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 :)