DAVID BRANCACCIO: There’s a little sweet moment, I’ve got to say, in
a very intense book– your latest– in which you’re heading out the
door and your wife says what are you doing? I think you say– I’m
getting– I’m going to buy an envelope.
KURT VONNEGUT: Yeah.
DAVID BRANCACCIO: What happens then?
KURT VONNEGUT: Oh, she says well, you’re not a poor man. You know,
why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in
the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an
envelope because I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the
process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some
great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the
thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I
don’t know. The moral of the story is, is we’re here on Earth to fart
around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And,
what the computer people don’t realize, or they don’t care, is we’re
dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we’re not
supposed to dance at all anymore.
Climbing and training for it have been my “mainstay” for quite some
time. Naturally, when I have to stay away from it, it’ll start
affecting me in one way or another. Especially these last couple of
years have been relatively tough in this sense since, naturally, due
to COVID: I’ve had to stay away from training, mainly due to external
restrictions, closed gyms, and so on. Unfortunately, alongside this,
I’ve had to live with a couple of injuries simultaneously.
First, I had a nasty fall while bouldering outside in 2019. While the
fall itself was similar to many other falls that I had already had
during that day, this time, I just fell a little bit awkwardly on my
pads and dislocated my ankle and had two minor fractures to it at the
same time. Thankfully nothing too major that a cast, rest and some
rehab couldn’t fix it. But the timing of this was really unfortunate
since it was very close to all this COVID non-sense, which meant that
gyms in Finland started to close down, which then affected my recovery
a little bit since I couldn’t get back to my regular
training. Thankfully I was able to recover from my ankle issues quite
nicely, albeit mobility is still a little bit worse than in my other
ankle, but it is usable, at least.
During 2020 and 2021, COVID in Finland was going in waves, so we had a
couple of months with no cases around, and then a couple of months
later, there were hundreds of cases around. So during these “good
months”, gyms were open, so I could at least train a little bit. But
since COVID was still very present, and the training was quite
haphazard for me. Meaning during the “busy hours”, I often didn’t want
to go to the gym since there were so many people around. So there
wasn’t really any regularity to my training which was a shame until
around the second half of 2021.
Then, of course, I had to stumble upon a new injury around the end of
2021. This time a pulley injury on my right ring finger’s A3. So
again, I had to take a couple of weeks off. Again the timing was quite
unfortunate since, during the same time, COVID cases were rising in
Finland and gyms had to close down again. Which again hindered my
During the first half of 2022, I also moved to Berlin, so I needed to
find a new gym which basically meant finding a new
“community”. Thankfully, I could get back into the groove of training
in the months I’ve been living here. Unfortunately, again, after a
couple weeks of training, I had a minor injury. This time a minor
tear/sprain on my right knee’s LCL. Thankfully this time, it should be
slightly more minor than my last two injuries so it should be healed
in a couple of weeks, RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) and some
Speaking only on my behalf (albeit I do believe that many other
“athletes” feel the same), being on the disabled list definitely puts
a toll on me. Mainly because while I’m injured, I can’t experience
life the way I want. Why is it so? Of course, there are natural
factors like pain and damage that will, of course, affect anyone
experiencing those one way or another. Also, everything relating to
those, like medical appointments.
But I would say climbing (alongside many other things like music) is
part of my identity. So when I’m injured, I always feel that I’m
losing some aspect of my whole identity. This kind of behaviour can
often lead to a situation where the “athlete” tries to train through
the injury, and often, making things only worse. Tied to this, being
unable to do something that plays a significant part in your life can
easily lead to hopelessness and loss of purpose.
Most importantly, I feel that connection plays the most prominent
aspect in this. When “an athlete” is injured, they can often feel the
loss of connection, especially if the community around your
sport/activity is very tightly knit (like it tends to be in climbing,
for example). So the fact that you need to sit out training sessions
that you usually do with your “community” can significantly affect
This one was especially crucial for me in these early months of 2022
since I had just moved to a new country, new town, without too much of
connections (outside work at least). I already felt that I had become
a part of the local climbing community, and after my injury, I already
thought I couldn’t be a part of it. Thankfully in my case, the injury
rehab and recovery time was relatively short, so I didn’t need to
worry too much, but things could be worse.
But can you get away from this mindset? I think, first and foremost
you need to respect your body and try to understand that even though
you might not be able to take part in the activity that forms part of
your identity, it doesn’t take anything away from it. Instead, try to
focus your energy on healing and rehabbing so that eventually, when
you’re healed, you can return even stronger. Also, when it comes to
communal aspects of this, personally, I believe that isolating away
from others is a big mistake. Instead you should try to champion
others and give back to it as much as possible.
So I decided to join the ranks of a bunch of “cool people” and create
my “now page”. While my direct home page (root of this site)
works as what most people could call “about” page, I feel that the
“now page” reflects a little bit better on what I’m doing at this very
moment. A similar effect could be achieved with random ramblings on
some social media platforms, but personally I just want to stay away
from those as much as possible.
That being said, most of the posts that I stumbled upon in those
platforms - when I was still on those - were often related to
relatively small events with a couple of big news here and there. “Now
page” reflects the “big picture” a little bit better, which is why it
works nicely for sharing with people I haven’t met in a long time.
With this kind of page, I believe it’ll also work to remind me of my
current priorities. So if I stumble upon something new and exciting, I
can reflect these on my “now page” to see if it fits there or not.
So I found myself in Berlin after living many good years in Helsinki.
Moving here has been a plan of mine for quite some time, and
initially, it was a big reason why I joined my current employer. I had
a plan on moving here a lot earlier, but due to all this COVID
nonsense around the world, these plans were a little bit
postponed. But hey, here we are finally in lovely Kreuzberg.
Time will tell how long I will enjoy my stay here, but I sold my
earthly belongings before moving here, so the move was pretty
painless. Also, if I don’t gather too much more material things around
my life, moving somewhere else would probably be as easy!
Also, this post marks the start of my (hopefully) more frequent
posting in a form of these smaller rambles. This is mainly due to the
reason I try to stay “off-the-grid” from all these social platforms,
and my friends and the family wanted to hear more updates from my
side, so I might as well do it here!