Lesson 2: Be Patient and Value Friendships
Like most rites of passages there always requires a few challenges to overcome. For my Hatchelorette it’s the driving. Over the next 5 days I will endure over 3000km of open road as 8months of pregnancy hormones surge through me. My hips, pelvis, pubis and just everything have begun opening many months before and long stretches of sitting are no easy feat.
For as long as humans can remember, there has always been this reoccurring need to find oneself. To seek out our purpose, passion and identity. I have discovered from a young age that for myself the best way to learn and grow is to expose yourself to experiences that require you to solve things independently.
I have never had much of a sweet tooth and though I love baking I usually only indulge in a bite or two of whatever I make. The most unfortunate thing about my experience with pies, is that I didn’t really like pies until my early 20’s. Continue reading
As these photos came through a story began to form.. Once upon a time there was a Albertan Princess that wanted a child of hers spawned by no man but the essence of nature. Continue reading
The last few months I’ve been slowing down my activity level, due to a human brewing inside me. Instead of hitting up the climbing gym or going on big day trips I’ve been downsizing my adventure days and incorporating more handmade homemade days. Continue reading
I recently began a journey that will hopefully result in growing an aspect of myself and community we never imagined possible.
What Did You Do? Continue reading
Several years ago my friend Roger Fage spoke three words to me that changed a huge part of my life.
“Just Try Harder.”
I had met Roger in Halifax around 2010 and then during a random climbing trip to Kamourska, Quebec our paths crossed again.
He told me for a long time he was stuck. He was unable to progress in his climbing and seemed to feel like he had plateaued. Then one day, one of his friends told him the secret to success. “Just try harder.” And from then on he was surpassing his current climbing ability.
I don’t know what it was about this moment because I’ve heard those words so many times before. However, perhaps was just the right time, the right place and the look on his face as he turned away from me and stared at the climb above us.
Just. Try. Harder.
Ever since then it has been one of my top 5 mantras in achieving things. Whenever I feel stuck in something and feel as though I have plateaued in my own ability and skill, I take a moment to reassess what I am doing wrong.
Then. I catch myself and it dawns of me. The words of an amazing, even keeled human…
Just try harder.
Then I take a deep breath and do you know what I do next ? I try harder.
Since my recent ACL tear, I have felt like I have fallen backwards in so many aspects of my life. My strength, my flexibility, my will power.
Prior to my injury I was just barely maintaining my fitness and then suddenly, goals that were already barely within arms reach had become insurmountable. I look at my before photos and now I’ve gained weight, gotten soft, lost endurance.
I stopped writing blog posts. I stopped stretching. I stopped trying.
I stopped trying.
This is the moment I assess all the factors and variables again. Cloud my mind with why I can’t and why I won’t. Fill my heart with excuses. This is also the moment that I stop doing that and get my soul together and once again realize the answer to all my recent setbacks is to,
Just Try Harder.
Coming soon. The new and improved Melba Fucking Seto.
Three weeks ago my knee went “pop” when I landed a tiny jump from setting a volleyball. I remember contacting the ball, hearing the pop, thinking “omg my knee is dislocated,” and then curling into a fetal position clutching my right knee trying to force myself to breath but not being able to.
I remember hearing voices far away “are you okay?” “What happened?” “Can you move?” It seemed liked an enternity before my head stopped spinning and for me to realize I was holding my breath.
My team mate Mel assessed my knee and being experienced in orthopedics she quickly informed me it wasn’t looking good.
I booked an appointment the next day to the Acute Knee Injury Clinic and then went straight to my family physician to prescribe me radiographs and an ultrasound. Initially it seemed it may have been a minor tear and my heart was happy.
A week later at my Acute Knee assessment I was informed that it was confirmed as a full anterior cruciate ligament tear.
I don’t think I heard her correctly. She said the MCL and LCL looked great and then she said something about something.
“How do you know? Do I need an MRI?”
“No you don’t need an MRI because we knows it’s fully severed.”
I don’t know why but I’m pretty sure my eyes started tearing up. All the hopes and dreams of the summer … climbing…. paddling … surfing, seemed to collapse around my little heart and squeeze.
I gritted my teeth, shifted my jaw and tried to absorb this new intel.
I asked what was next. What the expected healing process was and how long.
Apparently many people including athletes can continue life without an ACL as long as they wear a brace whenever they are engaging in sports. Some people choose to have the surgery and it could take 3-9months for surgery and up to year to fully heal.
You can imagine what was going on in my brain. Math. I was mathing out the next 2 years of my life. 3 months to heal from this initial tear. Then surgery. Then healing all over again.
Over the years I’ve trained myself to better deal with obstacles thrown in my face. I give myself time to absorb and process the information, grieve and then onwards and upwards.
The second week I began to increase mobility with the assistance of a hiking pole and resumed playing discgolf. I went back to work. No word of a lie I think disc golf helped expedite the rehabilitation of my knee. Low impact activities to promote mobility. It’s easy to want to stay in bed and feel sorry for yourself but the stiffness that follows is what is truly debilatating.
Now in the third week, I’ve begun to climb easy routes, hike short easy to moderate terrain and continue disc golfing. My followup appointment to see my progress and initiate a consultation for surgery will be happening in the next couple days.
I’m more motivated now to actively develop my leg muscles and push hard to strengthen my legs before my upcoming surgery, and also so I can climb and paddle this year. If all goes well I’ll have surgery booked for the late fall of 2017 and I’ll spend all my off time making chalk bags and painting
All in all for those going through the same thing, I want you to know yes, it sucks but if you want it bad enough you can get back to where you were before and maybe even become stronger than ever. 32 is going to be the most epic ACLrecovery year ever.
Follow me on Instagram @Melba_Seto and Facebook @MelbasToast.com to see what someone without an ACL can accomplish.
January 11, 2016 Blue Fin became my first “real” 12a Red Point (I’ve often climbed routes that have been downgraded from 12a to 11d, so this was a big step to become a part of the 12a club.) Red Pointing is when you’ve been working on a climbing route (sometimes multiple attempts) and eventually climbing it is while you lead the rope from the bottom to the top of a climb without taking a fall or a break on the rope.
This is the year my planets have finally aligned to allow me to pursue my goal of sending 12a’s consistently. I started The Road to 12a – Part 1 a couple years ago and it’s been a slow journey.
Like any sport or skill there’s always benchmarks and plateaus that we reach as individuals. Whether it be playing the guitar or beating your best personal time in running or cycling. We all have at least one phase in our specialty that hits us in the face and says “you shall not pass.”
When it comes to climbing I haven’t quite reached that plate yet, but mainly because I haven’t been able to climb consistently over the past 4 years. I started actively climbing almost 7 years ago in 2010 and for the first two years I climbed nearly 200 climbs each year. Then the last four years, due to life, work, money, and excuses… I’ve probably climbed maybe 30 each year. It’s been hard, mentally and physically to always be starting from the ground up each time I went out.
2014 however, started with a bang and I put in probably about 40 days, though not as impressive as the first two years, it’s a step up. Starting out in Potrero Chico in December of 2015 also was a tremendous boost to my mental game.
Personally I don’t count myself as a 12a climber until I’ve Red Pointed at least three 12a’s, and even then I probably wouldn’t tell people I’m a 12a climber for fear of being undeserving.
#2 12a Red Point
June 13, 2016. Humming Bird Arete was the second one under my belt. It took about 5 attempts, the first one being the previous summer and the last ones within last spring. I’ve always found that as long as I can do each of the moves, I will be able to Red Point it. Thus far. People often say I have a good mental stamina. I think this only applies to climbing for me though!
Adam and I had been alternating attempts and though we were able to do all the moves in the problem, it was just mustering the will to push through. Our friend and outdoor videographer Calixte LeBlanc, was with us that day filming, which provided me even more of an incentive to get the Red Point.
I was feeling good and if I could just hit the moves just right it should go no problem.
I normally take maybe 2-3 burns on a project before I’m totally deflated and I was working up to the last go before closing up my hands for the day.
I remember thinking “if it goes – it goes, if not it’ll go next time.” I tied in, velcroed up and took a deep breath.
For me, there’s always a point in a climb when I can feel my heart race because I know it’s going well, so well that it takes everything to remind yourself to take a breath and not get too excited. It’s often at that point where you piece the crux moves seamlessly or when your feet cut loose but you somehow manage to hang on or when your hands start to lose strength and slowly open, but somehow you push through the burn and keep moving.
On Hummingbird Arete the moment was at the top out. The last few moves pulling up and over with slopey holds for hands and foot holds that seem to disappear. I always seem to hold my breath for fear of jinxing myself right before clip the anchors, which at that point I never fail to give a “Whoo!”. Yes I’m a Whoo Girl.
The Next Step.
The Next Step is now that I’m finally in Calgary full time, with an annual gym pass at The Hanger, I can train. No more off the couch climbing trips. From here on in there’s no excuses for not being to reach my goals. I hold myself completely responsible for whatever outcome I may achieve this season.
I’ve been climbing 30 – 60 min at the gym, 3 times a week. Diving once a week and trying to increase flexibility in my shoulders and improve my core 3x a week. I’m going to try increase my cardio to 1-2 runs a week and maybe… just maybe… eat less Sausage Egg Mcmuffins… maybe.
Well now that this is posted, I’m going to have to keep myself accountable. See you on the sharp end.