Today I went climbing for the first time in nine months. I quit my Planet Granite membership about two years ago because it seemed ridiculous paying $85 a month for a gym when I had access to free gyms at one of the richest universities in the world. In addition to that, my rock climbing intensity had cratered after I sprained my ankle. I’d go to the gym and do a number of easier climbs that I knew I could do just by looking at them. But if I tried one and midway realized it required a little bravery and I wasn’t absolutely sure I’d have a firm handhold on the next hold, I’d go “nah” and jump down with a pissy look on my face.
This kept happening, and what used to be a workout that left me feeling accomplished, fit and slightly sore became an increasing disappointment. I’d leave the gym feeling worse than when I started because I’d keep thinking back to when I would have just gone for it or would persistently work at a problem. There’s one particular section in the gym that I always think about when I’m getting nostalgic about climbing – it was the place where I accomplished my very first V2 and I had spent several days attempting it. The last two holds felt impossible to get but I kept at it, and then finally, I lept for it and made it. A few minutes after silently reveling in my glory (while pretending to stretch out my hamstrings) I attempted it again to make sure it wasn’t a random fluke. I made it easily like it was a V0.
After today’s session I feel … not as disappointed as I used to because I probably did quite a decent number of climbs despite having done next to zero physical activity in the past year. Yet I feel embarassed to be in the gym because I felt like such an amateur. I wanted to tell all the V4+ climbers watching me struggle with a V0, “I USED TO BE BETTER AT THIS.” I assume almost everyone who has ever attempted to rock climb feels self conscious in the beginning, and whoever brought them there will tell them “don’t worry no one’s even looking at you.” I’ve probably told people this even though it’s an outright lie. Maybe I’m the only one who does this, but if I’m not climbing, I’m just watching people. I watch the people who climb routes I’d never even hope to accomplish. I watch the beginners so I can categorize them as people who are here to fuck around and take pictures of themselves vs people who might actually become decent at it. I watch others around my level to see their strategies and techniques.
Well I bought a 10 day pass so I’m bound to go back. My general takeaway today though, is: well that was nice for that period of my life but maybe I should look into a cheaper form of exercise.
I’m at PHILZZZZZZ. It’s a Saturday and Robyn is in the East Coast for ten days which leaves me with two weekends to myself. Free at last, free at last. There are a ton of things I’ve always wanted to do but feel like I never have time to do. Among them:
– go shopping for more furniture/knick knacks for the house
– do something about my front yard which assumes I’ll just magically have a green thumb after obtaining a bag of soil and some unfortunate plant
– do some continued education which is a requirement for me to renew my cpa license
– do some self learning so I can remain marketable should I ever leave my current job
– research for my upcoming vacations
– e-mail friends, try harder to maintain my social networks
– alternatively, attempt to make new friends … I’m not quite sure how but I imagine it involves taking off my sweats and leaving the house
– kick start my new exercise regimen
Today I opted for option null, which was: climb at PG (plus), walk around Lowe’s for an hour before becoming too intimidated with all the plant selections and leaving emptyhanded (minus), eating Dish N Dash (plus) and now, sitting at Philz (neutral). Neutral because I am both cold from the wind yet my leg is hot from the sun. My iced coffee is almost empty, but zero e-mails have been written to friends and instead I’ve written a bunch of random paragraphs for my defunct blog.
The nice thing at my job is we get money if we have an annual health screening. I scheduled mine last Friday, and it consisted of a finger prick blood test which measures health things and then afterwards you talk to an advisor about your results then set a goal. In two months they’ll call me and check in. I think it’s a really awesome idea and this is my second year doing it. I don’t think anyone is interested in my health stats, but generally, I am (surprise) healthy. HOWEVER I was distressed that my HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) was a measure of 47, and the optimal range is supposedly 50+
This is essentially how my consultation went:
Advisor: So your HDL is 47 and you want this to be as high as possible. This isn’t a terrible score, but there are ways to increase it, namely exercising—
Me (in my head): OMG CLEARLY what she means to say is that I’m a lazy sack of shit that doesn’t exercise! This is the evidence that my body is deterioriating from lack of physical activity and NOW I HAVE PROOF that not exercising has severely affected my body in these past two years and now I’m an UNHEALTHY AMERICAN!!! Next stop, heart disease!!!!!!!! Final stop, PREMATURE DEATH.
Life before a relationship was very nice in that I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and my sole focus was myself. Life now that I’m in a relationship is very nice – I still do, generally, whatever I want whenever I want, only now, it seems like I derive my happiness from spending quality time together vs. improving myself. I haven’t figured out yet how to strike a balance so I can get the best of both situations: the only solution I can think of is somehow adding two hours to a 24 hour day but I don’t know how to do that.
Things I liked about my pre-relationship life:
– I exercised a lot (because I had nothing else to do). I feel like I can see some significant impacts that exercise had on my life that I took for granted. I naturally woke up early on the weekends and would go to the gym. I had a lot of energy and could stay up pretty late at night. I would occasionally just be living life and think to myself “I actually feel pretty strong and fit.” I would just randomly pick a hike for the weekend, dump some songs onto my ipod and have some solo hiking time for a day and it felt really awesome. Now I feel weak and I wake up late (9/10am) and fall asleep at night at embarassingly early hours. I get winded running a block or two. I have weirdly lost weight in the past year, as I learned at my health screening, BUT I JUST KNOW my body is decaying as we speak.
– I ate healthy. I miss making my green shakes and my chia puddings. I think my dinners are actually much healthier now than before, but my breakfasts were much healthier then than now. I wouldn’t say this was a direct consequence of being in a relationship – since I take public transportation to work I just don’t feel like I have the time to make a good breakfast in the morning. BUT I think if I were single, I wouldn’t mind waking up a little earlier to do so, whereas now, I’m like “but I want to cuddle in bed”
– I watched a LOT of TV which was cathartic and I think stimulates imagination, and made me feel connected to pop culture. I could at least pretend to be a subject expert in SOMETHING even if it was something stupid like the latest developments on the vampire diaries. Now I’m an expert in nothing. I don’t even know all of the Kardashians!
Things I like about my now life:
– I always have someone I can do things with and I am also that person’s person. I feel very fulfilled socially, because we do a lot of things together, though I do sometimes think I should make sure to keep in contact with other people. I like that I have someone to text right when I wake up and before I go to sleep and whenever I’m bored at work.
– I don’t watch very much tv anymore. While I know tv gave me a ton of happiness in the past, somehow it just feels nice to know that I have other things going on in my life that doesn’t revolve around tv.
– No more brunch. I used to love brunch with friends. Weekend mornings with friends, eating food, living the yuppie life! Now I HATE brunch and really don’t like it when friends want to do brunch. Now I get to wake up at any time, and Robyn will make me eggs, toast, waffles, breakfast meats. It takes about ten minutes, costs about $2 for us both AND we don’t even have to change clothes. I get to experience this without ever leaving the house, never having to drive and look for parking, never having to stand in some god awful line as my weekend wastes away. While I love going out to eat lunch/dinner with friends, something about brunch just always makes me think “I waited an hour and spent $20 for EGGS AND POTATOES AND TOAST?!”
– I get random gifts occasionally which is very delightful
IT IS REALLY HOT AND I would like to write an e-mail to some friends so I will end this blog now.