And Then There Was That Time I Decided To Be an Aerialist

So I somehow came across BAM Academy a while back.  I think it came up in my search for Ninja gyms.  While they don’t do any ninja warrior training that I know of, they do have a huge parkour space, which is where the association probably came from.  In looking up their classes, I found a lot of really neat stuff.  Besides lots of parkour classes, they have tricking classes (I honestly don’t really know what that is), stunt work classes (are you an actor that needs to learn to fake take a punch and fall?), light saber classes (yes, it’s just what you think it is), and aerial classes.

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I’ve seen enough America’s Got Talent to have a small understanding of what aerial is, and it always looks like so much fun, so I knew I had to try it.  Life got in the way of me getting up there until Wednesday night.  It was a fairly significant drive, about an hour and 20, but man, did it turn out to be worth it.  I’m hooked!

So when I got there, Reuben got me all signed in.  I had to sign a waiver saying if I broke my neck I wouldn’t sue them (I’ve signed a lot of waivers these past few months, should that make me re-evaluate my activities??).  ‘Aerial’ wasn’t one of the options on the waivers, but he said to circle ‘circus arts’.  Being the dork that I am, I said, “Oh, I always wanted to join the circus!’  His obligatory chuckle immediately told me I was not the first one to make that joke.

I was there a few minutes early, so he showed me inside the gym, and where to wait for class.  It’s a pretty neat place.  They had every shape you could think of, made out of plywood, set up in multiple parkour courses.  For the aerial class, they had 2 silks and what I was calling a hoop.  I have now learned it’s a lyra.

IMG_1364There was a junior high-ish girls’ class finishing up, so I sat and watched.  The teacher, Gigi, came over to say hi and I introduced myself.  She asked if I had taken an aerial class before.  ‘Nope’, I said, ‘first time’.  She asked if I had any experience with any similar disciplines, like dance.  ‘No’, I answered, almost apologetically.  She then asked me if I had done any rock climbling, since that was actually applicable.  ‘I took a rock climbing class once!’.  It didn’t seem to impress her.  Had I thought about it, I would have offered that I had also taken a couple gymnastics classes, but I didn’t think about it at the time.  I couldn’t get a feel for her right away, and I didn’t want her to dread having a total newbie in class.  She didn’t ask if I had happened to have been training for American Ninja Warrior for the past few months, so I didn’t offer that information either.  At the time, I didn’t know that it would be that applicable.  Turns out, it totally was.IMG_1381So there were 3 of us in class.  One of the other girls was probably mid 20’s?  It seemed she had been taking classes a while because she seemed to know Gigi on a personal basis, they chatted a lot using aerial lingo, and she was working on more advanced skills.  And the other lady was actually older than me!  I think this was the first time I have walked into one of these brand new experiences the last few months and not been the oldest.  I was so excited to see gray hair!  She was probably late 40’s or early 50’s?

IMG_1365Anyway, to make a long story not quite so long, Gigi started me out with the basics, and seemed genuinely impressed with how well I was doing.  She told me she couldn’t believe it was my first class, and that I was a natural (she probably tells all the newbies that).  And I overheard her and one of the students comment on how I was able to just hang there on the silks while trying to get my feet situated.  She taught me 2 different climbs (classic and Russian, I think?), a couple of footlocks, I did an inverted tuck hang into a handstand, the superhero pose which is butchered in the picture below, wrist locks, and some other things I’m probably forgetting.  Every time I did a move and she said ‘when you’re more advanced, you can do…’, I immediately had to try it.  I wanted to do that thing where you’re all bound up at the ceiling and then you unwrap yourself and plummet to the ground, stopping only inches from death, but apparently they don’t teach that on night one.  Go figure.

I’ll be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I was able to do, too.  It was all grip strength and upper arm strength.  All the stuff I’ve been working on at home.  Hanging on those silks was just like the towel dead hangs I’ve been practicing.  Had I gone to this class 3 or 4 months ago, I would not have been able to do any of it.  I would probably have had a totally different experience and left feeling very defeated.  So I do think I was probably more capable than the average first-timer, which is a pretty foreign feeling for me.  But I didn’t ever tell her I had been training upper body at home.  I just let her think I was a born aerialist off the street for the first time.

After class was over, I said, “I have a silly question.  Can I do one of the things you taught me in class and will you take my picture?  My kids will think it’s pretty cool.” (Spoiler alert: my kids were totally unimpressed).  She laughed and said that wasn’t actually a silly question, everyone asks.  So we did.

IMG_1370Anyone who reads this that is an actual aerialist is probably shuddering at my form.  But I thought it was pretty cool.  And just a little bit painful.  And it turns out, aerial is more of a ‘thing’ than I thought it was, and she told me about several other places I could go that might actually be a little closer to me.  And a couple of them have a huge variety of circus arts classes to take, including the silks, lyra, trapeze, rope, handstands, hand balancing, flexibility and contortion.  Um yes please, take my money.  Sign me up for all of it!

And then I drove an hour home, with visions of being in Cirque du Soleil someday.IMG_1375

 

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Discoveries

Fun fact:  When you’ve birthed 4 babies, things don’t work the same way they used to.  I thought I had escaped the bladder weakness since I stay dry when I laugh and sneeze.  But there’s one thing I couldn’t have anticipated.  One thing the kegels weren’t strong enough to overcome.

The trampoline.

When I think back to my first private gymnastics lesson, I will remember 2 things.  I will remember walking in to the gym at my lesson time, seeing all the little kids having class, and realizing for the first time that I would be having my lesson in front of all the parents that were there watching their kids.  I would be a middle aged person with stage fright, trying to learn to do a cartwheel in front of a bunch of people.

And I will remember being mortified as I discovered that every time I bounced on the trampoline I peed myself, and not being able to do anything about it.  And that my younger, male teacher had me on the trampoline for what seemed like an eternity.  In front of a bunch of people.

#reallife #momedition #thankfulforalongshirtanddarkpants #canwebedoneyet? #canyouhashtagonablog?

It’s a Weird Thing

When my 69 year old mom was here recently, I was either just about to start taking gymnastics lessons, or had maybe taken one already.  We were sitting on the couch talking about it and she said, ‘I can do a cartwheel’.  So we went out in the backyard and did a couple of (really ugly but successful) cartwheels.  I was so impressed that she was willing and able to do that.

The next day her foot was hurting pretty good and she ended up not being able to walk very well for a couple weeks.  Presumably from doing the cartwheel.  She said something to me that has stayed with me.  She said (paraphrased), “It’s a weird thing to get older.  I can still do all that stuff in my head.  It’s just my body that won’t cooperate.”  My mom was a tomboy and athletic when she was younger, so it was nothing for her to be running, jumping, climbing, and playing ball.

One of the many traits my mom has passed on to me is the overconfidence that we can do anything.  If we see somebody making something neat, we immediately think, ‘I can make that.’  It doesn’t matter how skilled it may be, we just know we could do it too.  Or when we see people doing neat things, like the American Ninja Warrior course (or cartwheels), we just know we could do that, too.  It just never really crosses our mind that not everyone can do everything.

As I’ve been on this training journey, I’ve had many times where I’ve experienced those ‘I can do it in my head, my body just won’t cooperate’ moments.  And it’s made me realize that I am actually getting older.  I may not feel older in my head, and I may roll my eyes when sports announcers talk about an athlete’s age being a factor, but I’m starting to understand the reality.  Things get pulled a little easier, I stay sore a little longer, my flexibility has definitely deteriorated.  I do think that these things can be improved on, but I have to work a little harder, a little longer, to get the results.  It’s a weird thing getting older.  And it’s a weird thing working towards a physical goal for the first time in my life, while getting older.

I remember during this past ANW season, I think it may have been during the Vegas finals, that Akbar was commentating Travis Rosen’s run.  He got to the warped wall, and Akbar said something to the effect of, ‘He’s got to get those 40 year old legs up the wall.’  I’m sure I rolled my eyes.  But there’s something to that.  Getting 40 year old legs up the wall isn’t the same as 20 year old legs.  (Although I’m sure Travis could smear most 20 year old’s with his ability).  But it does make you stop and think.  It’s a weird thing getting older.

Checking In

I figured it was time for a check-in, although I don’t have much to say.  It seems the plague has visited our house, and some combination of the 6 of us have been sick for a solid month.  Just as I thought we were getting to the end of it, it finally got the best of me and now I’m stuck in bed.  This really sucks.

I’ve still been plugging along on my exercise, working on getting stronger.  I’ve been eating well too, except since being sick.  I have zero willpower when I’m sick and got some ice cream to wash down all my medicine.

I had planned to go to Power Park Fitness today, even wrote it on the calendar, until the germs knocked me on my tookus.  This past Wednesday I planned on going to an aerial acrobatics class at BAM Academy but ended up picking up an extra shift at work.  So it seems that life is getting in the way of all my plans right now.  I’m hoping to go out to BAM next Wednesday, and hopefully Power Park soon.  David Yarter runs that place, whom I met at Alpha Warrior a few weeks ago.  And they’re about to open a second location which is much closer to me than the original, so I’m pretty excited about that.

I have had 2 private gymnastics lessons which have been tons of fun.  I’ll write about those soon.  Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures since I didn’t have anyone there with me.  And I’ve been back out to the rock climbing facility once for practice.

I have an exciting/terrifying Ninja-related trip coming up soon, so I’ll give the details on that at some point, too.

NNL and UNAA have come across my radar.  NNL seems to be mostly in the northeast, nothing close to me.  UNAA has a couple close events in the spring that I’m thinking about possibly signing up for.  Anyone know anything about that?  What it’s like?  What to expect?

OCR World Championships are going on this weekend in Canada.  I would love to compete in those someday.  Maybe 2019 will be my goal.  I don’t know, I’ll be a couple years older by then…will they take people that old??

Alpha Warrior

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I did it!  I survived!  Man, was I nervous.  There were a few times I just wanted to call the whole thing off.  But I put on my big girl panties, got started, and I’m so glad I did!  It was really fun, and I’m super proud of myself.  And I met a real life ninja warrior!

So to recap my goals:

  1.  Not get injured:  I didn’t get injured!  I’ve got some bumps and bruises, and some road rash on my arm, but nothing more serious than that.  I was very thankful.
  2. Not embarrass myself:  I didn’t!  I think I kept up with most of the people there.  Some completed obstacles I couldn’t, and some fell off on stuff I completed.  I felt pretty at par with the majority of the other people there.
  3. Complete 3 obstacles:  I attempted all of them, and successfully completed 9-10 of the 18 obstacles.  I’ll describe the details below.  So yay!  I was happy with that!

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So we got there, and of course I started checking out everyone else that was doing the course.  Most of them looked like professional athletes, at least in my mind.  This picture captures one of the many moments of me thinking ‘I don’t belong here.  I’m not ready for this.  What the heck was I thinking?!  Let’s just call this whole thing off.’  But I’ve got too much pride to back out when we’re already there, and my kids were watching me, so I mustered some confidence and stuck around.

I originally didn’t plan on wearing gloves.  I’ve never trained in them, didn’t own any, and know I can’t use them on ninja so figured I shouldn’t start.  Then the info email went out and said gloves were HIGHLY recommended, and then my mom came to town to cheer me on and suggested maybe I just take some with me and then decide if I want to use them or not.  So about 8 pm the night before I went to the store and bought some and I’m so glad I did!  There was a course volunteer that was talking to us beforehand on advice, and he said make sure you wear gloves.  My hands got blood blisters through my gloves, I can’t imagine what they would have looked like if I hadn’t had them on.  I saw lots of ripped open bleeding hands afterwards of people that didn’t wear them.

They had said they were going to release 9 people every 3 minutes, and I was technically scheduled to be in the 3rd group to go.  But they just had everyone gather in the starting corral, let the 3 ‘elites’ go first, and then just let small groups go every few minutes, whoever stepped up first.  It seemed as though most people doing it were in teams together.  I held back in the crowd because I wanted to see how other people ahead of me did.  And because I was scared, let’s be honest.

The very first obstacle was these giant barrels you were supposed to jump over.  The elite guys just flew over them.  The next group was all guys and flew over them too.  I started to get real nervous.  But then after that people started to not be able to get over them, and I felt better.  Then I was ready to just get started and go.  Of the 30ish people I saw go before me, I’d say about 90% of the guys got over, and 0% of the girls got over without some kind of help.

IMG_0088  So without further ado, the obstacles:

1.  Monster barrels:

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These got much bigger the closer to them you got.  Like I said, most of the guys flew over the top, and none of the girls did.  They either got a boost from someone else, or just skipped it.  My husband and I disagree on if I successfully completed it.  I used the rigging to help get a leg up, and then crawled over the top of the barrels.  I call that cheating.  He disagrees.  He says because I went over the top of all of them I did complete, and was just using what I had.  That’s me in the middle with my butt up in the air.

2.  Side Winder:IMG_0101This was basically a hanging cargo net you had to go sideways across.  Pretty easy.  Successful complete #1 (or #2 if you’re counting with my husband, but since he’s not writing this, it’s #1)

3.  Silverback

IMG_0108This one was harder than it looked.  I’ve never climbed up an inverted cargo net before.  Once you got to the top you had to throw your legs over to come down, that was tricky.  But I did it!  Successful complete #2!

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4.  Sea of Ropes

IMG_0117This one broke my heart.  I fell on the last rope before the finish deck.  I should have used my legs more.  I had my feet on the disks, but they tipped and moved, so it took a lot of core strength to stay upright on them.  I compensated by mostly just using my arms to go from rope to rope and my grip gave out at the end.

IMG_0124Next time I’ll stop and balance on a disk if I need to, build up more strength.  I just slid off the last rope at the end.  I should have been able to finish this one, but I didn’t.  FAIL!

IMG_0126At this point I was totally worn out and winded.  I was surprised at how winded I got between obstacles.  I didn’t anticipate that.  It’s hard to do them back to back to back.  I knew my muscles would get tired, but I wasn’t able to even draw in a full breath.  I need to work on my stamina.

5.  Gut Buster

IMG_0135This one was 2 parallel bars that you had to go vertically across with hands on one bar and feet on the other.  I’m second from the left in this picture.  The bars started close together at the start, then spread apart as they went higher, then came back together as they came back down to the ground.

IMG_0137I anticipated not being able to do this one, but it wasn’t that bad.  And I didn’t fall!  Successful complete #3!

6.  Pipe bombs

IMG_0151Basically a bunch of vertically hanging bars you had to make your way across.  I started out good, high up on the bars.  But every time I moved one forward I slipped down a little, and my grip finally gave out.  This was a fun one, but I fell about halfway through.  My grip gave out before my arms did.  I’ve gotta work on my grip strength more.  FAIL!

7.  Sky Walk

IMG_0156On this one, you had to climb up the ramp, and then there were several raised platforms with low trampolines in between.  You had to jump down onto the trampoline, and then up to the next platform.  The raised platforms got higher each time, so you had to jump higher to make it up.

IMG_0170The last platform was pretty high, but I was able to jump up onto all the platforms.  Succesful complete #4!

IMG_0176Getting down off this obstacle was the first time I had some fear factor in there.  When you’re standing up at the top of the pole, it looks like a looong way down.  This is how you had to get down from a lot of the tall obstacles.  This one wasn’t too high, but there were some that were much taller.  When my muscles were shot, I wasn’t totally sure I’d be able to let myself down.  But there’s no other way down, so you gotta do what you gotta do.  My arms didn’t fail me, and I got down softly.

8.  Pitfall

IMG_0186This one was fun.  And scary.  You had to swing across the gap (the website says it’s 30 feet), and grab onto the inverted cargo net on the other side.  When you’re up there, it looks like a long way down, and I knew if I slipped off that rope mid-swing I’d land hard.  Probably on my back or head.  And again, I wasn’t sure my arms would hold up.

IMG_0187But they did!  Then it was another climb up and over an inverted cargo net.  Successful complete #5!

9.  Chopper Crawl

IMG_0203This one is a little hard to see, but basically it’s a vertical ladder, on a slack line, suspended about 4 feet above the ground, with a net right above you, I guess so you have to stay low.  Some core strength and balance were involved, but it wasn’t too bad.  Successful complete #6!

10.  Radial Rings

IMG_0224This one broke my heart, too.  So it was a semi-circle of hanging rings.  3 basic ring lanes, inside, middle, outside.  I started out really good.  I was on the inside row, and wonder woman in front of me was on the middle row.

IMG_0225Then she got stuck.  She had one hand on the middle ring, and kept swinging side to side to the inside and outside rings trying to right her momentum.  Because she was taking up the entire width, I couldn’t go around her on either side.  I had to keep swinging on my 2 rings, not going anywhere, hoping she would either drop down or get out of the way, so I could keep going.  I used up a whole lot of energy trying to wait for her.

IMG_0226Then she finally fell, and ran into my legs on the way down.  My momentum totally stopped trying to get out of her way and not kick her in the head.  I couldn’t get it going again after that, and I ended up dropping down too.  I feel like I honestly could have finished this one if all that hadn’t happened.  So it’s not a successful complete, but I’m not calling it a fail either.  It was more of a situational disappointment.

11. Slack City

IMG_0252This was a series of 3 slack lines between platforms.  The first was 3 parallel slack lines going down towards the ground.  Then 3 lines that crossed in the center going up (picture above), and then finally 2 parallel slack lines going down again,

IMG_0256which I crab walked down.  I’m not sure that was the best technique, but it worked!  This was another one I didn’t think I would be able to complete and I did.  Successful complete #7!

12.  Camel Back

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I was thinking ‘Ain’t no way’ here in this picture.  I was tired.  My arms were tired.  And this was wavy pipes you had to muscle across.

IMG_0273I attempted but didn’t get very far.  That hump that goes up is no joke.  Super hard.  Maybe next time.  FAIL!

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13.  Spider Wall

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This is one I thought I’d be able to do, but couldn’t end up finishing.  It was 3 sections, each one higher than the last.  I was able to do the first section, but couldn’t finish the last 2.  Perhaps if it had been earlier in the course I could have done better, but after 12 obstacles, I was just too tired.  FAIL!

14.  Robin Wood

IMG_0297I’m not sure what the trick to this one was supposed to be.  Or maybe they just wanted to throw an easy one in towards the end.  It was just a cargo net up and then you had to let yourself down the inverted side.  Succesful complete #8!

IMG_0302It had been forecasted to rain this morning.  Instead it was hot and muggy.  I’m thankful for the answered prayer of no rain.  I’m also thankful for the water stations.

15. Battering Rams

IMG_0316This was another one that was painful.  In more ways than one.  There were these hanging pipes on the left, stair stepping up.  They were suspended on chains, so they swung around a lot.  I had thought they would be soft, like a pool noodle.  They were not.  They were very hard, and had a bit of grit to them, like the bottom of a pool.  When you got to the top stair stepped one, you had to get across the high perpendicular one, and then get down the descending stair step ones again.  I wanted this one so bad.  I closed my eyes going across the top one, and when I finally opened them and looked down I saw the event film and photo crew on me.  No pressure.  I got to the very end of the high one and everything gave out.  I got some road rash on my arms and legs from dragging them across those poles.  This one is going to leave a mark.  I WILL finish this one next time.  FAIL!

16.  Gorilla Bars

The last obstacles were inside the ‘Alcatraz’ box, which is the thing in the very first picture of this post.  You started out climbing up the chain ramp,

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and then through the tunnels.

IMG_0343And then got to the gorilla bars, which are uphill monkey bars spaced a good bit apart.

IMG_0346This was a big fat FAIL!  I’m usually okay with monkey bars, but not when they’re this far apart, uphill, and after a whole obstacle course.

IMG_0353Then you climbed up another net tunnel, and another one again, to get to the top.  I felt like I was at the playground at Chick-fil-A, except not really.

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17.  Vertical Rope

IMG_0377I don’t know the actual name of this one because it’s not on the website.  It looks like it replaced an obstacle that’s not there anymore.  Once you got about 3 stories up, there was a looong vertical rope to get across.  I wanted this one bad.  It was really hard, and I have rope burn on the back of my legs.  This used my arms, legs, core, and surprisingly, my neck muscles.

IMG_0386And the transition from the first rope to the second was tricky because there was a little gap.  But I did it!  This is the one I’m most proud of.  Succesful complete #9!

18.  Broken Bars

IMG_0400This was the last obstacle.  It was kind of cool because we were about 3 stories up, and there was a net underneath us, then the crowd was down below us looking up.  It was kind of not cool because my entire body was totally shot and I was not able to get across these.  They were swinging bars going in all directions.  I saw very few people successfully do this one so I didn’t feel too bad.  FAIL!

IMG_0411Then it was down another cargo net,

IMG_0418and down to the finish.

IMG_0434I got a banana, which my kids took, a t-shirt and medal.  I will say that I did have the best cheering squad out there.  Besides my kids, my mom and husband were there, and they all cheered so loud and kept me going.  Thanks family!IMG_0465David Yarter has been on several seasons of American Ninja Warrior and he was there.  I’m not sure if I was more nervous to run the course or go up and talk to him.  But he was so super nice, and it totally solidified my theory that Ninjas are pretty much the nicest people on the planet.  Thanks David for humoring us with a picture!!

IMG_0468And then I totally splurged on fried chicken, fries, rolls and gravy, and a half sweet tea for lunch.  I figured I earned it.  It was so yummy!

So all in all, a very successful day.  I’ve learned that I still want to be a Ninja Warrior, I need to work on my grip strength, I need to be more serious about my hanging practice, and I need to have more confidence in my abilities.  I was surprised at how my grip gave out before my arm strength.  I figured it would have been the other way around.  But it just goes to show how much progress I’m making in all the upper body work I’m doing.

They’re doing another Alpha Warrior run in November and I hope to go.  There’s a few obstacles that I need a do-over on.  I will get my revenge.

 

What Was I Thinking?

A few weeks ago, I signed up to do Alpha Warrior this Sunday.  What was I thinking?!  Man, I’m not ready for this.  And it’s forecasted to rain.  If I fall off all the obstacles, that’s what I’m going to blame it on.

I think there are 19 obstacles.  My goal is to complete 3 of them.  That should be doable, right?  Maybe?

My other goals are to not die, or get seriously injured or maimed.  And not embarrass myself too much.  These are probably less accomplishable.

I’ll let yall know how it goes.

In other news, I went rock climbing again for some practice.  My forearms and hands were shot after less than an hour.  But I did some V1’s and a V2 route, so that was improvement.

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Then There Was That Time I Decided to be a Rock Climber

All the best ninjas are gymnasts and/or rock climbers, right?  For the most part.  I’ve started taking gymnastics lessons, so I figured I might as well learn rock climbing too.  Why not?  We have a nearby university with a pretty impressive rock wall, so I figured I’d take advantage of it and I signed up for their Intro to Rock Climbing clinic.  (For reference, I have never attempted rock climbing before)

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Just as a total side note:  “I signed up for their clinic and went and took the class.”  It sounds so simple, right?  The slogan for the crossfit box I went to was #justshowup.  Sounds simple, right?

Wrong.  By the time I #justshowup, I’m #justsooverit, and #justreadytogohome.  But you know, whatever, it’s catchy.  If highly unattainable at this stage of life.

See, here’s the thing.  The clinic was at 3.  Which is also when my daughter gets out of school.  So the whole day has to be adjusted to make a 3 o’clock class.  That’s normally when the babies are napping, so I have to try to get them to take a longer nap in the morning, so they won’t be screaming hangry babies during class.  And in order to pick up my daughter earlier, we have to leave earlier, which is going to cut into my son’s ‘naptime’.  Which means I have to get him fed and down earlier, and hope that he actually goes to sleep, so that he will be somewhat rested.

In order to pick up my daughter early, I have to get there and get 3 kids unloaded out of carseats, all of whom take it as a personal challenge to make this as difficult as possible.  Then I have to load the smallest 2 into a wagon, because the double stroller doesn’t fit into the car.  Then I have to get into the school as quickly as possible, because the 3 year old, who thinks he’s helping by holding on to the wagon, is actually pulling on it, making me also have to drag his body weight as well.  He also gets super distracted by every nature element we see, and oh.my.gosh we have to stop at EVERY dandelion on the way in to check it out.  So when we finally get into the office, I have to try to keep all 3 entertained, and contained, while they go collect my daughter.  Which is tricky since now both babies are super excited to pull themselves up, and the wagon sides are low enough that they will easily tumble over the side.  And the 3 year old wanders.  If I hear one more person say, ‘oh, you’ve got your hands full’, I’m going to sock them.

So my daughter comes to the office, and we have to make our way back out to the car, and get 4 children buckled into carseats, and we drive to the next town over where the class is.

But then we’re on a college campus.  During the school year.  The roads on this campus are already very narrow and crooked, and there are college students walking everywhere, and the road I normally take was closed for construction, and I didn’t know another way.  And there are 2 kids in the back fighting, and yelling, ‘Mom, he touched me!’ ‘No I didn’t!’ ‘Mom, when are we going to be there?’ ‘MOOOOOMMMMMMMYYYYYYY’.  It makes it very hard to concentrate and weave around all the pedestrians, and find my way.  I felt like I was in that old video game Paperboy.  AND, not to mention, you have to have a permit for all the parking I could find.  Which I of course didn’t have.  So I finally just picked a spot and risked a ticket.

So then I have to unpack all 4, load the babies in the wagon, and start hiking it to the rec center.  And I feel SO out of place, walking around in all my mom glory, dragging 4 kids behind me, on a college campus.  I definitely stick out like a sore thumb.

My husband, who works elsewhere on campus, met me at the rec center so that he could watch the kids while I took class.  I had to wait in the college rec center, amongst very young and ‘perky’ college aged girls, in various stages of revealing work-out clothes, while I sit in my very matronly physique, with baby spit-up on me, with 4 kids crawling all over me.  I definitely was feeling very self-conscious and old.  It was not a high point of the event.  There were also a lot of ripped college guys, also in various stages of undress, and even though I’m so very much older than them, it still makes me blush.  So there was that.

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And finally I got to the class!  And during the class I was thinking, “It was worth it, all the hassle to get here.  My kids will see me trying something new…rock climbing…it’ll be a good lesson, and they’ll think I’m cool.”  After class my daughter said, “Why didn’t you ever get on the rock, mom?”  Sigh.

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There were 4 of us.  Me and 3 college students, who were all very kind and welcoming, and didn’t overtly treat me like they realized I could be their mom.  I was the only one who had never done this.  The class was mostly talking, but I did get on the wall a couple of times.  And I learned a whole lot of lingo, like bouldering, crimping, belay, beta, breaking beta, smear, jug, matching, projecting, flagging, back flagging, heel hook, crux, pumped, and a whole lot more that I can’t remember anymore.  I learned I like jugs the best, and I’m a solid V0 climber.  But it was fun, and it was refreshing to be out there trying something new.  It was a one hour class that took an entire day of planning to make.  But that’s okay.  It was worth it, and I hope to go back to ‘open wall’ nights for some practice.

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Monkey Business

So I’m practicing swinging a little bit, but all I have is our door frame pull-up bar.

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Over under on when I rip the door frame off?

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Or land on my butt?

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Or just rip my hands apart?

So calluses, good or bad?  I’ve heard some people say they’re good, some people say they’re bad, and some people say they’re good in moderation.  Lol.  Any gymnasts on here have an opinion?  I put lotion on my hands at nighttime when I think about it.  What’s the best hand care?

The Process

Although it shouldn’t be new news to me, as people have said it to me before, but as I was watching ANW this season, something occurred to me.  And really began to sink in for the first time.  I need to more appreciate the process.

I’m not a patient person.  Once I make a goal, I don’t really appreciate the process between starting and finishing.  I just want to get to the end and check that item off the list.  And I’ve never really liked to practice much.  Whenever I had a new crafting endeavor or project, I don’t like the practicing part, I just jump straight to doing the finished product (beginner’s luck gets me through most of it).  When I wanted to do my first 5K, the ‘Couch to 5K’ system was excruciating.  I didn’t train for my triathlon.  I get so frustrated with myself when I can’t do something, or know something.  I just want to get to the finish line, pass the test, complete the project.  The in-between parts are just a necessary evil that I only do if I absolutely have to.

But American Ninja Warrior is different.  I can’t fake this.  There’s no beginner’s luck.  You have to put in the work, plain and simple.  And it’s a significant amount of work.  Much more physical exercise than I’ve ever had to do before.  And I’ve been getting so frustrated with the process.  I seems to be taking sooooo long.

But as I watched the show this season, I really paid attention to the back stories.  When I look back on this season of my life, this ‘process’ is what I’m going to remember.  Yes, being on the show would be the culmination of this process, but just a small amount of time compared to all the work I’m putting into this.  This is a family experience.  We’re building a ninja rig.  We’re going to gyms together.  We’re playing together.  We’re building memories.  I need to enjoy this time.  I need to appreciate it.