|By Stephen Burns
Apr 19, 2013
This past weekend was a good one. First trip back to back out to a favorite crag in over six months with beautiful weather, great friends and fantastic climbing. Though the trip started off interesting, with a phone shattering, a wallet being lost never be found again; all in sacrifice for what may or may not be crucial study time to insure future success in academia...
Point it it was worth it..
The real kicker of it all was that moment when all that was sacrificed feels that it might of been in jeopardy. That really terrible feeling that happens when pulling on a two finger pocket to get through the crux move.
The initial panic... Did I just wreck myself for the next three months... again!? I thought I learned something last time!? I should of stayed in school!!! Damn....
The internet is the best place to diagnose oneself and so long as your finger injury isn't actually life threatening, which according to some reputable online sources it very well be, it probably is something that is going to require some.... ice... ibuprofen... compression... elevation... but not the dreaded R. Not that... please not that. It's true, I should of stuck with school. Then I might be smart enough to know that doctors, moms, and caring sisters who study medicine since the beginning of recreational self-mutilation are right to say, don't f'n do it anymore! Your hurt! Lay off! Don't be a fool.... stay in school...
Well, this one goes out to every mom, and sister out there that said not to climb on a busted hand. The lumbricals, from what I now understand, are the muscles in the hand that connect between the tendons. The strange thing about a lumbrical injury, is that pressure on that particular diget, in this case the ring finger, shoots some pretty nasty pain though the hand, from palm to write, insisting that something is very much not right, but when teamed up with its partners in crime, that finger gets all the "You can do it! Breath! You're strong!!! Yeah, sick!!! Hold it! Yeah! YEAH!!!! SICK!!!!" that every sport climbers phalanges thrive off of.
Climbing on a lumbrical injury is.... like not being injured at all, except for a funny little bit of tension felt in the palm, yet somehow this is also the one injury that after climbing felt better then before.
Science help me here, cause this can't be real! Can I really pull on 5.12 crimps and grab onto sick pinches with nothing holding me back but my head telling me that this can't be real!? Yes. Yes it's true. A climbing injury that climbing doesn't hurt.
That being said. I'm sure if I stuck my fingers back into that terrible pocket again, I would take it all back, but for real, our bodies are crazy and amazing, and right now I'm going with the idealist thought that in fact my body wants me to climb. It's going to feel the pain, get injured, and be all "no you're fine! Just don't do that one thing..."