Rock Climbing is a sport that came into my life not that long ago but that has given me more tools than I could have even considered it would. I began to practice the discipline thanks to Carrot, who dragged me into it through my son. My little one is very active and likes to climb onto things, therefore my dear friend suggested me to introduce him to rock climbing. The moment I entered the gym I was overtaken by the energy of the climbers, which took me back to my days of active trail-running. I immediately felt at home and did not hesitate to rent and put on a harness. My first climb was at the “Kidz Cave” -an area accommodated for little children- and I must confess that even though the walls were not even 30 feet tall, I felt powerful, empowered.
If you have had the chance to read some of my posts, you might know by now that I have embarked a journey toward healing and that I’m in a constant search of tools to overcome distress. As stated by Sarah on “Activity and Depression” and based on the response the post has gotten, it is safe to say that physical activity has indeed had a positive impact on the reader’s wellbeing. Because I read Sarah’s post, I include myself on that list ! Rock climbing is inside of my tool box, but at some point I realized that it was not enough. Therefore, I decided to dig deeper and I enrolled myself in Ballroom dancing lessons.
I wanted to reconnect with a side of me that had been slowly shutting down thus I considered that dancing, particularly Ballroom, would be the best bet to rediscover myself. I am a team player but have, somehow, ended up playing alone. The disciplines that have overtaken my life this past few years focus mostly on individual performance. Even though you need a belayer in order to rock climb, he or she is there to support you. There is no constant share of energy or direct interaction beyond the rope; It is you and the wall and -at that point- nothing else matters. I wanted a little more connection, the physical type. I wanted to learn to touch and be touched without fear, to re-learn to rely on others, and to find a place where being vulnerable was allowed and safe. However, the fun part actually began when I realized how much rock climbing had prepared me for this new journey.
A year after my son’s birth, I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that the time had arrived for me to progressively begin to do things for myself. I relied on Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide to get back in shape and I am eternally grateful for it because it helped me to not only gain physical strength, but discipline. Between Kayla and Rock Climbing, I was finally becoming my own body goal.
The amount of upper body strength climbing gave me in such a short amount of time was unprecedented. I had never had such upper body strength and awareness before and that new gain translated well into my dancing. The first plus was that I was able to understand and hold the postures with ease and remain in control of my balance. Between my trail-running experience and climbing, I developed the right mindset to withstand the emotional drainage and mental challenge the discipline presents. Also, rock climbing and the Bikini Body Guide had conditioned me physically to endure the amount of cardio involved.
I never would have imagined that rock climbing would have complemented this new venture so well. It is always exciting when you realize, in practice, that every life experience is a gain of some sort. Do be careful with strong grips, overpowering hold, and potentially twisted ankles.
I will be competing in a couple of hours so I’ll write about it and fill you in on the experience on my next post !!!