nimble guy!

We moved on to the course around 5:00 pm, and trained a little bit. I was really sore, but downed quite a bit of aspirin, and after a little bit of running around on the course, I loosened up a bit. I didn't fail the ANW Rope Swing once, which was a big confidence booster, as well as I was 4 for 5 for beating the Warped Wall. Still unable to defeat the Jumping Spider, but I was able to hold myself for a couple steps when jumping into it from inside it.

After a bit of that, we kept working on increasing the course, building new stuff I don't think I can talk about yet. I'll just let David announce it when he's ready :) Anyway, he did some recording of us, asking some questions to Michael and I as he stood around and did nothing, all day :P (Just kidding...)

Later that night, David and I went down to the beach and ran a mile in the sand. That was fun, but David's phone failed miserably at recording the time. Nonetheless, that felt good on the legs.

We ended the day heading over to David's work, where he had the 4cm cliffhanger he built for his very first entry video built. He let me try it a couple times, with some gloves he uses. I almost had it twice... It's recorded, and I'll figure out how to get them uploaded soon. I'm just gonna post this now, but I'll re-announce on Twitter and Facebook later if I can get it uploaded.

Today, we're heading out with Brian (Whoop Whoop!) to the course, where we're going to work on some more on the course, and I'll be training specifically on the Jumping Spider. I really want to get it down before tomorrow, for the Training going on, with a digital HD camera G4 sent him just for this.

Anyway, Brian's over now, pushing us to leave now, so I'd better finish for now.

More later, maybe!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Training - Day 1

So, Day 1 of training over at Davids ended yesterday after a strange day at the Airport.

The beginning of the day started at midnight after a single hour of sleep, so I could continue packing for the flight as well as moving out of my apartment, into a house. Fortunately, I have a group of *amazing* friends who are helping move the last things out of the apartment while I'm gone, including my Salmon Ladder which required a bit of disassembling, so I want to treat them when I return, if I have any money left.

From there, my best friend from Middle School on, gave me a ride to the airport. I caught an hour or so of sleep along the way, instantly doubling what I had. I woke up to some old rock and started jammin along before I realized what I was doing, but was having fun so I kept on keepin on. When we arrived to the airport, I was still a full 4 hours early for the flight... So thank God for moving walkways! Kept me entertained for hours.

From there, I finally burned the spare time, but about 5 minutes before my flight was supposed to take off, I realized that although the flight was still going to Cali, the flight number was wrong! So I asked innocently about it at the desk, hoping for a "Oh it's fine, just sit down" response, but instead got "Well, last time I checked, 425 is different than 438... Your flight moved down to another gate..." And I was off... Sprinted through the airport, hopped over things ninja-style, and got there within time... just to sit down and realize I was at the back of the call line. But hey, whatever! Finally on the flight!

I arrived a couple hours later, after attempting another hour of sleep (up to 3!), and watching a *really* crappy pilot for a show called "The Middle". Holy CRAP that show sucked. Malcom in the Middle, but the focus on the mom, and every joke was stupid and not funny. Couldn't wait until it was over.

Finally arrived at the airport, nervous to finally re-meet up with David and Michael Henglebrok. It had been a year since I last saw anyone, so I was pretty psyched to finally meet back up with them. After I failed spectacularly to throw in some jokes, I took another quick nap, and soon arrived at David's brothers place, where he had all the obstacles built. Epically incredible. I couldn't wait to get started, so we changed into our training clothes and got started.

After watching David absolutely demolish his course, which was expected, I gave it a try. Not gonna lie... I failed hard the first couple tries. First obstacles were the Quintuple Steps into the ANW Rope Swing. I tried jumping too high on the Steps, only landing two before falling into the middle. I tried taking them like ANW's, which was the mindset of of to run the Dome Steps. Go higher, roughly mid-way, and bounce back and forth. David corrected that though, saying to bolt through instead, off the bottom of the steps. After that, it was cake. Still, disappointed that I failed my first time. Felt pretty stupid.

Moved on to the Rope Swing, which once again... failed. At this point, I started wondering about why I'm even here. Yes, his obstacles are harder, but I was expecting to fail the harder ones, not these. Especially after I destroyed the actual ANW Rope Swing. I still have trouble getting the momentum up to cross it, but have managed to cross it about twice or three times. I need to be able to defeat this consistently before ANW, just for a mental standpoint, as well as get a time on everything.

From there, Jumping Bars. Piece of cake. So, the Warped Wall was at the base of the hill, so I sprinted down to give it a try. Maybe it was just because I was physically tired or something, but since I wasn't able to reach the first couple of tries, I just kept going back and forth, like a half-pipe. It truly got me dizzy, which... I don't get dizzy. So maybe it was just a lack of water and sleep or something, but eventually I reached the top. I beat that one about 3 times, but didn't spend as much time on it as the Rope Swing, or more importantly... The Jumping Spider.

The obstacle is one I absolutely must conquer... No exceptions. If I don't, then there is literally no reason for me to be here IMO. I mean, what's the point? I bought new shoes, attempted to strengthen my legs, practiced between other walls... I really didn't know what else to do besides buy sticky spray, and I plan on using that as well.

Anyway, so I tried it at Davids, and did exactly how I expected. Failed immediately. Yes yes... Harder. Fine. Failure = failure. Michael had me start at the top and try to just walk myself forward and down, which with my frame and height, makes it dramatically harder. Also, it seems I was doing it wrong, and need a different style going through, so I'm going to practice that and see if I can condense myself, into this 'ball-esque' shape, practicing that. Nonetheless, this is going to be an uphill battle. I hate to say it, but I honestly wonder if my best chance is sticky spray. And I absolutely refuse to rely on that.

So, I have a lot of work ahead of me now. I hope that after a full night sleep and some food, that I will be doing better, but we'll see. Although concerned, I'd be far more worried if I didn't have over a week to train first. Thank you God and everyone at Home Depot for letting me do this!!!

Anyway, finished the night with some awesome Mexican food, and headed back to David's for a night sleep. I had a strange double cramp in my right thigh, which is odd since I've never had a double cramp before... but it turns out that that's due to a potassium deficiency! Great to know! So David had me take a type of supplement, and I'm feeling a bit better now. Gonna get some 12:00 breakfast, and get to training!

I have footage, but it's just simple stuff of me failing the first couple obstacles, so I'll see if I can get some footage of me getting through the first 4 in one go, and post that today if possible.

Bye for now!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Salmon Ladder up! Plus new footage!

Wow... what a crazy week it's been! So much done, yet so much more to do! Can't wait to get back to the grind :D

First off, the Mini-Salmon Ladder is done! Thanks and *massive* props to my friend Roger, my small area in my apartment went from holding nothing but metal pipes and disassembled Original Salmon Ladder parts, to an apartment sized Salmon Ladder. It's 9 feet tall, with each set of rungs at 6'6", 7'6" and 8'6". This is important, since I'm 6'4", and the outside area is 9'6" high, so it's a very tight fit.

Roger came over on thursday, and we got to work around 11 AM. Around 6 PM, the rain/hail/sleet/nasty stuff was starting to come down, so we stopped for dinner, with the original intention for the Salmon Ladder complete. It was exactly as wide as the outside porch is, which wasn't so good for the glass slider-door, and the half-wall made it a tight fit. So, while feasting over pizza and spaghetti, at the chance of losing a friend, I asked if there was a chance we could narrow the structure about a foot, down to 48" wide exactly. He said that was cool, so we finished eating and got to work again.

Using his circular saw, we disconnected the vertical posts from the base, and narrowed the width down to 4' (48"). Reassembling it was easy, and after attaching a single post to form it into a make-shift A-frame, the Salmon Ladder is now sturdy as a rock. I love it. The A-Frame wasn't completely connected though, as the screws holding it in stuck out about 2 inches, since my battery operated Ryobi drill died on me.

Nonetheless, I still couldn't help but play on it the next morning. Friday before work, I recorded myself practicing it, after I was able to make it from the bottom rung to the middle one. I have the video on YouTube, and will add it here, later. Well... I was able to make it, as I said. This is important to me... as the previous version I built in a great friends backyard was *huge*, larger than the real thing, which was built specifically to have a bed under it to catch you. Well, that was *too* big, and I was never able to move up a single rung. Heck... Even Ruselis Perry was barely able to beat it, but he did darn well on the thing :)

So now, I can practice it far more often, at any time, and it's much more manageable. I hope to have it in my entry video soon, so that I can progress up both rungs, then back down, quickly and continuously.

In addition to that awesome news, I also went down to Ruselis' gym again last night. Practiced a couple things... As well as something I never thought I'd have the guts to do. Something that scared the crap out of me.

The gym had a line of 10 balance beams, lined parallel to one-another, roughly 6 feet apart. After building courage, and many, many attempts, I was able to run along all ten of them. Oh man... did that feel good. The first time I tried it, I nearly racked myself as I fell onto my face. Fortunately, there's padding on the ground, so it was a soft fall. Cursed it, got back up, drank some water, took a breath and tried again. I was up to running across 3 in no-time. Never thought I was actually going to get it... surprised myself heavily. Just kept setting small goals... something I need to work on.

Aside from that, I continued practicing the "Tarzan Rope Swing" thing they have set up. 4 ropes hanging from the ceiling, a good distance apart. I practiced swinging from one to the next and back again, which takes some decent grip, so it wont tear your hands up if you slide down. I can cross to the other side, and come back without dropping, which I recorded last night. However, as I started the 'return trip', a couple freerunners decided to do some front flips right in front of the camera. Not that I have a problem with that, but they totally showed me up, making me look like an idiot just swinging. Gotta re-do that.

On the bright side, the footage I added (although I'm going to re-do some parts), added 1 minute of time. I'm now up to 3:30 of a 5 minute video. Last year's video was 4:07 if I recall (Wow... kinda scary if I'm accurate on that...), so I don't have too much longer to go. It's not like I'm trying to fill the 5:00 minutes. When it's done... it's done.

Things I'd like to add/redo:

1.) Sprinting mile time
2.) Tarzan Rope Swing (Redo)
3.) Salmon Ladder (Redo)
4.) Practicing a Dyno at the nearby park
5.) Walking on a Taught Rope

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

More preparing for ANW2

Well, been busy lately!

Friday, as usual, I headed over to Ruselis' gymnastics center for more training, and found they had 4 strands of rope hanging from the ceiling, about 5 ft apart from each other. Figured this would be great practice for the Rope Swing, and practiced a bit, beating it once before my hands got torn up.

It's been 2 weeks since I was able to train there, since Ruselis was moving. SO... my hands became soft, and I ripped 3 blisters that night, quite quickly, so I had to leave early.

Hence, I was only able to record myself doing one thing that night, and it's now in my entry video as well. It only added about 6 seconds of video, but hey, whatever. :P Next week, I hope to get me swinging on the ropes in. I also hope to do it a bit better :P

BUT... the main thing about this blog, is that due to some *incredible* help from a friend of mine, I was able to finish the Salmon Ladder in my apartment today! It still scares the crap out of me from last year when I had it in a friends backyard. In fact, it scares me even more... There's no fluffy bed to land on if I fall now :'(

However, I'm not going up nearly as high as I was before, it's far more sturdy, and it's actually constructed properly, so I'm not as worried. I'll get it down soon, so here's to more practice! :)

Now if only the weather would stop sucking... It took us about 10 hours to work on the Salmon Ladder today, the latter half during the Rain/Hail/Snow mix... GAH. Go away! It's frickin spring!

Either way... Pictures and video here tomorrow!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bored at Work... Again.

Well... It's sunday night. No customers in the store, and it doesn't help that it was snowing earlier. In May. It didn't stop for long, but it still demoralized customers, which in turn demoralized workers. And then, the customers all left... so they cut all the part-timers and sent them home. Oh well... makes me glad I have 40 hours a week, and a job.

Nonetheless, my warm bed can't come soon enough.

I'm truly glad I worked on my entry video when I did, as the weather has slowly been taking a turn for the worse. It seems to be trading off each week... Last week had good weather on my days off, so I used it to film a bunch of footage, but I doubt I can do that again this week.

My hands have been cracking easily... which surprises me. I haven't gone to the Sport Climbing Center in the last 10-or-so days, only climbing the steps outside my apartment for my video. But if I put lotion on my hands, it'll soften them up (although heal quickly), so they'll tear the calluses off easily. Not good this close to tryouts.

The one-legged squats are coming along. I keep falling on my butt if I don't support myself, but if I lay my hand on a shelf as I do it, I barely push down on it, and can squeeze out 2 sets of 6 for each leg. My left leg struggles during the last one, but that's ok.

Still working my calves at work too. Well, technically I've been working the one-legged squats while at work as well. Anyway, I can start to feel it in my legs. It's not much, but I can still feel *something*.

I *need* to start running though. I haven't done it in a while, and I need to get moving so I can reduce the time while I still can. Yet... I feel low on energy. Not motivation, just energy. It's probably just my late night schedule which forces me to sleep late and wake late, but that's just an excuse, and excuses don't mean squat, especially if I fail again at ANW2. And I'm NOT going to fail! So! I need to figure out something. And now.

A friend of mine started telling me about a friend of hers who may be looking to date someone. I saw her picture on Facebook, and found out some hobbies of her... She's quite cute, and the hobbies she does are *awesome*. My friend also said she's very nice... So I'm hoping I can meet her when she returns from her current competition. Fingers crossed... A date right now (that would go well), would truly boost my enthusiasm and encourage me to keep training harder.

Well, that's all for now. I'll put up more footage when I have it :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

ANW2 Entry Video, Version 1

Another relatively short Blog post, but yesterday was my second day off, so I filled the time working on my entry video.

I only had a little bit of footage to work with at the beginning of the day, so I shot about half of it right there as I edited it. I even changed clothes for the different things I was doing, which made me wonder. There was an ANC1 video of someone who did the whole thing in one take... What if I did something like that? Hmm...

Anyway, I was actually surprised how well my FiveFingers Flow in the green camo have held up this entire time since I bought them in August. I've worn them every chance I've had since I bought them, and they're *still* sticking to the walls darn well. You can see it in the entry video. Makes me wonder if I truly needed the Black Flow I purchased strictly for ANW2? Either way, I'm still glad to have both pairs :D

Well, take a look at the video. It's only half done, so there's more to come!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Tryout Shoes Are In!

Yay! They're in!!! on Twitpic

Well, my shoes are finally in! I wish I could just jump into them and start training... but sadly, that would ruin them a bit beforehand. Nonetheless, you'll be seeing them in my entry video :D