Hi All! I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day weekend celebrating the one you love ❤ I had an especially amazing weekend celebrating Galentine’s Day with all my gal pals (& S – he’s a guy but we are welcoming around here). I kicked off my Galentine’s Day hitting up an 8 am spin class taught by my fabulous trainer Sarah (whom I adore) and spending some QT with my Saturday morning crew – my lovely gym ladies who I dubbed the “Real Housewives of Medford” because they are a) amazing b) hilarious and c) the kindest, most loving women you’ll meet. The thing about New Englanders (I’ve found since moving here from Western New York almost 5 years ago) is that they seem a little intense when you first meet them (in a glorious “take no sh*t” way), and you may get some side eye as they feel you out, but once they love you, they LOVE you. And I love them right back – I look forward to getting up every Saturday at 6 am and spending the time before class joking around and catching up with all of them as we set up our Body Pump stations and spin bikes (and a special thank you to K who brought me my first ever Quest bar!). They make forfeiting your Saturday morning sleep in worth it. Plus, who else will take ridic Instagram videos of you for your blog on Saturday morning at 7:30 am? 🙂 Upon finding out that I was planning on going rock climbing later that day, N wisely deterred me from staying through Body Pump after spin class saying, “You’ve got to go home. You never do halfway, you always go 110% in class.” And boy am I glad I did not try to pull a classic L and do Spin/Body Pump and then rock climb because DAMN my forearms are still sore (and shoveling the foot of snow the blizzard dumped on us Bostonians really helped – can you sense my sarcasm through your screen?). 😛
Now: about rock climbing. Let’s discuss.
I spent the better part of this week with anxiety-induced sweaty palms at the thought of climbing up something very high, only attached by a rope (okay, even as I type this my palms are sweating on my keyboard). I’ve mentioned this in a few previous posts but I really only have two major fears in life: I’m wildly claustrophobic and totally scared sh*tless of heights. Just the thought alone of being up high somewhere makes my hands (and feet!) sweat and my heart race. There are a lot of fun things to do up high so I am doing my best to overcome the height thing (or at least find a happy place where I’m more okaaay with it). The first huge step in this was climbing to the top of the Salisbury cathedral tower (up tight spiral staircases and rickety-ass ladders) in England with my sister and mom two years ago. Halfway up my knees started shaking and (let’s be honest) I barely detached myself from the door to go out on the overlook at the top and check out the stunning views. But I did it, despite that fact that I was just a few shades away from a full blown anxiety attack (thanks to my stubborn disposition, I refused to be That Girl in front of the tour group and faced my fears).
Before R and I went to rock climb to start off our Galentine’s Day celebration, I tried to assuage my fears by telling myself that Lil Jon was going to narrate my first rock climbing adventure (because that is hilarious and who doesn’t like Lil Jon?). Every time I got nervous, I thought of Lil Jon yell-singing, “Awwwww sh*t girl!” which brought a smile to my face and reminded me not to take things so seriously – it was going to be okay. When we got there, I made friends with the instructor by making lots of 50 Shades of Grey jokes (to lighten the mood) about knot tying and other related things that I won’t repeat here because you all can use your very active imaginations. Then, bad stuff happened: they split R and I up when it was our turn to belay/climb (bc we weren’t actually a couple – WTF!), and all of a sudden I was without my safety blanket of a gal pal and no amount of “Awwwww sh*t” could remind me that things were going to be okay. I was paired with an engaged couple: the guy was being really supportive and nice (despite me being Anxious Annie) and the girl was doing her best, but not necessarily trusting me with her fiancee’s life in my hands (don’t blame her, I was a nervous freak of nature). I made it through the whole learning process without having a full blown meltdown – only one minor freakout (hoooray!). Thankfully, my one and only freakout was due to belaying and not climbing (my biggest fear going into this was that I would be stuck on the wall and have a total meltdown, embarrass myself and never be able to show my face at BKB again). At “Go Time” of belaying a complete stranger, my climbing anxiety had flooded my brain, so comprehending the simultaneous pull/break/pull/break of belaying seemed monumentally difficult (looking back now, it seems so silly because belaying really is a piece of cake – but when a stranger’s life was put in my hands and I didn’t feel comfortable enough knowing what I was doing, it seemed like a big deal at the time). Thanks to the encouragement of the instructor, the couple, and R, I got over it. When it was my turn to climb for the first time, the couples that we were paired with graciously allowed R and I to climb next to each other and DUDE – IT WAS SO FUN. Climbing up the wall, you become so focused on where you are going to put your hand/foot next that how far off the ground you are doesn’t even enter the fringes of your thought process – or if it does, it’s pretty easy to push away. I was seriously astonished at how much I enjoyed it. I absolutely loved it!
Walking into the climbing gym, I watched an 8 year bouldering like a boss and thought if I could just suffer through the climbs, we would go get dinner/drinks and then the fun would start. Wrong. The fun started as soon as I reached the top of my first climb (which from the ground I thought – there is no way. I’ll go halfway up and be done). But I friggin’ did it! If that’s not a BOOYAH moment, I don’t know what is. R and I spent the next few hours climbing our hearts out and loving every minute of it! We even met up with Sarah and company, and had a blast climbing together as a group. I’m now totally and utterly addicted. I cannot wait to strap that uncomfortable harness on, and tear up some hard climbs. It’s funny when you have that “Ah-HA!”/booyah moment and you realize exactly what you are capable of. Sometimes we sell ourselves so short of what we can handle, or accomplish. If someone told me I would be running half marathons 10 (or even 5!) years ago, I would have laughed in their face. I would have been rolling on the floor if someone told me that I would like climbing (or would even attempt it). Bottom line: we are seriously so capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. And trying new things and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is the best way to realize what you can do. I was so close to giving up before climbing, and now I can’t imagine not knowing how much fun it is! I’m certain that some of the satisfaction is derived from challenging myself and doing something I told myself I couldn’t do my whole life before I even actually tried it. So there you are folks: facing your fears isn’t so bad. Because you might actually be able to kick them in the teeth and absolutely KILL IT at whatever you’re attempting to do. Ah, life lessons. 🙂
After climbing, we ended up skipping 50 Shades (the roads were treacherous) and instead did an impromptu Galentine’s Day Blizzard Bar Crawl in the snow which ended up being monumentally more fun than sitting in a movie theater. It definitely was the most fun Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had. And I get to walk away from it with a new love: rock climbing!! ❤
What did you guys do for Valentine’s Day? Tell me all about it in the comments. ❤
PS: This. Yeah.