Sunday, July 31, 2011

Finding Balance: Weeks 26, 27 & 28: Out Of Balance

For the past three weeks I have been at the rock climbing gym twice a week.  I made progress on my projects some days, and had terrible sessions other days.  I think am out of balance. While working a problem last week, this guy gave me some beta (for non-climbers: a tip on how to do the climb, or boulder problem) on my project.  He noticed that my climbing style was all 'legs and hips'; meaning that all of my power comes from there (versus my arms and shoulders, like most guys climb).

In the past, I have always thought that my style of climbing helped me... but now I think that I am relying on it too much, and inhibiting my progression.  I wrote a post a while back about 'accentuating the positive', and I still agree that focusing on your strengths is great, but I think that I have been doing a bit too much of that lately. Ignoring your weaknesses completely isn't the best option.

My lack of upper body strength is holding me back.  Period.  There is a hang board in the middle of our family room (the dreaded hang board) and I rarely use it.  I used to go upstairs to work out after my climbing sessions at the gym... but, no, I haven't been doing that either.  This week, I was having a terrible, Jupiter Gravity day at the rock climbing gym; so I went upstairs and spent the better part of an hour working my arms, shoulders and back.

There are things in life that we have to face, and we don't want to... my climbing story is just a small example. We all (I hope I am not the only one) have things that we need to deal with; things that we don't want to deal with because they are more challenging to deal with than ignore.  I hope that facing them will actually make life easier in the long run.

This makes me think about my parenting.  I have been wanting The Kid (aka My Wonderful Son) to begin to put his toys away.  This sounds great in theory, right?  Just teach him how to clean up.  The thing is that I am not very good at cleaning up.  If you know me, this won't be a surprise:  Martha Stewart would run screaming from my home.  I am not a very good house keeper and constantly wonder how the women before me did it all?.

How can I expect my son to do something unless I do it?  I can't.  So, I am working on something that I wish I could ignore because it is hard for me... I am trying to become more organized.  Yipes.  It is easy for me to show The Kid how to climb or create 'art' or play in the garden, those are my strengths; but I need to work on my weaknesses to find some balance.

Wish me luck... send good organization vibes my way, and motivation to get on that damn hang board.

PS... while I did not get on the hangboard, John put a roof up on our climbing woody, and I played on it all Saturday afternoon.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting Back to Climbing, Week 23, 24 & 25: A Numbers Game

In the past three weeks I made it into the Island Rock to boulder, but each week it felt as if it was all about the numbers.

When I got to the rock climbing gym on week 23, I found that all of the boulder problems had been assigned grades.  Prior to this, none of them had a rating to indicate the level of difficulty.  I really liked that;  I feel like climbing is purely for the enjoyment of climbing versus chasing grades, when there are no numbers assigned to them.  I don't want to know that this problem I just proudly sent is only V-easy when to me it was V-hard.  (**** Non-climbers:  boulder problems are rated on a scale of V0 to like V15.  Obviously V0 being the easiest; however a V0 boulder problem is still a rough equivalent to a moderately challenging rope climb.)

Week 24 was a numbers game for me personally...  I had a birthday.  I won't tell you which one, but, it sounds 'old' to me.  Anyway, despite what the calendar tells me, I have always felt young; and other than when John and I were trying to conceive, my age rarely crosses my mind.  However, I was perusing one of those (as I love to call them) trash celebrity magazines (that I love to read on airplanes, doctor's offices, or when John is away on business... and pretend that I am so uninterested in them), when an article caught my attention... something like 'celebrity beach bodies at every age' (you know what I mean).  So I get sucked in, and immediately fast forward to my age group to compare myself.

How ridiculous is that?  These women are being paid to look beautiful.  They have cooks, stylists, fitness gurus, and numerous other 'helpers' that I have never even imagined; and I am looking to see how I compare?  Does it really matter how my 'beach body' compares to anyone else?  It made me sad, and frustrated, that I fell into that trap of comparing myself to other women.  And, really, these other women don't truly exist in my world.  They may as well be cartoon characters, made up and drawn (or airbrushed)... I don't know them and never will... so why would I want to compare myself with them.... and why do any of us?

Ahhhh week 25... more numbers.  This time on the thermometer!  It is July in New York.  Even though I am close to the ocean, from time to time we get hot; and this week was one of those times.  Now, you should know that I love Island Rock... but... my biggest complaint is.... No Air-Conditioning.  Nope, none, nada.  Sigh.  The only day that worked for Brittany, The Kid, and myself was the hottest day of the week.  Sigh again.  For the non-climbers:  friction is very helpful when climbing... just imagine sweaty hands and trying to grasp  anything and pull your body up... it sucks.  Most of the climbers I know seem to take off the summers and just surf; well, I don't surf... yet.  Anyway, Thursday, the friction was awful, and I climbed awful too.   And, now that all of the boulder problems were graded... I knew exactly how awful I was climbing.

Those days when I don't do as well as I should, and not just in regards to rock climbing, are a let down.  I start to question myself.  Just like when I see that celebrity in a smashing bikini, who is around my age, and who looks amazing... I feel like I don't measure up.  Suddenly, all of the boulder problems have grades... and maybe I don't measure up if I feel like it is harder than everyone else thinks it is.

It seems like the same thing happens in life (with or without numbers assigned to them)... there are days when every parent I know seems to do a better job than me, everyone climbs harder than I do, everyone else has a neat, clean, organized home, and cooks fabulous dinners, and looks younger with way better clothes.

But guess what?  If I can just ignore the numbers (except for the temperature), and stop comparing myself... then I feel pretty good about myself.
Me, about one year old
My Great-Grandparents
Hard to believe I was ever this young!

PS - My blog posts have been few and far between lately.  It is summer and I am out playing!  I also don't use the computer when My Exuberant Son is awake; in the winter I stay inside (computer time) when The Kid naps... now not so much.