04 July 2011

Cross-Training: Rock Climbing

I've tried resistance training with little success in sticking to the program. Doing reps for the sake of doing reps was never enough motivation for me. It was all very abstract.

At least with running, I cover a concrete distance.

This is partially one reason why I loved rock climbing. Resistance training and covering a concrete distance! Progress is palpable! And like running you can sort of get in a zone and not realize how much you have ascended until you pause to look down/look back.

Here I am ascending a climb called Bake Sale; it earned this name because the rock just bakes in the sunshine and burns up your hands. I happened to take my rock climbing class on a Yosemite day that reached temps in the 90s. This is the sort of day most recreational rock climbers won't climb because the rock heats up to uncomfortable levels.

As rock climbing was new to me, I encountered struggles. As a runner, I should be no stranger to this. My instructor in trying to comfort me told me that climbing is like a hybrid of ballet and chess.

I'm comfortable with the idea of being a ballerina. I was even an adorable ballerina one Halloween in elementary school. But I lack the patience to be a decent chess player. I had to slow down and read the rock.

That is probably a metaphor for a lot in my life.

As a bonus: I aggravated/reinjured (maybe) my calf strain in my left calf. This does not dissuade me from future climbing opportunities!

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