Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Limitations and Vacation.

As I mentioned in my first post about my weight loss, I am not a sporty person. I am still not sure how I ended up with these genes. My father was a track and cross-country runner in high school. He was involved in softball at our church. He is a rock climber & loves to hike. My mother was an equestrian, she barrel raced her horses. She also completed the Redlands Bicycle Classic after having my brother Aaron 8 months before. They now run & cycle together. You can imagine that our vacations were not stagnant, leisurely stays at a cabin (there were moments of that, the stacks of library books will attest to it). There is always fishing, hiking, biking, running, swimming and of course, rock climbing. Part of our yearly vacation is spent in a rock climber's paradise, Lone Pine, California.
Lone Pine is located at the base of the highest peak in the continuous United States, Mt. Whitney (oh, have I mentioned everyone in my family but me has climbed it?). Between the small town and the the grand mountains there is a large "range of hills" called "The Alabama Hills". You've probably seen them dozens of times without ever being there. They've been used as a backdrop for films since the silent-era. They stood in for Afghanistan in Iron Man, alien planets in Star Trek and Spain in Gladiator. Our family likes to spot them in commercials, TV shows & films. These hills are a very versatile character actor.

Josiah, complete with Tony Stark goatee reenacts a scene from Iron Man.
 Besides their gig as Hollywood star, they are a premiere spot for every level of climber. My parent's pack up their Astro van with all the equipment you need to spend a few hours climbing. They will typically go early in the morning before the sun heats the rocks and then wait until evening to climb again. I don't think you want to belay off the side of rock in 116 degree heat. They have it down to a science. It's pretty impressive watching the quick set up or tear down of a climb. They typically study books my Dad has during the afternoon back at the motel. They know where they are going and get to it pretty quickly. It's fun to watch my siblings, parents and husband climb. The kids will even sit and watch. At times they get into the spirit of things.

As another year has passed and it's almost time to drive up the 395, I have thought to myself:
I'm going to climb.
I'm tired of being the odd man out. The butt of my sibling's "lazy Leigh" jokes. I am less of myself than I use to be and I'm ready to climb. I've been working out, gaining upper body strength. Now, I'm not fooling myself about my skill set. My sister, a former gymnast can be the poster child for intense climbing.
This is not from a climbing magazine. It's just my scary sister.
I think when you're overweight, you limit yourself in so many ways mentally & physically. No kids sorry, I won't go in that bounce house with you. I'm too jiggly. Nah, I can' t wear that it will look weird. I'm tired of that limit, I want to experience grander moments in my life. Last year, I actually worked myself up and did a very easy climb with my Dad's help. I think I was tired of feeling crappy. It was a month after my accident and I was tired of the fog of pain killers and keeping an ice pack on my neck.

This year I'd like to accomplish the same climb, by myself. I think that's a reasonable goal with a good implication of where I'm going with all of this weight loss/life style change. 

A friend of mine who is also in the process of changing her lifestyle and has lost over 20 pounds, includes rock climbing in her weight loss routine. She sent me a very nice message and reading it encouraged me to take up the gauntlet and climb in The Alabama Hills!

Just for fun here's a few vacation pics from Lone Pine/The Alabama Hills
Cameron has since become a pretty awesome climber. He did his first "lead" last year and even
managed to find a pair of size 13 men's climbing shoes. 

We're crazier than Burning Man in the desert.
Lauren took Mae's shirt. Ain't no thing to Mae.

Oh, yeah. Josiah steering the car in the desert.
I told you we were crazy.


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