Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Head over feet

For those of you who are unaware, I love to rock climb. Got started about 8 months ago, and fell in love instantly. This, however, was not the first time I had done this, I went climbing for the first time back when I was 16 and loved it. The problem back then was I did not have a partner to belay me, not to mention the closest rock climbing gym was 45 minutes away. I never was able to pursue it until last summer when my friend Chris out of the blue called one Saturday. “Get dressed, we are going to go climbing and check out a gym”, I was all over the idea. I had wanted to join a gym for months, but didn’t have anyone to go with, and as I am sure you are all aware, the human tendency is to procrastinate and not go. When you have someone to go with; there is a balance, you force them to go, and they force you to go. Anyway, we went and checked out Touchstone Fitness, a network of gyms through out the Bay Area.

Anyway, after trying it out for an hour and touring the facilities, we were sold. Signed up that day, went over to REI, bought all the equipment, and never looked back. I know what you are thinking; they go climbing once and then go buy all the equipment… NERDS! But it is not like that; we were sold immediately, and have been going religiously since we signed up.

Again I am getting side tracked; anyway I went to gym all last week, I have been frustrated because I have not been able to climb due to the fact that my hands are severely chapped and anytime I attempt to climb, they open up and bleed… gross! I know. So all I have been able to do is run. On an aggregate, I ran about 25 miles last week; by Thursday I was so sore that I could not even do that. The reason I am so determined to exercise as much as possible, is because I have put on 10 pounds in less than 2 weeks. I relate this to being engaged and getting comfortable, which I am totally against... (Being comfortable and lazy, not engaged... love you honey!!!) That is no excuse to let ones self go, plus the more weight one puts on, the harder it is to climb. This brings me to the point of this rant. Usually I run on a treadmill, but because I was so sore, I decided to use an elliptical. I never had used one of these before, I always thought they looked kind of lame and that I would not get the same endorphin release I get from running. WAS I WRONG! Oh my gosh, for those of you who have never exercised on one of these, you have got to try it. For those who have, WHY DIDN'T YOU MENTION IT TO ME!

The benefits of this machine in comparison to a treadmill are vast, thats not to say that I am going to give up the treadmill, it has been proven that using a treadmill is more effective for marathon training and endurance. But if all you want to do is get your heart rate up for a cardio workout, i.e. to loose weight, then this is the way to go. No impact on the knee’s and the exercise is less jarring and a lot smoother. It takes some getting used to, but once you get the rhythm down, you start sweating almost immediately.

Again, I love climbing, and I have hated being out of it. When it comes to exercise, and I know this might sound like a contradiction, considering what I said above, I can not just sit and lift weights. The nice thing about climbing is it is always different. There is always a new route to try, or a new challenge to overcome. It is not the same thing over and over. Even sitting on a treadmill can be redundant, but I only do that after I climb to burn out. Climbing seems to be the best of both worlds, you get exercise beyond cardio, and the benefits are very similar to weight lifting. Not only that, but it is fun and exciting. Who would have ever known that exercise could be fun?

No comments: