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Four months and two weeks ago…the Hueco Tanks boulder problem, Dark Age V11, busted up my left hand ring finger and put me out of climbing. Yesterday…I got revenge against Dark Age. I SENT!!!

I’ve been telling climber friends that if you are going to get injured and you have the choice of what type of injury, choose the ruptured A4 pulley in your ring finger. Initially, when I got hurt last year in December I thought the worst. I imagined 4-6 months of zero climbing (what April ended up doing when she hurt a finger). However, after one month of zero climbing I knew that my comeback would be much sooner. After one month I started climbing in the V0-V2 range. After two months I started climbing up to V5. At three months April and I traveled to Fontainebleau which was perfect for my injured finger because of the type of climbing (slopers). After returning from Fontainebleau it was time to get back into full Hueco mode. At that point I was climbing consistently in the V8-V10 range. Two weeks ago I got back on Dark Age for the first time since December. Surprisingly…I lost nothing…and returned this weekend for the ultimate revenge!

Now, for all of you out there currently with ruptured A4 pulleys in your ring finger who are dying to get back on your projects, don’t gain hope in reading my story just yet. The road to my recovery did not involve, in any way, me sitting on the couch drinking beer, eating pizza and watching the Steelers win the superbowl. NO. On superbowl sunday I was at Hueco guiding a backcountry tour and doing 299 push-ups (MY RECORD!) and sit-ups until I almost puked. I painfully watched my wife tick all her projects and climb stronger than ever. This fueled my motivation to do more push-ups, sit-ups, long runs, healthy dinners, lots of sleep…all the stuff for quick healing. I even laid in bed burning this relaxing fragrance stuff (LEGAL) that our friends Vince and Tammy gave to us for Christmas.

Sometimes when you get a climbing injury the easiest thing to do is walk away and go find another part-time hobby to pass the time. I recommend however, staying as close to the sport as possible. Why? Because it’s automatic motivation to stay strong in any way you can. This injury opened my eyes to the endless possibilities for building strength for climbing.

This entry (Permalink) was posted on Saturday, April 29th, 2006 at 7:53 pm and is filed under Bouldering, Hueco Tanks-Texas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Responses to “Revenge”

  1. Stuart Says:

    Great stuff Paul – congrats! Thanks again for a fantastic Easter long weekend. Look forward to seeing some of your video footage from that trip. hope alls well.


  2. April Says:

    We’re working on the footage! Stay tuned….

  3. Roger Says:


    Not sure if you guys remember or not, but we met briefly a little over a year ago at Hueco. I usually take lots of pics but for some reason didn’t take a lot on that particular trip: http://rohjuh.com/gallery/v/2004-11-22_hueco/.

    Anyhow, I visit your site periodically (love the videos!) and am amazed at how hard the both of you are climbing! V11?!! Wow! That’s pretty much incomprehensible to me! Congrats on getting your revenge. Eagerly looking forward to the video!

    Back to lurking…

  4. April Says:

    Hey Roger! Yeah – of course we remember you and your crew. San Diego, right? I believe I’ve got you listed in my email address book. 🙂

    When you coming back to Hueco? Temps are PERFECT right now (in the shade). Seriously!

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