This weekend we’re off to Madrid, representing the Spanish Mixed National Team at Euros. We’ve been preparing for some time now, and that time is finally here!
This is a “Masters” tournament, which means there is an age requirement; +30 for women and +33 for men. This works out perfect for my partner and I as she is 31 and I am 34. We’re back to being the youngest on the team again!
Last Friday was International Women’s Day, and there is no place that does it bigger than Bilbao. One of the things that I love about this place is how socially active everyone is. There are many causes that people hit the streets for: ensuring pensions don’t disappear, labor rights, and on this day, women’s rights.
For all of the demonstrations, or manifestaciones that I have witnessed in Bilbao, there is none quite like the #8M, or the eighth of March. Just check out how packed the streets were.
Back in my younger days, I used to be crazy. Well, maybe I still am. I came across this video from which brings two of my outdoor passions together: Climbing and Frisbee
Yes, that is the famous Alcove Swing on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, with a Frisbee!
Now, before some of you ask, yes, we did hike down and recover the frisbee. #LeaveNoTrace!
El Capitán in Yosemite has been in the national spotlight this past year as two amazing documentaries have been released about climbers epic struggles to the top. While similar, the films show two very disctinct climbing styles.
First, The Dawn Wall came out. That film followed Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson up the hardest route on the face of El Cap. They fell thousands of times, slept on a portaledge for 19 nights, and, well, no spoilers. Their journey involved ropes, and sheer will and energy.
Maybe more famous, after taking home the Oscar for Best Documentary, is Free Solo. Free Solo follows Alex Honnold’s epic free solo climb of El Cap. Honnold goes up a different, easier, route up the granite monolith. Yes, easier is a relative term here. What he did is unthinkable. He went up without any ropes or protection, just his shoes, his chalk bag, and his body. Absolutely nuts.
Both feats are impressive in their own right, and it really is hard to say which one is more impressive. In the end, I’d have to go with what Honnold did. Caldwell’s life was relying on his equipment to work as expected. Sure, he still could have died, but that would have required an equipment malfunction, or human error when placing the pieces. One slip, one unexpected bird flying out of a crack, one hold breaking, or one little slip, and Honnold’s a gonner.