Thursday, December 22, 2011

Black Girls Rock...Climb!

Its been a hectic and heart breaking two weeks BUT in an effort to take a break from all that's been going on I said let me check in and give my review of my rock climbing adventure! I been slacking on blogging and journaling and when things are going on that's when you actually need to take time to work through things and journaling is a good way for me to do that! So here goes! 

As you may recall at the end of last year I had a few things on my fitness To Do List! They were Birkam/Hot yoga, Krav Maga, rock climbing, white water rafting, and becoming a certified fitness instructor! I did finally get to Hot Yoga and Krav Maga. Both of which I enjoyed greatly! The Fall got very busy with my full time job and the many job offers I received to be an adjunct professor so my schedule was very hectic and I stopped both...for now.

The other three left were white water rafting(which I won a free trip to in Deep Creek at a Fundraising event! Stay tuned Spring 2012!), rock climbing, and becoming a certified fitness instructor! Well lo' & behold someone remembered me saying that I wanted to try rock climbing and there was a groupon for the intro class at Earth Treks  which is an indoor rock climbing center! Sweet! I jumped on it and I found two other people to go with me and boy was that an adventure!

Firstly, I will say rock climbing is more mental than it is physical. I was really concerned that I would not be able to do the climb because I do not have a lot of upper body strength. I can leg press close to 400 lbs but in terms of my upper body I am still working with 30 pounds weights on the machines and 15-20 pound hand weights when I workout with my personal trainer Charles! But thankfully one of the first things our instructor said was "Anyone can rock climb as long as you can walk up stairs!" He explained the movement actually comes from the legs not the arms. So that was a relief. Kinda....


The tricky thing is the walls are TALL... See exhibit A above! The walls were as TALL as they look in this picture! LOL I do not have a fear of heights BUT even I took a pause for the cause when it came to looking up at a 44 foot wall that I was expected to climb with only some rope holding me up!  But I did it!

The hardest part for me was rock climbing requires too much concentration to just get ready to climb the wall. You have to learn how to tie several knots and of course you would want to get that right in order to...not fall to your death! You also have to learn terms in order to do this safely! For example:

Belay off -Called by belayer to confirm belay has been removed from climbing rope. Response to Belay off request.

Belay on -Called by belayer to confirm belay has been (re)applied to climbing rope. Response to Belay on request.

Yeah uh huh?!

But the knots. The worst part for me. The first knot is called the Figure Eight Knot  and it was hard to learn! It really requires patience and paying close attention! But seeing as how I am Chatty Cathy I spent a good bit of time begging my friends to remind me how to do the knots over and over LOL

But I made it!

I made it!

I will certainly say it was hard and I didn't look down not even once! This activity requires a lot of trust because your partner is on the ground basically as your safety net. They help you get up by keeping the rope tight and help you get down by making sure you fall down at a safe pace.

The rocks on the wall are not evenly distributed and they are not the same size so that also creates some anxiety as you try to move upward. Now of course for an outdoor rock climber that is what you need and want to prepare you to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because that's how it would be in the real world so to speak.

All in all rock climbing is not for me. I don't do death defying things. I don't have that inner thirst for that kind of rush. I like the ground. I like my bones in good condition and honestly I may just be too ADD to appreciate it. I do however have profound respect for rock climbers. That isn't easy but I guess like any other challenge if it was easy everybody would do it! ;-)

Other random observations:

(1) My friends and I were the only Black people in the that was three outta 30-40 people who were in and out including employees. Well..that's a lie... until a Black man came in with his son who was clearly biracial. Hummm can I make that assumption? Humm in Columbia, Maryland?! Why yes I certainly can (lol) he looked shocked to see three black women there so I guess it was a good day to break stereotypes all around!

(2) Kids are fearless! There were babies there! Okay maybe not babies but they were little and short (maybe 5 years old?) and those suckers were tying knots and scaling walls like Spider man! I was in awe! I guess there is something to be said for starting something this crazy so young...before your good sense kicks in and says you have too much to lose to climb up the equivalent of a 3 story building lol

(3) Its not "fun" in that sense of the word. Well at least not the way I define fun.  Its challenging. I think Body Combat, Spinning, Socarobics, and other aerobic activity is actually fun so I enjoy it. Rock climbing...not so much... My hands got sore, my mind had to focus way too much for my taste on a Saturday morning, and the equipment is smelly. Yeah I said it! LOL On the flip side I can see how an adrenaline junkie would love the challenge and the idea of risking their life for the rush of ascending a wall or mountain if only for the bragging rights alone. I get that. *slow wink* Rock climbing isn't for everybody but I think its a great way to try something new and check it off your bucket list if you really feel like you've done it all. It is cool to do something other people can't or won't even attempt. The "Ohhs and ahhhs" and "WOW you did that?!" can be addictive. And this is not to say I would never go again but I didn't leave there with a monthly membership either. LOL

Ultimately I think most people learn that you are your own best competition. A lot of people have told me I am competitive and I laugh because I am but its so not about anyone else its about how to I top Cylia from last year, week, or hell last night! That heffa be on it! So surpassing old Cylia is my goal in every area of my life. That's what makes my heart pump! So new Cylia may see the benefit of doing it again maybe to go on a higher or more challenging route but I doubt it! *Kayne shrug*

I am a Gym Jones fan and the creator/innovator Mark Twight is a mountain climber and I see his insanity in a whole new light now.

Well a quick tale from the scale I will not make my goal of 19 L.Bs by New Years Eve! This 2011 was "My Best Life Ever!" and I been playing with this 10-15 pound free space and 2012 I need to be back to goal. As of my last weigh in at Weight Watchers two weeks ago that is 26.6 pounds and I want to reach my Weight Watchers goal weight which is 8 pounds less which is 34.6 pounds total. 

I saw someone else set a goal that was equivalent to their upcoming birthday which was their deadline, so I said I would adopt that too so the new goal is "37 by 37!" Which will be in June! I have already begun to plan a birthday celebration in Puerto Ricoooo --Hoooo!! :-)

I am excited about 2012 even though 2011 is ending on a depressing note due to two untimely deaths of sorority sisters of mine. Both were very unexpected and sudden. I don't know if there is a perfect way for any of us to go and like the Pastor said on Saturday at the funeral "Life is ALWAYS too short!"

I Soror was 62 and the other 32 and I agree both are gone way too soon. It just reinforces for me the importance of being grateful and taking time to celebrate life and that is my theme for 2012 "Celebrate Life"  I will joyfully retire 2011 "My Best Life Ever" and 2011 was just that. I set an intention to do a lot of things and experience some new adventures and expand my mind, body, and soul and I can say without a doubt I did that and I feel great about it. So 2012 I will celebrate that new life I have created and continue to enhance!

My goal will be to check in before New Year but in case I don't have blessed holiday season!!

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