Posts in fitness
Climbing Through Fear

(Note: This article focuses on how to power through being terrified out of your mind when you’re bouldering. If you came here looking for a step-by-step/need to know guide, I have one of those too! Check out 5 Things To Know Before Your First Bouldering Comp :) )

My second climbing comp is under my, waistband of my workout tights, but you get the message. If you had told me a year ago that I would have done anything like this, I would have laughed at you. Competition isn’t in my nature and it tends to make me enjoy things less instead of more. Weirdly though, bouldering competitions have the opposite effect, and it seems that I somehow get exactly what I need out of them.

I was scared to do this one. Battle of the Bay was not at my home gym, and was at a gym that produces some incredible climbers due to their innovative walls. My gym's routes are short, technical, and dynamic. Dogpatch Boulder’s routes are long, technical, and TALL. I don’t lead climb because I can’t be too far from the ground, so bouldering on a taller wall stirred up a lot of anxiety in me.

I wish I could tell you I ignored my fears and had the best climb of my life. I didn’t. There were many times when I let go instead of hanging on, chose not to push myself instead of trying harder and risking a fall. I didn’t rise above every self-doubt and anxious feeling I had, but I did overcome some — and I feel really good about that. I made myself climb some things I would have balked at otherwise. I dropped off the top of the wall even when I was sure I was going to break both of my legs and be rushed to the emergency room. I didn’t and I wasn’t. I let go and everything. was. fine.

I didn’t get to climb everything I wanted to. I ran out of time and wish I could have done more, certainly. But what I was able to accomplish has stuck with me. I still enjoy my shorter walls and technical problems, but I’m not so scared to reach for the top. I still have my fears, but I’m more comfortable facing them.

A year ago I had given up climbing because I was too scared/too depressed/too convinced I’d never get better. But here I am, sad because I can’t get in one last session before the Thanksgiving holiday. Granted, I’m not going to be on an REI catalogue anytime soon, but I’m improving and learning new things with every new day, and that feels amazing. While I wish I could have climbed harder or better or whatever, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far and know next time it’ll be even easier. I think that’s what sports are supposed to be about?

Workout Woes

IMG_1482 Okay, I'm going to be completely honest here...I hate working out. I live a pretty active lifestyle and I love doing things that require me to get moving, but working out is it's own separate beast.

I've never been athletic, nor did I play a lot of sports growing up. I rode horses for the majority of my childhood and I was extremely disciplined when it came to that, but I never had the drive to be an athlete in the traditional sense.

Now that I'm an adult, I've played on a few rec soccer team (which I loved!) and enjoy climbing and yoga classes. Going to the gym and guiding my own workout? Not so much.

On top of that, I absolutely hate cardio. I've had exercise-induced asthma for as long as I can remember, which makes cardio extra miserable. It's not severe, but it hinders me from pushing myself and makes something already not fun even worse.

All that being said, I have found some things I do enjoy, so if you relate to this there is definitely hope for you too! I've been doing yoga for as long as I can remember, and I think I've naturally applied the yoga philosophy to every fitness regimen. The concept of listening to your body and finding your own path to fitness is honestly the most solid workout advice I've ever received.

Personally, I've found the most important thing is to not put too much pressure on myself. I used to be so bad about this, and would workout really strenuously for a week or so. Then I would inevitably fall out of the habit because I was making myself miserable each time, and that's just not fun! I do hold myself accountable to doing something active, but if I reeeeally don't feel like doing a particular exercise that day I don't sweat it too much. No sense in making myself miserable just to have a "harder" workout!

I also try to mix up what I do, to prevent myself from getting bored. I typically start with a small stint on the treadmill (like, <20 minutes) just to get warmed up, and do some more engaging moves afterwards! I'm a sucker for those pictures on Pinterest that show you a few workouts (like this one) so I tend to find a few of those and mix the exercises together. I find that designing my workouts "on the fly" like this makes the time that I'm actually in the gym more engaging because I'm not just going through the motions of a strict plan.

This is the pattern I follow for every muscle group, but when it comes to what muscles I choose to work each day I just do whatever I feel like! I mix traditional workouts in with climbing and yoga, so I just vary it based on what other activities I've done recently.

Another important thing to note is I don't own a scale, and I don't use the one at the gym either. Nothing is worse than feeling great after a workout, and getting on the scale to see that you've technically gained weight. My weight has always fluctuated like crazy, and I'd much rather stay in tune with my body and what feels right as opposed to obsessing over numbers!

I think the biggest takeaway for this if you relate to me is to try to make it as engaging as possible for yourself. Yes, being healthy is important, but if running isn't your thing don't force yourself to do it for hours on end! There are thousands of ways to get your body moving, so do what feels good instead of what might make you lose 10 pounds in a day or whatever. It's a lot more fun that way, and I think the results from a fun workout are far more beneficial than a hard, miserable one!