Catching On

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls Editor

 

Since we were our tiniest size and being defined by the pediatrician’s charts, we’ve all been told of the importance of maintaining a healthy height/weight ratio. Keeping fit is important to longevity. Now, the methods for getting enough exercise in order to keep the balance change throughout our lives. In high school it may have required little more than the fact that you played some sport or walked or cycled everywhere. Post high school, how many of us managed to counteract any beer and pizza guzzling with a bunch of grapevines left and hamstring curls to all four walls? Later adding the plastic step to the aerobics room, we’d get on that riser and bop around to kitchy tunes while the lady on the microphone confused us with individuals much more coordinated.

In my thirties, I used everything from volleyball, kickboxing, spinning, weight machines and personal training to counteract the 50 pounds I’d gained with each pregnancy. Adding a jogging stroller to my regimen when they were toddlers, and a gym membership later, helped me fit in fitness while staying in touch. Then tennis in my late 30s re-introduced some of the afformentioned coordination skills while keeping me moving – aka exercising. And now, in this decade, I have found alignment, strength and agility through regular cycling, swimming and yoga.

Today, (almost literally today, I’ve been doing it so briefly) it’s a new form of fitness attuning this figure. This method so cleverly disguised as fun, that I don’t even think of it as a workout. I want to do it. I want to fit it into my very busy schedule. My newest thing – sport climbing – has got to be one of the best times I have had while being vertical. It is a sport that involves technique, ropes, some coordination, and friendships based on trust and communication.  Climbing is accessible. It’s noncompetitive in nature and physically gratifying. You will find unusual strength (and soreness) in parts of your limbs not normally speaking to you after you climb a wall or two.  

Climbing is so popular, gyms designed with rock walls are popping up all over. Just having completed a class at Climb So iLL where I learned all that is required to lead climb in their gym, I’m ready to play indoors with this sport until spring, or a random warm weekend in winter. If you have been in an exercise rut and/or are looking to meet new adventurous types, I suggest trying climbing. You can boulder (climbing ropeless) by yourself, and even use a self-belay system and a harness to climb alone with just a little instruction required. If you have a partner or find one at the gym, top rope climbing is a thrill that you will feel for days afterward. (Some belaying skills required.) And lead climbing, well, it’s just badass and exhilarating. Each type of climbing gives you such a sense of accomplishment and each will tone your physique without drills by Microphone Lady.

I suggest trying out a climbing gym this winter. And if you do, reach out. I’ll catch you. (That’s a phrase we climbers use for belay.)

 

 

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