Sunday, January 30, 2011

Getting Back to Climbing, Week 2

My gym schedule:
Friday.  Just me and the kid (and of course the wonderful girl who hangs out with him while I climb).
Wednesday.  Family gym night.  John, the kid and me; trading the kid, swapping burns.

After last Friday's session I felt great.  Good endorphins.  Abs aching from the gym-style equipment after climbing.  Ate my protein for recovery.
Monday and Tuesday I actually got up on the hang board.  There is no excuse for me not to get on the hang board everyday.  It is hanging in the skylight in our family room... it is right there.  Our coffee table is also right there, so it isn't like I would even have to jump to reach it.  The thing is... I just don't like hang boards.  Maybe it is just that I don't get on it enough and I suck.  Or perhaps they just are not one bit motivating.  Nonetheless, I actually did get on it this week.  The Kid loves it; stands there pointing, laughing, and then wanting to be put up there to hang for the next hour (but that is a whole other post in itself).
Wednesday, family night at the gym, did not happen.  We had snow and ice.  The gym is about 25 minutes away, and it is not worth it to put the Kid in the car when the roads are bad.  Anyway, we did play in the snow Wednesday and Thursday, and getting the Kid suited up in his snow outfit (boots, pants, coat, gloves hoodie, and hat) is almost a workout.
Friday I did make it to the gym.  Going once a week is barely maintenance, but I could still do the problems from last week so I am not beating myself up.  There were several new boulder problems set in the overhanging area of the lead wall; overhanging, big juggy moves... exactly what I do not like, and exactly what I need to work the most.  So I worked on those.

Well, so much for being injury free after my hiatus.  I did something 'new' to one of the tendons in my elbow.  Never had an elbow issue before; have had the usual sprained ankles, biceps tendon insertion pain, pulled tendons in my hands and fingers, nerve impingement in my hip... blah blah blah.  Every climber is always nursing at least one injury.
Anyway the elbow tendon thing is new.  I don't know what I did exactly, but I knew I did something about midway through the session.  And in the middle of the night, I could feel it achy, swelling and painful every time I rolled over.  Oh well not much I can do now.

Protein and Carbs for dinner.  Quinoa bean burgers with bleu cheese and fries.  I burned the shit out of the fries, but the burgers were good.

That is all for now... time to go scavenge some food to eat while the Kid is napping.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How did they do it?

How did the women before me do it?

My Nana raised three children, loved her family, and kept an immaculate beautiful clean home.  She cooked, from scratch, every single night, and had dinner on the table when my Popop got home.  She was one of the happiest people I have ever known.
My Grandmother was also able to accomplish all of her domestic duties in an efficient, artful way.
My great-grandmother, my Baba, was the same as my Nana.  Cooked, cleaned, loved her family, and was happy to do it all.

I struggle to get dinner on the table three nights a week, my house is generally a wreck.

How did they do it?
Now that I am a wife and mom, I wish that I could ask them.
Was it that they had a single focus in their lives?  Did they get married before they found themselves as individuals?  Before they realized their love of rock climbing and art?  Did they sacrifice their wants for their families?

I got married and became a mom at the older end of the spectrum.  I already had a whole life behind me: moved a bunch of times, hobbies explored and discarded, jobs explored and discarded, two bachelors and a masters degree crammed into my brain, and many years of living on my own.  Am I not focussed enough on the art of being a stay at home momma and wife?  Maybe I am scattered?

I do not sit in front of the television all day watching soap operas.  We actually don't even have a tv in our home.  Nor am I in front of the computer all day.
I don't go for the whole salon thing... no "mani/pedi" ever (even if I wanted to it, is pointless as a rock climber), and my hair is cut about once every six months.  Haven't been to the 'mall' in years, so I am not out shopping for stuff.
Why can't I get everything accomplished?  No, really... why can't I get anything accomplished?

Sigh... figuring this out is one of my New Year's Resolutions.
But it will have to wait... someone just woke up from his nap...
'Hello my little son, did you sleep well?'

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Getting Back To Climbing

It was a solid two years in between the last time I climbed on real rock and made it back to pseudo-climbing (aka the plastic of the gym).

Now spring is rapidly approaching here in the Northeast.  I know, I know... most of you are saying "rapidly"?  Yeah, I know it is snowing again today, and there is more snow expected for Tuesday and Wednesday.  But, climbing season is like bikini season.  You think you have all the time in the world to get ready for it... until it is the first beach day and you are terrified to put on that bikini, and you wish you had just sucked it up and gotten in shape.  I don't want to be standing under that Gunks 5.10 roof, stressed, thinking that I am no longer strong enough for this.

Two years since real rock, ah yeah.  I think my last Gunks climbs were Fallen on Account of Strain, Simple Suff, Techno Suff (ah no I didn't get that one clean, and I actually didn't top it out, but it was a good show), Frustration Syndrome,  Honkey Tonk Woman, Hang Ten and White Pillar.  I got pregnant right after the fall climbing season of 2008! Yipeeeee.  This was what we had prayed for, and now we have a fantastic kid.  I know that many women still climb when they are pregnant, but I had serious morning (actually all day) sickness for four months, and then I just didn't want to risk a fall.  An unplanned emergency C-Section wrecked my core.  But that only counts for one year... they next year I just couldn't get myself together enough to get back out on rock.  Parenting... is well.... all consuming sometimes.

This September we started back at the gym, as a family.  John and I traded burns and watching Cy.  I felt so, so good after that first night back at the gym.  Endorphins!  As great as I felt, I was also fully aware of how much my climbing had suffered.  That sucked.  Well, I found a great girl to hang out with Cy at the gym one day a week for two hours while I climbed, and we still had family night once a week.  When the holidays came along, I started to slide... oh shit.
Now I really need to get it together.
Excuses:  I don't smoke motivation, so it needs to be internal.  I can't just run off to the gym three days a week for five hours like I used to, because I have a family.  I focus more on nutrition for my son, and often forget to eat.  I feel like I just don't have the time or energy.... whah.
What do I have going for me?  A lot!
I have lost all of the 'baby weight', yep, I am back to the weight I was the day I got pregnant.  We have a climbing wall in the cottage/studio out back.  We have a hang board in the skylight in our family room.  We already eat organic, and I have a history of eating very healthy.  My husband is super strong and has been climbing for 30 years, so I have a partner in crime.  Most of my climbing injuries have healed.

The plan...
Get my ass into the gym today.  2:00.  Turn the kid over to the sitter, put on my iPod (loud), climb (be in the moment, and not focus on how I would have flashed the problem three years ago) and save talking to my friends until my time is up.  4:00.
Scarf down plenty of protein and carbs for muscle recovery.
Take my vitamins.

The Outcome...
Went to the gym as planned, got in two hours.  Successfully ignored the one douche-bag in the bouldering cave. Sent a decent problem, maybe V2-ish (not that it matters inside on plastic).
Ate a bunch of Spirulina Carob Bites (from Whole Foods), which are a 5:1 Carb to protein ratio (nearly perfect).  Making beans for burrito dinner (we don't eat any food from a can because of the BPA lining, I'll have to remember to give you my bean cooking strategy), which is excellent protein for muscle recovery.

OK, so now I am motivated and focused again.

Stay tuned to hear my progress...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What's Cooking? Quinoa, Carrot and Lentil Stew

What is cooking in my kitchen this week?
Well, it has been a banner week as far as I am concerned; we have not eaten hummus all week.  Here's the deal:  Martha Stewart would run shrieking from our home and lifestyle.  I am a very fun wife, but haven't yet learned to be a productive housewife.  When John and I got married I really did not do the whole 'wife' thing; meaning I didn't cook very often, and was a rotten house keeper.  We both had other priorities: climbing and camping every weekend, training at the rock climbing gym two nights a week, creating in the pottery studio two nights a week... oh and I had two jobs.  John and I did all of this together, and dinner was whatever we could scavenge.  That was a typical week.
Anyway, part of my journey now is trying to learn how to run a household... and still train at the gym and find an outlet for my creative needs. 

Now it is also super important that we have healthy good food for our son. Although hummus is healthy, I just wouldn't feel right about feeding it to him twice a week for dinner.

But, this week was a banner week for cooking!  I made something delicious!

From "Quinoa 365  The Everyday Superfood", by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming

Quinoa, Carrot and Lentil Stew
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
1 cup diced red onion
2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup diced red pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

Combine the quinoa, lentils, stock and water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the carrots, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and salt and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the red pepper and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add the cilantro and adjust the seasoning.  Serve immediately.

I have made this soup several times and it has always turned out great. Cilantro has been out of season in my garden since I started making this soup, so I have never used it.  Today was the first time I found organic red peppers in the market, and this batch was the first that I used the red pepper.  What I am trying to say is that this is a very forgiving recipe! Fast, easy and forgiving!  And great for this chilly winter.

"Quinoa 365" is a great cookbook.  I have made this soup, a moist chocolate cake (wheat free), chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  All were fabulous, and all use Quinoa (of course).


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Six of Me

If there were six of me... would it be enough?
Let's imagine...

1 - This 'me' would be the Wife and Partner.  I would get to give my wonderful husband the attention he deserves.
2 - The Mom.  Technically there could be two of these "me's" - but let's not be greedy.
3 - The House Wife 'me'.  A semi-clean home, dinners prepared (hummus twice a week does not count), and the yard looking good would be killer.  No, I am not talking house beautiful or Martha; but it would be great to find my clothes when I need them, be able to walk through a room without kicking toys, have a few options for healthy dinners, and not look out into my yard and feel overwhelmed.
4 - This 'me' is the Badass Rock Climber.  My core still needs work (a baby and emergency c-section will wreck your core, in case you didn't know that), actually everything needs work who am I kidding.  I could hit the climbing gym when I want, go out for sessions on our wall, and skip out to the beach boulders... whenever the mood strikes.  Start sending V4 and 5.12.... sigh.
5 - Artist 'me'.  With all of the projects rolling around in my head... there could be two or three of these 'me's'... but again, we won't be greedy.
6 - The 'me' that would actually take care of me.

Yeah, I think six would be enough, at least to start.