You would not naturally look at me and think ‘ATHLETE’ or ‘FITNESS BUFF’. Neither of those things would be true. What is true is that I like trying new things, even if I’m not very good at it.
Right now that means indoor rock climbing. I’m still working on the beginner circuits up the wall, or on harnessed routes (though I worry the harness will not hold my weight and instead of repelling down – the fun part – I climb back down.)
Each time I go, I spend about 45 minutes laying my right shoulder and elbow on ice packs. when I get home. I did my elbow a mischief about 6 years ago when I was working with a trainer to lose weight. And my shoulder I injured falling on a patch of ice nearly fifteen years ago. But rock climbing is not about upper body strength (you just use your hands to hang on for dear life), it’s about your quads. You push up with your legs. The strength of your quads propel you and my quads are awesome shape.
This sudden interest in rock climbing came about for a couple of reasons – my favourite yoga studio (to which I’ve been going for the last four years) is takinga summer hiatus while they move to a new location. And our city’s first rock climbing gym just opened up. So here I was with a hole in my schedule and nothing to fill it… Voila! Zoe is rock climbing two – three times a week for the summer.
Yoga is one of the few exercises that have held my attention. I have done it off and on for most of my life, and I am always learning something about it or myself when I practice. Happily I connected really well with the owner (we are both Northern Ontario girls now translated to the east coast.) She has supported and encouraged me both on the mat and off. Her encouragement led me to submitting my first book “Winning Cait” for publication and trying my first (and to date only) triathlon. (I came in second last, just ahead of the woman who was recovering from a stroke.)
And now she is prodding me along to pursue one other fitness passion – Barre.
I may not look like an athlete now but in my youth I did gymnastics and competitive dance – jazz, modern and musical theatre. My mother actually taught ballroom dance at one point and music and dance was part of our home. I only quit when my math grades suffered from my training schedule and my mother threw a fit. She thought I was going to be (read: she wanted me to be) an accountant – yeah right! My calculus teacher actually called her to convince her to put me out of my math-misery because “everyone knew” I was going to be a writer.
To make a long story, short – I am doing my online certifications to become a Barre Instructor, and I will be teaching in the fall at my favourite yoga studio. So while you may not think ‘athlete’ when you look at me, I hope people see one thing… someone who isn’t afraid to try new things. To follow their dreams. And to laugh at herself and life.
I keep thinking, there are so many things I want to do, and want to try, it’s a shame we only have one life in which to do it.