Amy After

Tips, motivation & advice for a gluten-free lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘rock climbing’

Is Indoor Rock Climbing Fatal?

I am stressing out about the climbing deadline that’s looming. Climbing outdoors, 5,000 miles away from home… I took off to the rock wall gym and having learned the hard way, warmed up and stretched first before getting on the wall. I was top roping on a 5.6 level which is the easiest level. That was fun! I’d just grab and step on all the holds and trek on up to the top. Fun! Unfortunately, I have to climb more than several grades harder to even think about going outdoors to climb.

I know that I’m doing it all wrong, I can feel it (and others telling me so is also a clue) and it’s making me panic! I MUST become a competent rock climber. I want it so badly!!! I decided that it’s time to get professional help. A couple of weeks ago while at the climbing gym I witnessed a women who obviously knew her stuff (she also had COACH emblazoned on her shirt) teaching a couple of teenaged girls how to boulder. I liked her manner and stayed until she was done teaching her lesson to ask her if she could possilbly help me. When I told her that I was an absolute beginner and that I wanted to be climbing outdoors in just a few months I braced myself for reaction of shock and disbelief. To her credit she just smiled and said it was indeed, possible. I can’t tell you the wave of relief and excitement that went through me. I trusted her and she had full confidence that I could actually become a real live rock climber.

I nervously met with my new coach, Emily, last week. She asked me some questions; did I have siblings, what was my favorite meal, was I better at math or English in school… She uses all this in fine tuning her teaching approach with each of her students. Brilliant! First she had me climb an easy wall just to see what good/bad techniques I was already using and then she steered me to an advanced wall with an overhang. I just stood there and stared incredulously. Really? I gracefully freaked out at that point. At her urging I approached the wall and did something to start elevating myself. I think I kind of blacked out at this point because the next thing I remember I was at the beginning of the overhang and the nice gentleman climbing next to me was telling me to breathe. Details, details…

After insisting that Emily lower me down I asked her what the point was of the public humiliation? She said that she wanted to see how I handled a challenging situation. Nailed it! So then we went to the beginners section which is usually swarming with kids but as it was late for a weeknight we had the place to ourselves. She broke the lessons down into the same curriculum she delivers to her five year old students which is exactly what I needed! She gave me drills to do on the kiddie walls over and over and over as my homework so I can build on efficient, solid techniques. Emily is wonderful. I’m squeezing in three climbing practice sessions this week before I see her next so I will hopefully make her proud.

Climb on!

From Flabby to Fit in Four Months by Rock Climbing

Okay, I have a new challenge before me. An experiment, really. What do you think? Can I go from being a relatively out of shape, soft, doughy wimp to being an athletic, toned, lean, mean rock climbing machine? In four months?  I say that I can. Let’s put this hypothesis to the test, shall we?

About two months ago an avid rock climber friend suggested that I too try rock climbing. I had, before that conversation, never EVER even considered trying to haul myself up a rock wall. It seems that these days I’m liable to try just about anything so I agreed and drove to the nearest indoor rock climbing gym and gave it a shot. I had to take a belaying (tying the ropes correctly and not letting your climbing partner free fall off of the wall) lesson first before they’d let me climb. When it was my turn to start the climb, I was a nervous wreck! I was stunned to find that not only could I make it to the top (terrible form & technique not withstanding) but I actually liked it! The wave of accomplishment I felt when I reached the top was intense and I was  immediately hooked .

Given the previously mentioned terrible form and technique, I dislocated my wrist during my second visit to the rock wall. After a trip to my chiropractor to set it I was back to my new obsession. I was too excited to waste my time warming up and stretching and went up the wall immediately upon arrival. Then came the second dislocated wrist. Sigh…  I’ve since read that you can learn a lot about yourself while doing this sport so I guess my first lesson was patience.  This time my wrist didn’t want to stay back in it’s proper place so I had several more visits to the chiropractor and a lot of at home therapy. My illustrious two months of climbing has boiled down to about five whole climbing sessions.

The Challenge: my rock climber friend invited me on an outdoor climb which takes place exactly four months from now. It’s in an amazing country I’ve never even been near and the trip sounds just too terrific to pass up. So, I have until June to lose at least 10% body fat and around 20lbs, build lean muscle mass and become a bona fide rock climber.

Deep breaths, deep breaths….