After my half marathon Saturday I was pretty tired and my legs were barking mad! I absolutely love running but have realized I am starting to hit that winter weather workout rut. With the dawn of Spring this week I’m hopeful this feeling will change but I need to mix things up a little bit to give me more energy and focus. I have a pretty ambitious race schedule this year and my next one is in a couple of weeks – the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. Coming up this weekend is the Chris 4 Life Scope it Out 5k. It is a charity run/walk I am doing with friends and not all (well, not entirely) about competition so decided to take it easy on the running this week and focus my workouts in other areas.
With that said, this is the week I participated in my Spice it Up Challenge activity!! A few posts back I mentioned this ever so briefly but this challenge is being run by a fellow fitness blogger, Back at Square Zero. Between March 11-24 you are challenged to be “bold and brave” and try something new. I accepted the challenge and signed myself up for an Intro to Rock Climbing class at Earth Trek Climbing Centers. Now, I could have done anything really. Tried a new class at the gym, picked a new running route, practiced a different exercise routine. But no. I chose to go big or go home. I had to travel up north a bit (closer to Baltimore) since they were booked up for weeks at their other locations (seriously? am I that late to the dance on this one??) but just left work a little early to accommodate.
Once I got there I checked in, signed my death waiver (hehe) and was given a pair of shoes made for climbing. I was a little early so watched some of the more seasoned climbers in open climb going up and down the walls and boulders. Looked like fun! I will say right off I am not a fan of heights, so this was definitely stretching for me. I have climbed a rock wall before though, during the Run Amuk mud run last year, but that was different 😉 In any event, the class congregated upstairs in their training area and after introductions harnessed up (no, I did not get pictures)! We were each given a rope and began the process of learning to tie various knots to keep us safely secured. We also got to bring the ropes home for practice. This is the before picture:
If I could remember how to tie the proper knots, you would see an after 🙂 After rope tying and learning a little climbers language (belaying anyone?) we were split into groups of 3-4, then it was off to the wall!
We each took turns being the climber and the belayor (basically the anchor and one who gives the rope slack and lets you down!) After a couple of hours of learning and climbing, we took a brief break and then headed to the main climbing center for more climbing opportunities. For an introduction to climbing, this was a fun and worthwhile experience. At this particular center after the Intro class you can return after a 24 hour period and take a Belay safety test. If you pass, you are welcome to use their facilities during open climb. I would certainly do this again – if nothing else but to relearn how to tie knots! – but for sure, I am definitely a runner at heart! Still, it’s good to spice things up and add variety in your workout routine. I’m already thinking about what new thing I can do next week!! Hmm, maybe Kilimanjaro… 😉