It has been twenty-nine days since The Color Run – Denver, and in that time, a few things have happened that I never would have imagined:
- I fell in love with climbing
- I chose to register for the Electric Run instead of buying Muse tickets
- I added Pink and 3OH3 to my workout playlist
- I bought a real pair of running shoes.
- I flexed my biceps for my husband and was so surprised by the huge change I saw that I giggled uncontrollably
- I bought a trail bike
- I really liked riding said trail bike.
Fitness is becoming a major part of my life. I owe much of this shift to my participation in the TRUBLUE Reach Your Peak Training Program taught by Chris Wall. The impact climbing has had on my body has been HUGE. I started the program on June 11th and have lost six pounds, can see my belly getting flatter, and overall, I’m feeling more positive about my body. Climbing is fun. Really fun. And you don’t necessarily need a partner. If your local climbing gym has a couple of TRUBUE Autobelays you can climb alone whenever it’s convenient for you.
It’s taken me a long time to come around to climbing. I was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado. Therefore, one would think I was born knowing how to belay. I mean, Boulder is the “epicenter of American climbing” after all. I’ll be honest, after getting into a tussle with a cactus on a 5th grade class hike, I’ve been a bit of an ‘indoor girl’. Aside from tent camping as a kid and RV camping now, I steer pretty clear of the wilderness. The Rockies are amazing and beautiful and full of amazing and beautiful creatures too, like rattlesnakes and bears and mountain lions and…cacti.
And then there’s the whole falling thing. Falling scares the shit out of me. I’m not afraid of heights, but the idea of falling is panic inducing. I could never sky dive. EVER. Even amusement park rides that drop you twenty stories are utterly terrifying. And the possibility of falling into a cactus? No thanks. Been there, done that. Hence, the appeal of indoor climbing.
At the gym, I feel safe, I feel in control, and I am still challenged. The mental challenges are just as grueling and difficult as the physical ones, and the exhilaration of besting both is as rewarding as any sport I can think of. It’s an easy sport to pick up; you only need a pair of climbing shoes and a well-fitted harness to get started, and my gym has both available to borrow for free. If you want to score your own gear expect to spend $150.00 – $300.00 for shoes and a harness. I recommend climbing to anyone who hates lifting weights and wants fast results. It’s low impact but incredibly strength building. And it’s fun. So very, very fun.
As mentioned, I made some tough, grown-up decisions with my money recently. I registered for the Electric Run – Denver on August 30th because I decided Muse’s new album was kinda sucky, and I didn’t think $100.00 for a pair of tickets was worth it. A 5k, especially an ELECTRIC 5k , is a much better expenditure of my funds, yes? YES! I’ll be running with my homies, team Scrambled Legs, again and we are so gonna rock the costumes!
In preparation for this event, I started taking running a bit more seriously. I invested in some good socks and shoes, and I’m running at least once a week in addition to all the other activities I’m doing. I created a new playlist that keeps my head bobbing and the inspiration flowing via memories of my girls at Scootadoot.
Running isn’t going as smoothly as I would like. That old right knee pain that made me stop running before flared up right away, although I can tell my new shoes do help a lot. I know the solution is to strengthen my knees. With time I should be able to run a complete 5k, and really, that’s all the runner I want to be at this point. Plus, I found a way to strengthen my knees that feels heavenly while doing it!
The last newly discovered treasure in my fitness epiphany is my new city/trail hybrid bike that I just scored. There was a time, a decade ago, when my husband and I rode our bikes along a cement bike path near the duplex we were renting. It was alright, but my bike, a cheap Huffy that looked like a mountain bike but was too heavy to pedal up an ant hill, made the activity pretty labor intensive for me, and not in a good way. Well, said husband recently scored a Trek mountain bike from a co-worker at a steal and on the 4th of July, we rode about 7 miles together, he on his Trek and me on my heavy-as-hell Huffy.
I was working SO MUCH HARDER than him! But I enjoyed the view from the saddle, and I could feel my bum knee getting a good, steady workout. It felt really good, and I wanted to do it more, but not on my slog of a bike. Coincidentally, there is a bike shop across the street from my house called Shalom Bikes, owned by a sweet and knowledgeable Peruvian man named Angel. He and my husband have gotten to be good friends over the years, they have ridden together many times and my husband bought his road bike from Angel a few years back. Well of course Angel had a sweet little hybrid ride that was the perfect size, and price, for me! I put the old slog out on the curb, and took my new 2012 GT Transeo 3.0 home!
This last Sunday, Rick (aka husband) and I tossed the bikes in the back of the Forester and headed to the Teller Farm Trail head of the East Boulder Trail. I drive by this trail head everyday on my commute to and from work and it looks so beautiful and peaceful. Although it was bit crowded by the time we got there at 10:00AM, the trail didn’t disappoint, and I got to test my new bike out on a gravel trail. It did fantastic, and boy do I love the disc brakes! Despite upgrading to a super cushioned saddle, my sit bones are really sore today but it was worth it. I know my bony ass will get used to that. It felt wonderful, but I was a bit surprised and sad when I looked at the gps and saw our ride was just over 5 miles long; it felt a lot longer than that! The views were amazing and the weather was absolutely perfect, in the mid 70s and overcast.
Soon, the Reach Your Peak training will wind down and Summer will come to a close. To replace it will be classes full Dickens lectures and Math homework. But I’m determined NOT to let that ruin the progress I have made. I feel good. I feel…hot. I was hit on by a twenty something guy the other day. As a late thirty something lady, I can’t lie, it felt good. He was a douche, but who cares? I’m almost 40, for Pete’s sake, I’ll take it. The point is I reached the point where I can see the changes happening. I never had the patience to get to this point before. It feels so right. These changes are for life, baby!
BRING IT, LIFE!