Category Archives: insecurities

Back in the game

After taking about two weeks off to nurse an injury– caused by (in succession): a birthday (mine), a beach, dancing, and (lots of) alcohol — I decided tonight after I got home from work that it was ‘now or never,’ so to speak with regard to a run I’ve been wanting to go on for over a week. My knee has not hurt for the last week or so, but it does feel ‘funny’ sometimes and there’s been a twinge of something ‘not quite right’ if I flex it back too far or too hard.

That said, the trial trots up and down my office’s hallway and around my apartment were telling me that my knee was much better, but I still didn’t want to push it. (Okay, I was being lazy, too.)

But tonight I ran. I did an 11:20 mile pace, which is better than I’d been running before I tweaked my knee. I felt light, I felt strong, my pace was good and my form was awesome. Having stood at the edge of that “Oh, crap! I need to do that! Big Sur is coming up in May! I don’t want to duck out because of injury!” cliff, I’m completely one-hundred percent relieved that tonight’s easy run went so well… And really, it wasn’t so scary after all… 🙂

Here’s to a good 3-miler (hopefully! will have to see if body is willing…) tomorrow!

The hard part

It’s hard to get out the door.
It’s hard to warm up in cold air, when my breath still hangs in front of me.
It’s hard to get moving, thinking about how badly I’d like to be inside.
It’s hard to keep pace and keep going.
It’s hard to keep from sprinting to the end so I can just be done.
It’s hard to keep my form sometimes . . . which means back and hip pain most often.
It’s hard to push further than 5 miles.
It’s hard to climb the stairs after a run.
It’s hard to will myself to stretch out.
And it’s hard to remember to hydrate and do some core exercises.

But as hard as it can be, finish lines, milestone runs and knowing that today I did just a little bit more than yesterday becomes so incredibly worth it.

Climb on.

 

Don't bother asking me when I'll actually climb outdoors. Most days, I'm still working on getting myself to the gym.

 

I have a gym membership, but I don’t use it as often as I’d like. I seem to have found two great groups to join — a team of climbers who like to climb in the morning and a team that climbs in the evening, but I rarely get to the gym out of total insecurity.

Stupid, I know. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? But when you’re a rookie who pants at the top of a 5.6 (easy-to-medium difficulty) and your climbing buddy for the day is flying up a 5.11 (very hard), you feel a bit like a joke. Or at least, I do.

A couple of years ago, a careless mistake in a climbing gym (my mistake, no less) led to an accident — a 12-foot fall to the ground. I wasn’t properly clipped in and I fell hard. The fall knocked the wind out of me and left me with a couple of ripped fingers (I tried to grab the rope on the way down) and a twisted ankle. But mostly, it just left me shaken up. In a split second, my security was gone.

It’s the kind of thing that you just can’t even believe happened — frustrated with a route I was attempting to master, I unclipped myself to reevaluate my method. I stood back, worked out a new plan, and then went back to climb. I didn’t look. I didn’t see. I didn’t comprehend that my safety was at risk — that I had not properly clipped in and if I fell, nothing would stop me from plummeting to the crash-pad flooring, which is exactly what happened.

I picked myself up off the ground, gingerly put some weight on my hurt ankle to assess how badly I’d messed up and glanced at my fingers whose skin was opened up from the friction of the nylon rope. I caught my breath, got a sip of water and walked into the locker room, where I sat on the bench to process what had just happened.

And then, without even really thinking, I left the gym and I didn’t come back for over a week.

More than anything the experience was humbling — I saw just how quickly, easily my mistakes could take a fun experience and turn it into something that transformed me into a bundle of nerves. But my biggest mistake after the fall wasn’t that I beat myself up mentally (though I’m sure that didn’t help), it was that I didn’t immediately get back on the climbing wall.

When I did, I clipped myself into the auto-belay, took a deep breath and nervously grabbed the handhold. Then another. And another. My feet were probably 3 feet off of the ground — I’ve hopped off of counters higher than that. But I couldn’t shake the need to check my harness every .4 seconds. Clipped in? Good. Grab a hold. Clipped in? Good. Grab the next hold. But as I glanced down, I could actually feel the blood leaving my face. And then I put my foot on one hold lower, another hold lower, until I could step back down onto the ground. I was done after climbing 4 feet.

I tried climbing one more time that summer before deciding that I needed a break. My (relatively) fearless self became paralyzed by nerves and apprehension. Almost two years later, I joined a climbing gym in San Jose (actually, it’s in Sunnyvale, but whatever). I signed up determined to conquer whatever lingering fear was there — I’d been away from it for almost 2 years . . . that’s enough time to suck it up, right?

Well, I’m not there yet. I’m still incredibly nervous when I start climbing over my belay partner’s head. I still check my harness with almost every step up. And I still grip those handholds like my life depended on it — because when you’re climbing a 50-foot wall and you’ve had an accident before, you’re acutely aware that at such a greater height, your life could be dependent upon it (not to sound all dramatic, but it’s pretty true).

But in spite of all of my nerves and apprehension, I still love doing it. It exhilarates me and leaves me so proud of the accomplishment, even if it’s a lower-grade route.

For me, climbing has become more metaphorical than just a fun exercise, which is what it started off as. I started climbing when a dear, sweet friend‘s enthusiasm for the sport sparked a curiosity, an interest and eventually lit a flame for a new hobby I wanted to pursue.

Now, I’m learning how to fall back in love with the sport one foothold at a time as I’m working through releasing the fear and anxiety that come with climbing higher and higher. I guess the moral of the story is “Please don’t ever think you’re infallable . . . because you’re really not” “Always check. Always be careful. They don’t warn you about this stuff for no reason — especially when you’re taking on a hobby where safety truly matters.” (And the secondary moral would be, “Please bear with me — I’m still learning!”)

And I’ll get there — the grace of my climbing buddies and my determination to kick that anxiety to the curb will really help, I’m sure.

(And if you ever see me at the gym, hugs are always appreciated — they’re heart-healthy and have nerve-calming properties.)

Climbing? Climb on.

P.S. On a completely UNrelated topic . . . I came home to find one of my fish eating the other fish. I have a cannabal fish and I do not know how to process this (aside from being a bit grossed/freaked out.)

Five Things That Probably Don’t Make Me a Very Good Wellness Blogger

1. I am dehydrated sometimes.
Okay, a lot of the time . . . I’m honestly working on better hydration — I can feel it when I’m doing right by my body in this department — my skin, hair and energy levels are SO MUCH BETTER.

2. I overdo it with the caffeine.
This makes me very susceptible to energy highs and lows as it’s often coupled with a less-than-optimum amount of sleep (see below). I need at least 7 hours to function like a human. I need more than that to do it without caffeine. Anything less than 7 hours, though, has me pulling into Starbucks on my way to work without fail.

3. I don’t sleep enough.
This is a HUGE stumbling block for me. I have such a hard time not going to bed when I know I need it. I’m up reading, surfing blogs, chatting with Alex on the phone or otherwise procrastinating on actually doing something good for me — sleeping!!! Sleep is so crucial to overall wellness and I know I need to move this up on my priority list.

4. When I overdo it, I overdo it.
When I fall off the proverbial wagon, I fall pretty hard. Saturday night was a spa night with cocktails with one of my best friends. We made something new, something we’ve dubbed a Pineapple Princess (recipe to come, but the gist is pineapple juice + sprite + lotsavodka).  Well, I had a few . . . if we’re loosely defining ‘a few’ as ‘five.’ Not exactly large drinks, but more than any advocate of “moderation” would accept. Whoops.

5. When I’m tired, I wanna sit on my butt.
Sorry I’m not sorry for this, but after a stressful day, I like going for a run. On other more stressful/exhausting/draining days, I like to self-soothe on the couch . . . with reruns of Law & Order: SVU or Without a Trace as I’m sipping a glass of wine and mindlessly surfing the internet.

There you have ’em. My dirty little secrets. I’m hoping these will become less frequently seen habits of mine, but for now, they’re what make me . . . me. They may not make me a good health/wellness blogger, but I’m also a work in progress. After all, I’m well-purposed . . . not well-perfect.

Options

I still haven’t made up my mind about the marathon, but I’ve got a few options:

– Train for a few more weeks and decide whether I’ll do the race then

– Drop down to a half marathon or 10K

– Don’t go

The last one is the worst, but I’m considering a combination of the first two — keep training, keep my long runs up as much as possible and run the half, but that’s provided EnviroSports will allow me to do that. I hope they will, but we’ll see.

The advantages to doing a half marathon definitely outweigh the advantages of just not going: lower risk of injury, more time to get in better shape for Big Sur and the knowledge that I didn’t quit training. It’s all up in the air at this point, but I’m hoping for some clarity soon.

On an unrelated topic, I am no longer allowed to buy pickles.  I simply cannot be trusted with them.

Ouchies

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been the best or most consistent about marathon training. I’ll drop a day or two and then it becomes a week (sometimes more). I got sick last month and was derailed for a WHILE. On Sunday, I did a ten-mile run and now my shins really don’t like me. At first, I was positive it was just initial soreness, but attempting to run last night, I made it about a mile before they became pretty uncomfortable.

My apprehension is running so much that I end up injuring myself, giving myself shinsplints or worse. I set out to go run a trail today, only to get to the park as it was closing. No run. I have every intention of getting up early in the morning to try to run before work. I’ve never been successful at these kinds of plans, but as September closes and I creep closer to my October 30 marathon, I’m more and more committed to crossing the finish line.

The challenge and difficulty with running is that in many ways, it’s very inconsistent. I’ve never been good about keeping a pace, especially if I’m taking walk breaks — taking walk breaks meaning I can recover, but it also means I’m more likely to push the tempo when I am running.

I really, really, REALLY want to do this race, but part of me is wondering if maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to skip the October race and focus on getting in shape for Big Sur training.

I dunno . . . It’s just a thought, but I’m a little discouraged with so little time left and the fact that I have only scratched at the surface of long runs.  I haven’t decided what to do, but for now I’m trying to remain optimistic and believe in myself. (Plus, my training is giving me some sexy legs — not ready to relinquish that just yet.)

Thoughts? I’m open to all opinions — I don’t want to get hurt, but I’m trying to decide if it’s wiser to push myself for 7 more weeks or if I should call it a wash (the race doesn’t even have a finisher’s medal – a little ridiculous, if you ask me . . . if I’m going to run 26.2 miles, you should give me some bling, please).

Seriously, I’d love some advice here . . .

I’m posting this video because I love it and it makes me happy — it’s definitely on my favorite running playlist.

Know yourself.

I’m challenging myself and pushing myself trying to train for a marathon in October. I keep trying to inspire myself, keep my motivation up and trust that I’ll do it right, but it dawned on me tonight . . . I don’t know if I really know that I can do this.

Now, before you jump in with the pep talk, let me explain . . . I don’t know if I know myself WELL enough to say that I can do this. I believe that I can, I certainly would like to think that I can, but I’m trying to run the entirety of the race this time . . . so can I do it?

Well, I really, really, really hope so.  I really, really, really want to. But in the mean time, I don’t KNOW that it will happen – I trust that it will.

A college professor of mine once said, “Sometimes, you have to jump and trust that there’s a net to catch you.” She was so incredibly right. So here I am, rather confused by my own over-cerebralization of things (I may or may not have made that word up). Here’s what I do know about myself, though . . .

– I have never met a vegetable I didn’t like

– I’m really good with kids

– I’m pretty funny

– Somedays, I’m even smart

– Inspiration comes easily, motivation and determination are more difficult

– I love being a vegetarian – I doubt I will ever eat meat again

– I still miss sushi, though

– I’ve started rock climbing again – it’s helping me get over a fear of heights stemming from a climbing accident

– My biggest flaw is that I quit before I get started

– I know I can find motivation and determination to get me to the finish line – as Nike says, “Just do it!”

There’s probably some other stuff I could mention, but I’ll table it here – after all, I am still learning.