melissa i strong

rock climber, writer, photographer, working on life daily

Spring in the Rockies can bring in some bad weather and we got our fair share this year—including two feet of snow on mother’s day, May 11th!  On several occasions this bad weather has untimely rolled in on my days off which means a lot of cooking, training and plastic climbing which thankfully I can do all at home!


Inspired by some of my greatest friends I decided to do a triathlon in August.  Training for climbing and the new tri goal has been keeping me busy! I am starting with a sprint—hoping to keep the suffering low and the fun levels high!  So far the training has been great.  I started in mid April.  I’ve got the ½ mile swim, the 5k and the 12-mile bike ride down in the few past months.  Now I am putting the all-together back to back!  The progress has been great to experience.  I run pretty consistently throughout the year, so the run is something I do but would like it to feel undemanding and improve on my time.  Most of my progress has been evident in the swim.  I was raised on the ocean in Massachusetts so swimming is something I know how to do but haven’t done in for years—especially a ½ mile without stopping!   The first few weeks I had to rest during the swim but now I’ve consistently been able to swim the ½ mile without stopping.  Over the past few months I am focusing on getting stronger and more confident at all three making them feel very familiar with a fluid transition in between, however, my left Achilles does not feel fluid after today’s bike and run...


While training for the triathalon—I am also climbing and trying out a climbing training agenda from Steve Maisch,  Steve has been a long time friend of Adam’s and myself.  I contacted him curious about his in depth training philosophies and wound up with a program.  I am hoping that combining Steve’s strength program and David’s conditioning that I did last spring/summer will help me push to the next level consistently… My thirty-seven page training strategy from Steve takes me from March to November with several different peak climbing times in between.  I have just finished the first six weeks phase of Steve’s program and I am looking forward to getting out to the boulders this week!  The inclement weather left us with unprecedented amounts of snow in the park this year resulting in a late start to the alpine season.  I am so looking forward the RMNP season--especially that the road construction is over--it is such a freeing feeling to drive up Bear Lake Road unimpeded!


In between training, attempting to climb outside and working—I cook!


I love cooking!  Fortunately, I was raised with home cooked dinners every night--I am sure, back then, I did not appreciate my Mother’s efforts nearly enough.  On Sundays the smell of garlic wafted through the house as the tomato sauce bubbled and the meatballs and cutlets fried.   Holidays included several courses of copious amounts of food involving at least three days of prep and cooking.


Cooking is a hobby, it’s a joy, it’s a challenge, it’s a time consumer on a snowy or rainy day, it’s rewarding preparing and enjoying healthy home cooked meals and it is one of the many things I like doing.  Admittedly once the weather gets warmer I have less time to dedicate to cooking spending most of my time playing and working.  Even when the businesses of summer takes over I always take time throughout the week to buy (or pick out of our greenhouse) fresh ingredients and prep or cook the day before a long day of climbing so we can some home to healthy home cooked meals.






Our training facility--our garage!

Early attempt at Emerald

Mother's day snow storm

trying to make it happen on a freezing day

My attempt on the Thief

In between crushing

Sam Davis on Doughnut Thief

Sam Davis on Child of God

Home!!!  I love where I live!