Immortality of Action

I recently learned of the death of someone I would consider one of my first – and few – coaches. Turned out he’d passed almost two years ago, and of something I never would have imagined. He was best known as an adventurous climber, so I’d never have guessed he’d meet his end anywhere but on the lime and granite.

Reflecting on his being gone made me realize that while I couldn’t remember a single thing he’d ever said, I did have a very clear image of him as someone I would call a true coach. If his love for the mountains and the outdoors in general was matched by anything, it was by his passion for encouraging and teaching others. He was my mom and my first wall climbing instructor. A summer camp at which he was a master was the first place I got a taste of leadership.

In his own circle, he was also known more for his work than his words. His FA (first ascent) “Buffalo Soldier” (originally “The Wave of the Future”) remains one of his claims to fame, as do his energetic pursuits of other routes.

No one really thinks about what “Actions speak louder than words” means until moments like these. I hadn’t seen him in years, so his loss wasn’t as terrible to me as it might have been. Still, it was a shock. More than that, though, it was a lesson: Who we are will live on through what we do.


RIP Master Gax Ylanan (d. 2016)



5min Ride @ progressive pace

10x KB Swing @ 24/28/32kg


21/18/15/12/9/6/3x KB Swing @ 55#

20m Sled Push @ 96kg per rung

5min Stretching cooldown



  • This was much harder than I expected. Which makes me feel stupid, because after months of mediocre-at-best training, I’m hardly on form with my fitness. 
  • Short, usually tough workouts are all I’ve been able to get in lately. It’s a mix of lack of time and laziness with what little I do have. I hope to remedy that soon. 

One response to “Immortality of Action”

  1. Florian S. Nuval-Nequinto says :

    I borrowed your post re Gax. Am still in shock. But happy that he always did what he enjoyed; can you imagine him being forced to work in an office?!

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