Who needs another fitness blog, amirite? But here me out, here me out…I’m going through some stuff.
Let me begin by telling you (and I promise it’s related…somewhat) that one of the most influential movies of my childhood is the first ten minutes of ‘Cliffhanger’. Not the whole film. Just the first ten or so minutes. If you haven’t seen it (I’m not even going to say ‘spoilers’ because gawd dammit the movie is at least 20 years old it’s not my fault you had a terrible childhood), the beginning scene involves Sylvester Stallone saving that guy from ‘Walking Dead’ and his girlfriend from the top of a cliff that they were too dumb to realize was terrifying and climbed willingly. Sly climbs to the top even though his buddies have a helicopter (he’s cool) to help get the idiots down.
I am drawing these scenes from memory. Hold your applause.
Stallone successfully saves Yondu from “Guardians of the Galaxy” but drops the girlfriend down a chasm even though his arms could clearly lift a diesel truck. It’s a very intense scene for an 80’s movie and a blue screen. But let’s be honest. A grown woman who takes her teddy bear rock climbing with her is probably not going to last long in the game of life anyway.*
Girl, you’re falling! Forget yo’ bear!
My family would eventually start drifting out of the room after this scene. I think I’ve only seen the entire movie once but I’ve probably watch that girl die a hundred times. Were we really sickos that just wanted to see this girl and her security teddy plummet to their death? Could we not even wait until we saw John Lithgow (I mean, that guy is great)? Why have I devoted three paragraphs to ‘Cliffhanger’ on a fitness blog? Well, I became one of those crazies and joined a rock gym, in a ditch attempt to get healthy in a fun, adventurous way.
The first step to joining a rock gym is to be brave. There are many cute boys at the rock gym. I am a chubby girl in a harness. The second step is to stop giving a shit. Screw you, cute boys! There is also a bit more money involved here since it’s not a regular gym. We found it worth it to spend more up front and buy harnesses so we wouldn’t have to rent them every time. But that’s up to you.
So after my sister and I joined, we started off small and only climbed the automatic belay routes. Those were walls where the rope would, on its own, gently glide you back to earth if you should fall. This was nice but I would often envision the belay device at the top popping off and smacking me in the brain before I then descended to my untimely death. You see, it turns out my fascination with that damn Stallone movie was because I was afraid of it. I’ve never thought of myself as a person who feared heights, but when you’re actually on a rock, tethered or not, your body and brain go a little bit stiff. I suppose this is a healthy reaction and means that my instincts are working, but for the sake of me being a hardcore badass I would like it to stop.
After a few weeks of doing these, and with slightly less panic attacks, my sister and I felt like we were Cliffhanger ready and took the class to learn the top ropes. These are ropes that are already looped around the top, but a belayer (your friend or in my case, sister) gives or pulls the slack of one side of the rope. This is nice because you don’t have to necessarily start over with a route if you fall….that is, you don’t if you’re not a giant and your belayer is not a beanpole. Did I mention that I’m pretty overweight and my sister is super duper skinny? Do you know about this thing called physics? Even the best pulley system won’t help you catch an elephant when it plummets to the ground. I’ll let you imagine what happens when my sister belays me. That’s a lie. don’t imagine it, here’s a drawing:
See those hip boys with questionable hair? See what I mean about bravery?
Now here’s the point of this whole article. (By the way do you like how I told you it’s the point? Maybe next time I’ll tell you before I give you a metaphor. I’m not a delicate writer.) Being fat is a vicious circle. Society doesn’t like that you’re fat, you don’t like that you’re fat. The easiest thing to do is to hide away until you’re not fat. The problem with that is (a.)you’re wasting the one and only life you have and (b.)hiding away won’t make you healthy. It’s not action. Remember that second step, stop giving a shit. It would be easier to start rock climbing when I’m skinny, but who knows if that will ever happen, especially if I keep hiding my body? What am I really waiting for? So here’s to the first blog where I openly make a fool out of myself in an effort to become a better person. I do want to lose weight (I currently weigh in about 212 at 5′ 7″ ish), but I want to like myself too. I’ll keep rock climbing, and maybe one day I’ll look good in my harness, and that can be icing on the healthy cake.**
*I don’t really feel this way. teddy bears are baller and if you want to carry one then by golly you do it!
**This is a lie. No one looks good in a harness.
**I don’t really condone healthy cake, I mean come on live a little.