The Millennium Way: An Interview with Alison Bagby

By | Guest Post, Stuff We're Psyched On, The Interior | No Comments

This post is only tangentially related to rock climbing. It has more to do with bragging about how awesome we must be, because the people discussed below consider us their friends. Alison and her husband Jeremy have appeared on this blog before, and it’s true that we are acquainted via the climbing gym. It’s true that they are both very strong climbers with impressive ticklists. But today, we’re going to talk about food, more specifically Millennium. Millennium is a vegan restaurant that serves incredible food and cocktails to match. Formerly located in the Tenderloin in San Francisco, they recently moved to a new location in Oakland, with much better street parking options. They’re open for dinner 7 days a week, and they’ve just started a Sunday brunch (and soon Saturday), as well as a weekday happy hour from 5:00-6:30. We wanted to know a few more details, so we asked…and then we typed it up. Enjoy! RVP: In a few words, what is Millennium? AB: Millennium is a globally inspired, upscale plant-based restaurant in Oakland, Ca. We work with small farms and change the menu constantly to showcase the finest local, sustainable, and organic produce at its peak. RVP: How long have you been involved with Millennium? How did you start out there? AB: I was hired as Assistant General Manager in January of 2007 after being persistent in response to a craigslist ad. RVP: When did you become a partner with Millennium? AB: I became a partner only in our new East Bay location. Chef Eric Tucker & I…

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Training Gains – A Female Climber Perspective

By | Climbing, Gym Climbing, Staying Healthy, Training, Trip Journal | No Comments

We’ve been back in the Bay Area for about a week now and are on an edit Jumbo Love + gym training regime for the month. We are both feeling really weak right now since we barely climbed the past few weeks of filming, but are determined to get back in shape before we head to Wyoming in July. Current status: extremely sore, but hopeful because I know the training schedule I set for myself is solid. Here’s a piece I wrote for Mojagear.com (original here) last month on the training program we use as our guide – The Rock Climber’s Training Manual.   Recently on The RV Project blog, I wrote about our perceived reality of living on the road (we are going to be climbing all the time = getting hella strong and crushing) versus actual reality (weather, work and travel commitments make it next to impossible to continue to improve at climbing without a plan). We’ve spent the past 3 years pretending like we had all the time in the world, that our lives were as carefree as our Instagram portrays. Finally, we’ve accepted our reality – coming to terms with the fact that we’re busy, really busy. And, furthermore, we want to be busy. Just climbing hasn’t gotten us appreciably stronger, we’ve both plateaued. The only way we thought we could break through is to regain some structure. We needed a plan, we needed goals, or we were going to continue to disappoint ourselves. As Spenser described, after a lot of…

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Fighting the Fear, Part Deux

By | Bouldering, Climbing, Staying Healthy, The Interior, Trip Journal | No Comments

I have so many emotions when it comes to Bishop. It was one of the first places I ever climbed outdoors and it hooked me. I had been climbing for less than a year and Bishop made me truly fall in love with bouldering. The boulders are tall and scary, but the landings are flat and the approaches short. And the backdrop. It’s just an incredible atmosphere out there. It can also be chossy and grainy and sharp – and I love all of it. After climbing mostly indoors for the past couple months and setting some new standards for myself, I was ridiculously excited for our Bishop trip this past week. It was going to be as crowded as a Justin Beiber concert because of President’s Day, but we were going with a good crew and planned on just accepting the masses, or running away and climbing in more obscure locations. Before leaving for Bishop, I knew a few problems I wanted to get on, but nearly any problem in Bishop forces me to face my fear of falling. Spenser had mentioned that I should try the namesake problem on the Bowling Pin boulder. To be honest, I didn’t really take him seriously. I had a clear recollection of feeling like I was eons away from doing it last time I tried. It was decently steep, crimpy, and tall. Oh, and the nice slab finish. Ya right I did, however, realize that this was a perfect problem for me to project. It is within a doable grade range with…

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Fighting the Fear

By | Climbing, Staying Healthy, Training, Trip Journal | 2 Comments

“Discomfort is a common barrier to hard work. Usually, hard work is unpleasant. In addition to the obvious aversion to pain and suffering that tempts climbers to give less than their best, athletes are also encouraged to “listen to their body” or “back off at the first sign of injury.” These pieces of advice, while fundamental and necessary, create a murky line that atheletes are reluctant to cross for fear of injury or wasted effort. The solution to this conundrum is for each athlete to incrementally push ever so slightly beyond their comfort zone, monitor the effects, and then analyze the results. If all goes well, the athlete can push that much further beyond her previous limits the next time around. Though it may sound complicated, this is relatively straightforward to do with diligent application of the previously discussed training principles and contributing factors. This methodical approach to progressive overload is the essence of this training program” – The Rock Climber’s Training Manual. Spenser mentioned that we’ve set some lofty goals. In my mind I’m like this: but I’m actually usually like this: Sigh. Fear. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of crossing the line. Fear of disappointing. That simple four letter word tends to hold each of us back in its own way. When it comes to climbing, I realized a while back that the fear of getting hurt (often exhibiting itself as fear of falling) prevents me from trying hard. Until now, I really never wanted to do anything about…

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Fun is Life and Death

By | Birthday Challenges, Musings, The Interior | One Comment

“I am deadly serious about us having fun” – Michael Franti, In The Middle I think one of the secrets to happiness and success is to take the non-serious things in life seriously, and the serious things less so. Or, since we are the ones who decide what is serious and what isn’t, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that one must allocate their gravitas wisely for the sake of happiness, and survival. Proper Seriosity Birthdays generally fall into the non-serious category. How many times have we “celebrated” someone’s unique, fleeting existence on this planet by sitting in a crowded restaurant, lucky to be within earshot of the birthday boy or girl? How many birthdays do we let pass with little more than a few cheap “you’re old now” jokes? Answering for myself: many. As a child, comforted, cared for, and complacent, my birthday was an occasion for gifts. As an adolescent, I craved little except simple, good times. My birthday falls during the summer, and more than anything I remember wanting my birthday to be more like any other summer day than any other summer day, which at the time meant 2 on 2 basketball, deli sandwiches, and MarioKart 64 (or sports on network TV). Birthday Challenges are the opposite. We take a silly day and make it silly hard, and we try like hell to complete some silly goals. We even train for them. Why? Well, that’s a very involved question, but a short answer might be, “to…

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Hyperextension of the Volar Plate

By | Gym Climbing, The Interior, Trip Journal | 3 Comments

You know the sound that is created by pulling masking tape off of a wall? That, apparently, is a pretty good approximation for the sound of tearing ligaments. It was on Sunday, September 28th that I got my finger painfully stuck in a slot, hyperextending the PIP joint of my left middle finger. I went down the dark rabbit hole of internet research, fully convinced that, at the least, I’d broken my finger and contracted ebola. On Wednesday, October 1st, I saw Dr. Vedder at the University of Washington Hand Center at the Sports Medicine Clinic in Seattle, WA. My close friend Evan, graduate of UW’s Physician Assistant program, recommended their clinic; he’d gone there when he injured the medial collateral ligament of the PIP joint of his ring finger (I think that’s what he injured…). I was checked in quickly, X-rayed quickly, and diagnosed within 45 minutes of walking in the door. I can’t really express how refreshing a breezy trip through check-in was. I knew I was in the right place when the nurse who took my height and weight remarked, “ah, another rock climber.” The X-ray showed this: Dr. Vedder tested my collateral ligaments and was not concerned about those, or that I had fully torn the volar plate (which would require surgery). He said I had partially torn it (which explains the tearing sound), and sent me off to the therapy room. It turns out that the key to recovering from this injury is movement. Scar tissue will tend…

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The Final Countdown to My Birthday Challenge

By | Birthday Challenges, Climbing, Training | 7 Comments

I’m not normally the kind of guy to spray the world about my birthday. I’ve never been one for huge laser tag parties or making all my friends invite their friends to a big group takeover of some moderately expensive restaurant. Birthdays are weird…the only time I’ve felt compelled or entitled to a big gathering of any sort was when I turned it into a charity event. Interestingly, that one was also a birthday challenge. This time, I’m spraying for a few reasons. I’m stoked. I’m kinda marketing for our EpicTV series, and my challenge will be part of it. I have trouble following through with audacious personal goals unless other people know about them. I have a lot less trouble with audacious goals if others expect me to at least try really hard. One more thing: if I can, in some way, inspire others to do something similarly audacious (physical or otherwise), that’s all for the better. I really, really hope this isn’t spilling over into obnoxious narcissism (my parents are psychologists, so I’m very self-conscious about this sort of thing). But I digress… Last night I hiked a tripod up to the 3rd peak and stashed it, so that Vikki will only have a camera bag to carry with her to film my first element on Tuesday. It was my second time up there in two days and my legs are feeling it today, but I’ve got three days to rest and a killer set of recovery tools in the…

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Hair on Fire

By | Birthday Challenges, Gym Climbing, Training | No Comments

I’m not ready to turn 30. The saying goes that time flies when you’re having fun. Strangely, I find that time flies when I’m standing still. Take the past two months for example. The RV Project moved its headquarters into my parents’ house, where we soaked up the comforts of a house and a doting mother and father who love to cook delicious food. A 2 month hiatus from the road seemed like a great chance to catch up with the videos we’re making, do some needed maintenance on the trailer, see our non-nomadic friends, and for me to prepare for my upcoming Birthday Challenge. The problem is, it feels like I’m just starting to train, and we’ve already left. It’s now less than a month from my birthday, and I am already dreading many of the elements I’ve set for myself. I’m not in poor shape, but the list of challenges is long. Time is fast dwindling, moreso as I’ll want to taper for a week or so before the challenge. I spent most of my time in the gym lifting weights and gaining endurance. I followed the format of Phase 1 of John Long’s Workout From Hell. I’d done the entire cycle once before, and remember feeling much pain and suffering during the 30-rep phase, but I also recall that my body felt as solid as a tree, as though bullets would bounce off my chest. I figured this would be a good way to train for my 300,000-pound lifting day,…

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Top Rope Tough Girl

By | Bolt Clipping, Climbing, Staying Healthy, The Interior, Trip Journal | 5 Comments

Who can forget this amazing climbing classic?! I have a confession to make. I’ve been toproping. Frequently. I feel as though I’m cheating on bouldering. It’s been my obsession for years- unfortunately, my bouldering confidence wanes at times. One day I feel like I can climb to the top of anything I set my mind to. The next day, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I totally suck. How well you climb is directly linked to your confidence level. There’s no way around it. Just like with any other discipline, knowing that you can do it is a vital to success. I’m very aware that everyone has bad days, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my mental (and physical) struggle is not based on probability: it’s my lack of endurance. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve been living on the road, rock climbing, for over 2 years and have gained little endurance. I am certainly much stronger than when we began the road trip, but I still get the feeling that one, or both, of my hands will spontaneously open up if I’m on the wall for over 30 seconds [not an experimentally acquired measurement, but a good estimate]. I also do not have a good gauge as to how long I can hold on once that inevitable pump sets in. I’ve never committed to climbing past it. Yep, I’m a sucker for letting go. This is further detrimental to my climbing since I am predominately a static climber who…

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