One Six-Pack on the Rocks, Please?


Tumblr_lnx3c4fn981qm5btmo1_500_large When it comes to working out, there is always that moment of hesitation right before you strip off your cute jeans or comfy PJ’s and pull up those black spandex.  Ugh, do I really feel like running right now? It happens every time, even though you know you’re going to suck it up, grab your iPod, and get a move on before your mind wanders too far into last night’s leftovers.

So how do we get ourselves not to dread the work out and actually look forward to it?

I know, I thought it was impossible too…until I strapped on a harness and some climbing shoes. “Come climbing with meeee!” My friend would constantly beg. She was big into rock climbing, an endurance sport which, to me, seemed more fit for a fifth grade birthday party than a work out. But it sounded like fun, who doesn’t want to feel like a kid? And the post-climb biceps didn’t seem like a bad bonus, either.

Rope Climbing is my Destiny 
I was amazed at the atmosphere when I first walked into the indoor climbing gym. Dub-step blasted on the speakers while everyone from grandpas to kindergarteners swung from ropes 40 feet in the air. There were couples laying back on foam mats as if they were on some tropical beach, smiling and pointing at the climbs as if they were funny-shaped clouds. Even the shirtless climbers with washboard stomachs acted relaxed and lighthearted. Laughing and socializing with the members was such a nice change from avoiding the red-faced treadmill runners, huffing and puffing in strife to burn exactly 300 calories.

That first day had me hooked and I immediately signed up for a membership, frequenting the rocks 3-4 times a week. Rock climbing became more than a workout for me, in fact I hardly thought of it as one. Sure my forearms were bulging, I discovered muscles in my back I never knew existed, and my legs burned with every push off a foothold, but those were just extras.

Rock climbing was both calming and challenging to me. While you’re suspended, it is impossible to think of anything other than your stomach cinching, your fingers gripping, and your legs balancing. Like yoga, climbing forces you to be in the present moment and focus all your energy into the ability of your own body.
At first, I’d often get frustrated that I couldn’t climb as well as my friend. But she constantly reminded me that this sport was not about what you can do now but what you will be able to do next week, next month, next year. It is about growing and subverting your own expectations about what your muscles can accomplish. Climbing gave me something to look forward to, not something to dread.

And so my advice to all you gym rats: ellipticals and treadmills are great, but don’t get so comfortable in your routine that you despise it. Mix it up! Try new sports, make working out about more than just calories. Focus on how you feel and not how you look. A hot body comes faster with a present mind.

Author: Maria Pedone
Photography Doodle DeMoon, BozDoz, Weheart it, Tumblr

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