09 March 2012

Addressing some core issues...

We all have 'core issues'...some more psychological and some more physical. I am forever working on both. Sometimes the work feels futile, but I work hard to keep the faith and soldier onward.

Yesterday I visited my physical therapist. Here's what I showed her...

I've got to learn how to end a video gracefully...

I've been suspecting that there are fundamental weaknesses preventing me from really moving forward physically. And this stagnation has psychological ramifications as well. After I showed her these things (which she agreed are of critical importance), we discussed a course of action.

She's suggested that I work one-on-one with a skilled trainer. My right side has long-term damage and weakness that needs more than crunches and planks and lunges. In fact, crunches may very well lead to further injury given my core issues. Form and specificity of exercises will be crucial to my healing and progress. My body has become very adept at compensating and masking weaknesses. It's time to blow its cover and make the right things strong so that the compensators stop getting hurt and staying hurt.

I mentioned to her that I joined a climbing gym. She thought this was an amazing idea...strength and flexibility and core working in concert with one another.

About the rock climbing...

A couple of my other core issues have been at work keeping me from exploring the offerings of my new gym. The day I joined I envisioned heading there every day, climbing everything and utilizing all the offerings therein. But struggling to find a climbing partner (the belay deal is a two-person activity) and experiencing irrational fears about pissing people off and getting barred from the premises because I don't know jack about climbing and was sure I'd be violating some right-of-way rule or something like that left me quietly sitting at home wishing I were there and super bummed that I 'couldn't' do it.

I finally realized that the only reason I 'couldn't' do it was that I didn't get my butt into the car and drive there and open the door and walk inside and, well, do it. Acknowledging to myself that I was afraid and insecure was a huge first step. Telling the woman behind the desk at the gym that this was holding me back was an important second step. After she laughed (kindly) at my silliness, she signed me up for a private session which happened yesterday and was awesome.

I learned so much about climbing in one hour. I learned that there are classic newbie mistakes that make the experienced climbers chuckle. I did them. My instructor chuckled and then showed me what they were (sticking your butt way out) and why they are 'mistakes' (makes you have to work a lot harder) and how to correct them (bring your hips in close to the wall). Gotta love good instruction. She explained all the different little bumps on the walls and what their names are and how to use them effectively. I learned that the different colors of tape next to each bump let you know they are part of a specific path up the wall...you don't just start grabbing bumps willy-nilly to get to the top.

Watching her demonstrate was beautiful. She made it look smooth and effortless. I aspire to this.

By the end of the hour, my arms and hands were toast. I was hardly able to hold the pen to write the check at the end of the session. As I sat in my car plotting when I would be able to climb again, I realized that climbing could very easily become an obsession. That overtraining and injury would be just as possible with climbing as they are with any other sport...especially if one allows the obsession to take hold. I could see myself getting a wicked case of tendinitis as a result of over-climbing.

Back away from the ledge, girl

I need to listen to my climbing body the same way I listen to my running body. I need to listen to it and hear it and heed its voice.

Do you have a hard time heeding what your body is telling you? Any awesome plans on tap for the weekend?
I'm hoping to get a run in and go climb some walls ;-)


  1. Climbing sounds like so much fun! But yeah, I can see how easily it would be to go heavy into it just like running. If you have a certain personality type (I am that way too) it's easy to go at everything with both feet. Good luck finding the middle ground.

  2. Climbing sounds awesome - good for you making yourself go and get out of your comfort zone. Your video is crazy with how different the two sides of your body are - hope your more specialized exercises help with balancing the two out.

  3. Wow! I am glad the PT had a suggestion and hope work with a train helps! I wish I could muster up the gumption to try something new! You fascinate and inspire me (I just can't figure it to do what!)

  4. Wow.....the video...I can relate! especially the hip flexion/extension. I am so weak in that area as well...cannot lift without pain and popping and very, very weak! My PT is a bit confused by that actually. My knee on the same side rotates in as well...but I also over-pronate while running. Don't know about the hopping because I haven't tried jumping yet...to be determined!!!

    and to answer your question???????? I think you know the answer to that one by now! I try and find reasons to NOT listen to what I SHOULD be listening to...but, I think I have improved in that area!

    Thanks for sharing;)

  5. Enjoyed the video - always good to hear your voice! Sorry you are fighting some physical issues, but so pleased that it looks like you are getting a good plan of action. Way to get over yourself at the climbing gym too. Sometimes a solid lesson or two on anything is the difference between feeling like a complete dork and the strong, confident woman you want to be. Loved this!!

  6. I think climbing would be so much fun and I could see how it could be come an obsession!

    Glad you've got a plan with the PT. I've still got issues in the stabilizers around my left hip - pilates is helping me strengthen some, but I know I need to do more. Hope you new plan works for you!

  7. Oh how I love climbing!! I wish there was a climbing gym closer, heck I wish I were closer to you and we could be partners (I'm awesome at belaying!!) I'm glad you have a PT plan, I really hope it helps.

  8. So, I know I'm late to the blog - I seemed to have missed an injury somewhere along the line. I know you keep referring to it - mind catching a girl up? I'm glad you're in communication with a PT though, AND the fact that she agrees with climbing being a great idea!!

    Also, how awesome is it that you had a private session? That's great! Talk about nipping fear in the bud. I know what you mean about having to talk yourself off a ledge. My mind is either on "uninterested" or "OBSESSED!!!" One second I like yoga, the next I'm looking at teacher's retreats in secluded islands 'just in case'. ;)

    If anything, I listen TOO much to my body, and back off when I'm not supposed too. I have an unbelievably high pain tolerance, so something twinging is alarming to me, and I'll stop; when in reality maybe I didn't have too. Nothing exciting going on for the weekend at Chez Micki. We're boring folk. :)

    Stay sane, sista!

  9. Climbing looks like fun -- goodness I wish we were a bit closer so I could be your climbing partner!!

  10. Climbers are hippies.

    Hippies smoke copious amounts of good weed, especially where you live.

    When hippies copious amounts of good weed, they tend to care less about things.

    When hippies tend to care less about things, there are fewer "climbing faux Pas" that a newbie could make that will even register on their radar.

    Thus, you will be fine. On belay, dude. And party on.

  11. This is crazy that your right leg is so much different from your left and you were still running at all. Wow. Rock climbing...always impressed by you that you are trying new things and challenging yourself in new ways. No matter the circumstance. :)

  12. That's what I love about you: You are always looking for more challenges. As for the hip thing, I would also recommended looking for soemone who specializes in biomechanics of the body. These people work wonders in increasing athlete performance.

  13. I enjoyed reading this post so much that I came back and re-read it.
    Good for you for tackling the climbing challenge!

  14. That is so interesting...you never cease to challenge yourself! One of the things I love about you!! oh, and when did you get the tat?


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