Top 10 Tuesday – Training Jamz

Despite being a delinquent blogger, my climbing psych and training for climbing psych remain high. Here are 10 songs that help me stay psyched to crush my workout or create an ambiance of psych on the drive to the boulderfield.


1. Chimes – Hudson Mohawke
Cam’s absolute favorite. It just sounds like a bouldering video. It basically fills your veins with psych.


2. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
Don’t hate just because it’s Bruno Mars! You know you love to get your groove on.


3. Lay Your Cards Out – POLICA
Not quite as punchy and upbeat as the rest, but melodic and sexy enough to make up for it. For sure to help you get your flow on for the enduro proj.


4. Girls – Slow Magic
Basically the beat you want to have in your head for the rest of the day.


5. Hero – Frank Ocean, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Diplo
Fact: I love soul music. This song hits all the right soul elements while making you feel like you can take on the world.


6. OctaHate – Ryn Weaver
If ever get filmed sending a hard boulder, this is the song I want in the video. Thanks in advance.


7. Pistols at Dawn – Seinabo Sey
Complete with an epic intro and a slow build up, after listening to to this song you can face your greatest fear. I promise.


8. Bad Habit – The Kooks
A little more rock & roll than the rest of the list. Bad ass with a beat you’ll want to hear again.


9. Drop the Game – Flume and Chet Faker
Cam doesn’t like this one, but I don’t let that get me down. Dark, spooky, and lush.


10. Hey Mami – Sylvan Esso
If you haven’t heard of Sylvan Esso, do yourself a favor and get on it. “Hey Mami” is rad, but honestly the whole album is just as good. Without a doubt my album of the year.

What is your current climbing psych music?


The Rock Climber’s Training Manual: Review and Reflections

If you’re a climber, especially one psyched about training, there is a good chance you have heard about Mark and Mike Andersons’ The Rock Climber’s Traning Manual. rctm-cover-spread_finalThere is no shortage of positive reviews out there on the interwebs. However, only a few of the reviews are from people who in addition to reading the book also followed one of the training plan all the way through before writing the review.

Currently it seems like training for rock climbing is becoming much more popular for climbers of all levels. The amount of available information on training for climbing is increasing. I am certainly riding the wave of training excitement and was incredibly excited to get my hands on a copy of the Andersons’ book back in July.

Although I have been climbing for about 1o years at this point (seriously!?!), I had never really trained. Living in NC the climbing season is nearly year-round so, I never really developed a climbing season vs. training season mindset. I’ve always  been a climb outside as much as possible and go to the gym when you can’t climb outside sort of person. This set-up has allowed me to slowly progress over many years, develop decent movement, gain valuable rock reading abilities, and love the shit out of climbing. But it has also allowed me to develop some serious deficits and over the last 2 years I have really struggled to continue to improve. Hence a new plan: TRAINING!

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That Percolate for the Stubborn Mind: Wallace Stevens and a Flannery Original

Before I went back to nursing school I got an English degree from UNC Asheville.

It is an amazingly impractical degree that allowed me to learn tremendous amounts about people, the world, and how to not sound like an idiot while writing. But it ultimately made my brain explode with emotions and I realized I needed to pursue a profession where I could work in the moment and not think deeply about heavy shit too often.

Nowadays, I don’t think too much about my time studying literature, but every once in a while a memory will sneak up out of nowhere.

This morning I was drinking coffee. It was an exceptionally good, mind freeing, enlightening brew. “Didn’t I write a poem about coffee once?” my brain asked me.

In fact I had.

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Fuel Yourself with Awesome: Sardines

I love food. Especially if it tastes awesome and makes me feel awesome.

Fuel Yourself with Awesome posts are all about food that fulfills both of those lofty qualifications.

This picture is fueled with awesome

This picture is fueled with awesome.

Now for a short anecdote:

A few years ago, when I first started getting serious about bouldering, I was inflicted with a wicked bout of elbow tendonitis.

I asked everyone for advice and pretty much tried everything anyone suggested (except resting, I assume). I was mad. Just as I was starting to progress, I was getting shut down by pain. Eventually a friend suggested I try taking fish oil, telling me it had worked for a friend of his. I read up on fish oil and then I started taking a ton of the stuff and eating more fish in my diet. Shortly after starting this regime, my elbows were pain free. I was psyched.

To this day I still take fish oil. I’m pretty sold on fish oil’s ability to reduce inflammation in my body caused by life-stress, climbing, eating junk, etc. Eventually, somewhere a long the way I stumbled upon one of those “10 Superfoods You Should be Eating” lists that included sardines. The list touted sardines high natural fish oil content and high mineral content. I figured I would give sardines a shot.

I bought a can of good quality sardines from a nice grocery store… and then that can sat in my cupboard. I was strangely scared to eat them. I didn’t even know what to eat them with or how to eat them. But I knew I needed to face my fears. A bit of creeping around on the internet turned up this recipe: Cilantro-Lime Sardine Salad. So I went for it since I had all of the ingredients (except mayo) in my house at the time. My reaction? It was terrific, I was hooked, and fish-a-mole (like guacamole, but with fish…get it?) was born. Fish-a-mole is excellent on salad, as a dip with chips, cracker, baby carrots, etc., or simply eaten by the spoonful.

Matt Segal eats sardines while climbing big walls! Are you sold yet?!?

Matt Segal eats sardines while climbing big walls! Are you sold yet?!? Photo: Instagram @wildplanetfoods

Now that I am sure you want to take the plunge into eating canned sardines. Here is some crucial sardine beta:

Sardines can be bought either skinless and boneless or not. You might  be temped to go skinless and boneless for your first foray into sardine eating, but you don’t get as much nutritional benefit without the bones and you can’t really taste them IMHO.


Wild Planet Sardines… in all their glory!

Some canned sardines just aren’t that good tasting. My personal favorite is Wild Planet. Generally I go for one of the varieties packed in olive oil since healthy fats are my JAM. But the sardines in water and marinara are great too.


Bela Olhau Sardines

Another quality sardine is Bela Olhau. These Portuguese sardines come in several different varieties and exceptionally cute tins. But I just find that they don’t have as nice a flavor or texture as Wild Planet.

Finally, the Starkist Selects sardines are also quite tasty, but they have some less optimal ingredients and only come in the boneless and skinless variety. But they are a good bet for a sardine that can be found in most conventional grocery stores.

Today my sardine eating has evolved beyond fish-a-mole. Here are some of my favorite ways to eat sardines:

1. Straight out of the can:

-into your mouth, onto chips, rackers, rice cakes, salads… ’nuff said.

2. Basic Pan Seared:

-Often for breakfast I will cook 1-2 eggs over-easy with ghee, remove the eggs from the pan, and then quickly throw the sardines in the pan and sear them with the remaining ghee in the pan.

-With a crispy potato pancake: Lately I’ve been boiling large batches of potatoes and using them for all sorts of things. Half a cup of boiled mashed potato and 1 egg fry up into an excellent potato cake. When topped with seared sardines, salsa, and hot sauce, near perfection is achieved.

3. Extra Crispy Pan Seared:

-This takes a bit more time and a bit more oil in the pan, but is totally worth it to achieve a simple, crispy, gluten-free, breaded sardine. Before frying, toss sardines in a mix of tapioca flour, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

-Frying them is a bit finicky, but with practice they will come out of the pan with an excellent crunchy, smoky, fried exterior.

4. As a Dip:

-There are many variations of the classic fish-a-mole:

Sardines + Guacamole = classic fish-a-mole

Sardines + Avocado + Balsamic Vinegar = nameless goodness

Sardines + Avocado + cucumber + dill + garlic = fish-avo-ziki

-Avocado is not even required…

Sardines + mustard

Sardines + chipotle mayo

Sardines + Frank’s Hot Sauce

Sardines + Kimchi = can you even contemplate the bad breath?… you know you want it!

Finally, here are some great resources on the nutritional benefits of sardines if you need some more convincing before you take the plunge:

Eat This: Sardines

How and Why to Eat Sardines

My Husband ❤ Canned Sardines


Follow Friday – Morning Links

Its finally starting to feel like fall around here. Canned pumpkin just reappeared at Trader Joe’s, leaves are starting to change above 5000 feet, and I wore pants yesterday evening to stay warm.

As expected, I’m psyched for all things autumnal.

In honor of fall, I recommend you make this Protein Pumpkin Spiced Coffee part of a morning (or afternoon) near you. I had never combined coffee and protein powder until recently. It is a winning combination. I promise.

I don’t partake in twitter, but I certainly love some instagram… Below are two accounts that have brought considerable joy to my feed this week.

First, a stylish pup:

So, what time should I pick you up?

A post shared by Menswear Dog (@mensweardog) on

I mean, how can you not love cute anthropomorphism…

Second, two psyched (non-climber?!?) folks on an amazing trip in a sweet sprinter:

The calm after the storm. Baja Sur.

A post shared by Nikki Jakob Leika (@sprintervandiaries) on

There is a lot of serious day dream material on this account 🙂

Everything and More: Bouldering Kit Part 2 (Tactics)

Sure, I want to be stronger, but that takes long hours and hard work.

Most of the time I just want the climb I’m working on to feel better.

That is where tactics come in…. climbing smarter when climbing harder just isn’t possible.

There a lots of things tactically that climbers do intrinsically or with practice (ex: RESTING between attempts?!?) to improve their chances of sending the proj but most of them just involve using their brain rather than an actual tool out of the bouldering kit. However, there is one tactical implement I want to highlight:

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