Sending Big Mike some good vibes


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Baby Doll

Trad climber
Apr 15, 2013 - 09:59pm PT
Haha... "hideous"... not so much; but some of the idiots in the crowd sure were. I'm unfortunately an anxious person by nature so you can imagine how "brave" i had to be to go with Mike in his current condition. We did really well though considering. Mike and I ended up standing beside this big tower they have set up for the outdoor show and some girl was smoking up there and her ashes were falling down onto Mike decided to take one of his canes and reach up...Waaaaay up and managed to hit her bag with the cane to get her attention. She was a little startled hahah.

I myself had to scream at a guy for being an ignorant you-know-what who acted like Mike was some sort of inconvenience or was faking or shouldn't have been there or something...he gave Mike this terrible look so I screamed at him (it was pretty loud though so not sure if he heard exactly what i yelled). Haha...don't mess with this girl!

Was sweet though...glad that Mike was able to get out to enjoy it!

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2013 - 06:48pm PT
Crips at Kits beach
Crips at Kits beach
Credit: Relic
Big Mike

Trad climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 03:51pm PT
Ok, so i know it's been awhile. Last week was really good. It started out with my buddy Cam giving me a ride to the city.

Two gimps on the road.

On the way to Squish, the chief was so well lit up we had to stop at the Tantalus Lookout.

I wished i had a real camera with a telephoto lense..

Then we stopped for dinner at the Wiegan Pier a local fish and chips shoppe.

I took this sunset pic on the way out of town

Cam hadn't been to GFS yet so when we got there I showed him a around a bit and we played some gimp ball.

On Monday when i got back from my room, I had received a package from Guido with a very cool Hex shirt in it and a nice letter. It's always really nice to get something in the mail, especially a very cool shirt i can wear! Thanks Guido!

Not long after that Rolfr came and picked me up for lunch. It was good to meet him finally. We had lots to talk about between climbing and contracting, so it was an excellent meeting.

We went to Biercraft on Cambie street.

A quaint little pub, with excellent food. It was just the right venue to stimulate and excellent conversation. We talked about his recent trip to J-tree which he quite enjoyed and old times at Squamish.

Before i knew it we were done and it was back to the grindstone. I got Rolf to strike a pose for this shot just outside the pub.

Rolf got me back just in the nick of time for swimming, he must be a business man or something! ;) Thanks Rolf!!

That night, Anders stopped by for a bit and we had an excellent chat also. He stayed well past visiting hours, and we broached many subjects.

Anders has become an excellent friend since i've been incarcerated, and i hope i will be able to repay him for all the kindness he's shown to me. His visits always brighten my day.

Me with my new shirt on showing off my card wall.

Anders Ourum Photo

Tuesday was another great day. After seeing Relics pics from Squamish on monday i got a bit jealous and told him we should hang out tomorrow. He was happy to oblige and after my "work day" (aka rehab) was complete, he picked me up and took me out to a tasty burger at Modern Burger on broadway.

Modern Burger

It had cool old school decor and amazing service. The food was really good too.

Chocolate shake.

Burger and fries

Vintage toy collection at the till.

Then we still had some time before i had to get back for swimming, so relic suggested we go to Kits beach. I said, "HELL YES!!".

Beautiful Kits Beach

Relic on said beach

On Wednesday Harry stopped by for lunch and brought me an amazing falafel. If you think i'm over enthusiastic about the food i get treated to, you should try eating off my tray every day... ;)

We had a engaging conversation about his wife's recovery from her cancer battle and i'm happy to report she's doing quite well and things are looking up.

Then we got onto the topic of climbing and, time flies when your having fun. I bid him adieu so he. Could go see he lovely wife and realized i was supposed to be in the pool 10 minutes ago! Oops!

After swimming I had my team meeting, which went quite well and we were all quite happy with my progress.

Sandra came down for it, so we got to hang out after and she brought me a nice home cooked meal which was much nicer than tray food. We also got to eat with some of my rehab friends and quite enjoyed their company.

We got to hang out late, and she blew off everything she had planned to do on the way home. That kinda sucked, but quality time is way more important than life bs, and i think she's finally learning that.

Thursday was interesting. After an engaging workout, i was playing ball in the gym and i happened to poke my nose outside to check out the power chair demo which was happening in the courtyard, and was shocked to find a table stocked with some of the most amazing sandwiches and salads i had seen since i had landed on my ass almost 8 weeks ago.

Having absolutely no shame, and starving for decent fare, i feasted as much as i could and then went to let the other patients know what was going down. Unfortunately i couldn't find anyone!

I found them all later at the lunch table and regaled them with tales of treasures long since passed... :) I was happy to be stuffed and passed on my tray, but didn't really feel guilty since i had made an effort to get a hold of them while the getting was good.

After lunch we had an interesting education session on complications after spinal cord surgery, but i found it difficult to sit through, literally since it hurts pretty good after spending more than 45 minutes in a chair. I spent most of the session shifting back and forth between the chair and leaning against the wall, and had to go lay down for twenty minutes before my next appointment.

Dinner was intellectually stimulating when one of the patients who had been at GFS fifteen years earlier and ended up there again brought up the subject of mental treatment. We had quite an emotionally charged conversation which left one of the girls in tears.

I'm so glad i have a strong support network.

Friday was pretty routine, I played ball for a bit after physio and then i got challenged to my first one on one since my injury. Neither of us could run, so it was pretty fair, but my height won the day. My ot appt was cancelled since Nigel is on vacation right now and my temp was pretty busy.

On the way back to my room, i ran into one of my friends who is really having a rough go of it. He's a quad who's walking, but he's plateau'd and he's in a lot of pain. I keep trying to tell him that he can't give up, but he's really depressed. We ended up talking till lunch.

Sandra had arranged for our friend Amanda to pick me up, and we had a lovely chat on the way home. Thanks Amanda!!


Apr 21, 2013 - 04:31pm PT
Good to hear from you, Mike. Keep talking to us. Keep talking to those other people, too. Some need it more and sometimes it's all you can do.

Also keep listening, preventing starvation, and the rehab, etc. etc.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
Thanks Andy. I just realized, i never really updated my condition! I'm walking a lot better now. I'm using my crutches like walking sticks for short distances and i'm feeling really good. I've been playing a lot of ball, and my goal for the week is the up the walking quotient. I want to hike the chief again soon so i need to get my endurance up.


Social climber
Apr 21, 2013 - 09:15pm PT
hey there say, big mike... was hoping to hear an update...

wow, you are doing so well!...

happy to see all this,
take care and keep doing good!
hey there to sandra, too...



say, i got a little surprise for anders, so, when
you see him, ask him please to email me address...
or--if wayno, etc, or someone is going up to see you,
i could mail it to them?? and they could take it?

whatever works best, :))
let me know, folks, :)

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:31am PT
I'm shootin' for next Monday/Tuesday for a visit.

Hey Relic or someone, can I get a couch or a floor for next
Monday night? I will bring wine.

Neebee, if you need to send something here for Anders,I can get it to him.

Mike, it looks like you will be picking that high-hanging fruit again in no time.

Peace Out and Live Upfull!
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Apr 22, 2013 - 02:11am PT
So psyched to hear how well you are doing Mike! Keep at it! I know that you will be back to 100% sooner than later!!

Social climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 10:54pm PT
hey there say, wayno, great! i will try to send it by thurs, or even wed, ... hope it will make it in time... :)

wow, thanks!

Social climber
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:27pm PT
Great tr Mike. Now get ready to edit your OTHER tr !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
this just in

north fork
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:59pm PT
Good to read your progress report and that you are getting out and enjoying life. My brother was on crutches for a Slayer concert, pretty interesting. Crowds tend not to notice the crips. Even if they are eight feet tall.
Captain...or Skully

Apr 23, 2013 - 12:12am PT
Big Mike is 8 feet Tall!?!???
I knew he was big, but Ho Man!
Hehehe. Vibes, Big Mike. BIG Vibes. I'm stoked. I got an egret from the wondrous NeeBee today. It's WAY more beautiful in the Real.
Mike needs Tunes....hmmm. Here's one.(Sorry, I don't NAS).

That's about as hippy hoppy as I get.

Social climber
Apr 23, 2013 - 04:15pm PT
hey there say, capt, or skully...
yeaaaaaaaaaaaa, EGRET has landed and nested!


thanks for sharing, for just a tiny bit more only, it was worth the priority--was near the same as regular mail...
so i knew it would not take too long... :)

Big Mike

Trad climber
Apr 29, 2013 - 04:07am PT
Sorry i haven't had a chance to get back to this lately. I will update you guys asap!

Suffice to say life has been very busy lately.

Here's one from the good ol' days, me at the top of Mushroom

Luke Cormier Photo

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Apr 29, 2013 - 10:22am PT
Chocolate shake! Bacon burger!
Nice to be out of the hospital, heh?

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Apr 29, 2013 - 12:02pm PT
niiiiiice progress report! Looking very very gooooood.

Now take care of that Birthday Girl!

Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 10, 2013 - 11:35am PT
Hey Mike ! ! !

Perfect weather outside for your last day at G F Strong. This is a milestone from when you were initially at VGH. I'm happy for you that your recovery continues with good progress and you now get to be home.
Big Mike

Trad climber
May 10, 2013 - 11:45am PT
Heck ya it is Jim! I've been so busy lately!! Hopefully things will start to settle down a bit soon and my transition goes well. Sandra has way too much on her plate and i need to start carrying my portion of the load.

Hopefully i should be able to finish up some of my extra tasks soon, and file a progress report here.

It was great to see you the other night btw!!

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
May 10, 2013 - 02:09pm PT
Hey Mike, I didn't get a chance to say bye to your buddy Kale. His story was very moving. Please give him my regards and tell him to look me up if he ever gets down this way.

I know you are glad to leave GFS, but I also realize how bitter-sweet the experience has been and will be. GFS is impressive in their conduct as I personally witnessed. Truly a blessing. Now get back to work.

Big Mike

Trad climber
May 11, 2013 - 10:41pm PT
Wayno, i will send him a text right now. Thanks again for your visit. It was really cool to hang out with you for a couple days.

I hope the world is ready for a 6'7 incomplete para!!

Bye Bye Gf Strong!

Thanks for everything!!!

Thanks to everyone here for all your support as well!! It's been amazing and refreshing. Supertopo truely is an amazing community!
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