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hanging by my fingertips 30 feet up

posted on Monday, 23rd November 2009 | find under 

Well I've had great week trying out different things on the exercise front.  First up was basketball with the rest of the team during our strategy away day.  It was fast and competitive with 6'5 Greg (who plays a lot) showing us how to do it.  We had a great time and even though we had quite a few newish people playing, everyone went for it.  It was "most enjoyable" part of the day for a few (does that say something about our strategy day???  hope not!!)

Next, and much more challenging was my climbing at the Westway with my ex-triathlete, cycle-everywhere, climb-everyday neighbour, Mike.  I had only done indoor climbing once before but had enjoyed the thrill of pushing myself out of my comfort zone.  Mike had seen that I was keen and invited me down again to push me harder.  I started by trying to get up as quickly as possible with the enjoyment purely coming from the fact that I had made it. I wasnt thinking, just doing.  Mike could see that I needed to use my brain more so he took me to this crevasse with rocky outcrops and corners and overhangs.  here i had to be much more imaginative and strategic, thinking about where to place my feet before just hauling myself up any old way.  It felt more natural though, using the rocks to help me and hanging on to bits, taking my time to think my route up.  It was tiring and extreme but ultimately thrilling.  Next up was a wall that had 3 or 4 overhangs.  by now  my arms were aching.  Mike could see I was flaking.  I can see how important teamwork is for climbing.  I was gripping with my fingertips, completely exhausted, adamant in my head that I couldnt pull myself up over this next overhang..there was no way in hell I could do it, my arms were shaking, I wanted to give up and Mike would say, ok just hang back on the rope, let your arms hang and relax for a bit.  Then get it into your head you can do it.  use your legs with the strong muscles to push yourself up - dont rely on your puny arms!  I have never needed the encouragement so much...but because of it I did it.  Wow it is the best feeling ever.  Going from that I-give-up-cant-do-this-anymore feeling to doing it, achieving it. 

Then at the weekend I went for a run with my 9 year old daughter.  we had our ipods playing lady gaga etc at the same time as each other and ran to the park.  We decided to do some fartlek training - she likes sprinting and I need to spice up my run a bit.  Embarrassingly she is faster than me at sprinting, so I didnt stick at that for very long!  but then she is not so good at the long distance so I had to encourage her then.

Normally my week of exercise tends to be quite solitary (apart from my beloved kickboxing), so it was really great to train with others.  you get a real buzz out of being with others, encouraging them or needing them to encourage you.  Teamwork.  that's what it's all about hey?!

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