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Name: Lydia Grant

Birthday: January 17, 1971

Occupation: Student

Home: Berkeley, CA

The Challenge:

29 unique, pre-determined boulder problems at Indian Rock
29 "sends" of "The Wimp Detector"
29 pull-ups 290 sit-ups
2.9 miles in under 29 minutes
2900 ml beer/wine combo
1 KING PIN APPLE FRITTER (a nod to tradition)

The Challenge That Almost Wasn't
by Jaime Grant

It seemed that bad weather and a serious tendon injury would force Lydia to cancel her birthday challenge. At the last minute the weather broke and, probably due to dementia from the flu she was fighting, Lydia dug deep and recovered her inspiration to complete her challenge. So on the morning of January 17, twenty nine years after the day of her birth, we set forth.

Weather in Berkeley was fantastic with clear, blue skies and crisp temperatures in the shade. The morning session went faster and easier than expected leading Lydia to elect to increase the level of difficulty of several of the remaining problems. Though most of the problems were moderate, this was still a bold move as she knew only 7 or 8 problems at the start of the day. The rest would be a vues. As it turns out, this move placed the challenge in just enough jeopardy as Lydia ended up doing battle with several of the tougher added problems, taking 6 and 7 burns to complete several of them.

The 23rd problem, The Block, turned out to be very taxing and Lydia suffered through her remaining problems, aggravating her injury and incurring a new shoulder/triceps injury on problem 26. Despite fears that her new injury placed her pull-up goal at risk, Lydia was stoked to complete her bouldering challenge with virtually nothing left in the tank.

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It was mid afternoon by the time we arrived at "The Wimp Detector", a 4 inch wide ledge on the side of a building on the UC Berkeley campus. The "problem" is to stand on the ledge facing the wall and, without falling off in the process, turn around and face out from the building. Sounds trivial, but the ledge is just small enough to require incredible focus, balance, and body tension to turn around on it. Heck, I can't even do it once! Luckily, Lydia completed her 29 "sends" in 35 attempts. Ahh, plenty of time left for the remaining challenges.

The run turned out to be too light of a challenge as Lydia dispatched it without breaking much of a sweat. Sit-ups? Well, that's just the usual kind of suffering. Success there was never in doubt. The pull-ups, on the other hand, posed a big challenge. Lydia had never before done more than 8 in a day, and never in a row. To top it off, she had shooting pain coursing through her shoulder. Funny thing though, she discovered that doing pull-ups on the hang-board was much easier than expected on her shoulder and much less strenuous than using a pull-up bar. 29 done.

Now the challenge is just getting into Lydia's wheelhouse, booze and pastry? Trivial! Little would one have suspected, the eating/drinking challenges were the crux. Let's just say that at 11:59 the last drop of alcohol was consumed. By 12:01, Lydia was passed out on the sofa. Success!? Well, as is so often the case, fully one quarter of her KING PIN apple fritter remained uneaten, glistening defiantly on the kitchen table. Oh well, we know what she needs to train for next year.