Monday, March 2, 2015

Kickstarter Day 14 (15 to go): a local mountain and an influence that may surprise you

The Kickstarter for The Labyrinth of Flame is just about at the halfway point of its run, with a tad over two weeks to go.  I've been sharing lots of pics of mountains and canyons far from home, but today I thought I'd share one taken on the summit of a beloved local mountain: 8,459 ft Bear Peak, which I've hiked so many times I lost count years ago.

On the summit of Bear Peak, looking down at Boulder.  Yes, I can see my house from here.   That's one of my coworkers coming up the ridge; we were doing an early-season conditioning hike.
I talk all the time about how my experiences climbing and backpacking shaped the Shattered Sigil books.  I haven't talked as much about how my experience as a figure skater affected the story and Dev's character in particular, but it did.  I've got a guest post over at Rising Shadow today that explains exactly how.

My book rec today is a companion to my Rising Shadow guest post.  Little Girls in Pretty Boxes is a sobering nonfiction read about the darker side of elite gymnastics and figure skating.  Injuries, eating disorders, psychological trauma; it's bad enough when it happens to adult athletes, but the terrible thing about gymnastics and figure skating is that it happens to children.  The book is a bit sensationalized, as such journalistic exposes tend to be, but I've seen the darker side of skating with my own eyes.  I hear little girls of ten talking blithely about stress fractures that cause them constant pain, and I think, My God, you're going to have to live with this pain for the rest of your life!  Much as I love skating, I am not sure I could in good conscience allow a child of mine to compete at the elite levels.  The physical cost is simply too high.  As an adult skater, I can choose how hard I want to be on my body, with full awareness of consequences.  I'm not sure the young girls at the rink fully understand the price they'll pay later for their dedication to the sport.  Kids think they are immortal.  They don't understand how age worsens chronic injuries.  By the time they're old enough to have regrets, the damage is already done.


6 comments:

  1. Is this Bear Peak the same as the Flat Irons? Looks like the same angle of rock. Ah, summitpost says they're near each other.

    And totally agree with what you say of young athletes and the cost of what they do. I feel especially for those who get trapped in the government-run machinery, as in China, where they see their parents once a year.

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    1. Yes, the actual five Flatirons are one mountain over (Green Mountain), but Bear Peak has plenty of fun climbing spots too. Especially along the ridge beside Shadow Canyon. Devil's Thumb (http://www.mountainproject.com/v/devils-thumb/105745247), Tower of the Moon, the Fatiron, the Devil's Wings...

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  2. Bear Peak looks gorgeous!

    I agree that young girls don't understand the costs of that kind of athleticism. I was a ballerina for years, and I was convinced I understood the long-term consequences at the time. It wasn't until in my mid-twenties, after I'd stopped dancing, when I messed up my ankle and my physio told me he saw that injury a lot in "aging dancers" that I fully realized that the damage would be with me for life.

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    1. :( So sorry about your ankle. If you could change the past, would you still dance? The kids at the rink tell me they love skating too much to stop before they must, and I believe that, too (how can I not, when I love it myself?). But I always wonder if they'll feel their joy was not worth the cost as adults.

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    1. I feel lucky every day that I live in Boulder!

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