Conquering Everest

I have climbed a mountain before. A few of ‘em, in fact. Some Smokies and Pine and some others here and there that were either pretty decent or gave me what I dubbed “Climbing Asthma” before I started going to the gym more often.

And then there was Rocky Mountain National Park last year where Sami made us climb a mountain and there was like 8 feet of snow but we were in T-shirts and I couldn’t breathe because of altitude but it was worth it because the views at the end and on the way up were so beautiful.

Anyway. I can climb shit. Especially if it doesn’t involve my arms (I’m working on the upper body strength at the gym, too, so…someday). But one thing has always intimidated me when it comes to climbing.

Seriously. I’ve always been nervous to try that machine. I’ve tried almost every other one at the gym (except a couple of the ab ones because I literally can’t contort my body in the necessary way to use it) but that one has eluded me, even as I got braver and further out of my comfort zone when it came to working out and stuff this year.

I equate it to the furnace in the basement in Home Alone that Kevin is scared of and avoids most of the movie because it looms there, big and frightening.

It wasn’t that I thought I like, couldn’t climb stairs… I can do that just fine.

Aside: In middle school once, on a band field trip, a group of friends and I rode the elevator up to the top floor of the Galt House Hotel (there’s about 25 or so) and decided to run back down the entirety of those floors via the staircase in the 4 minutes we had to get to our bus. (Middle schoolers – they ain’t the brightest…) They need a machine where you can walk down lots of stairs too. Basically an up escalator you walk down the whole time. Is that a thing? I don’t know. The gym is big. They may have it. If not – I’ll email Planet Fitness.

Back to our story – I was afraid that I’d fall off the thing. Isn’t that ridiculous? I realize it now but for so long I was like, “Yeah, my coordination isn’t good enough for me to get on and off that thing without busting my ass.”

Speaking of my ass, though, that’s what ultimately ended up getting me on that machine and over my fear.

You see, this is the general shape of my butt.

So you can see where it leaves something to be desired, no? I need to do more machines that help fix that.

I’ve been in a routine with the gym where I do a couple miles run/walking on the treadmill and then a few machines (usually for my arms because of the aforementioned lack of upper body strength). I don’t know why, but I haven’t done the arc trainer or the elliptical in a long time either, but the other day, the treadmill didn’t seem as appealing as usual. I didn’t give myself too much time to think about it, and walked straight over to the stair machine.

I don’t know what had come over me. The need for change? The second cup of coffee I’d had that afternoon? The months of watching Kourtney and Khloe’s workouts on Snapchat that often included this machine? (Aside. I need to hire a trainer probably. One who I can pay in like, hugs – and maybe my HBO/Netflix password.)

Whatever it was, I put on a brave face and climbed aboard. Luckily when I got on, there was nobody on the other two next to it so I didn’t have to feel like I was already behind. I set all the things and got started.

You can see the whole gym from the top of that thing. Which brought about another fear for a minute – everyone in the gym could see me. Cool.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned though about the gym, and Planet Fitness in particular. Nobody’s paying attention to you. They’re worried about themselves. And how good/bad/silly they look at any given moment.

33 “flights” later, I was done. And not dead. And hadn’t fallen off. All that worry, for nothin’.

I felt good, and accomplished, and basically like this:

I’m adding it into the rotation now when I visit the gym. Fear = conquered.

Just don’t ask me to conquer any others – clowns and heights are the ones I have left and I have no interest in dealing with either one yet. Baby steps.

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What it’s like to go to a haunted house with me

Being that today is Halloween, I’m getting festive. Mom and Dad’s annual party is tonight – and we go all out, but more on that later this week. For now, you’ll have to settle with one of the funniest videos I’ve seen in a while. It’s from Ellen, when she sent one of her writers through a haunted house and had it filmed.

If you’ve never been to a haunted house/hotel/yard/mansion/field/whatever with me, this is about what it’s like. Only thing that’s different when I’m there? More cursing.

Fear, falling and four-letter words

I have a bad habit. I curse. More than I should. I don’t know when or how it really started and I’ve been trying to cut back for a while and believe it or not it’s better than it used to be.

And seriously, I could have worse habits.

Nowadays, the times it happens the most are only in the most serious of situations. Like when something goes wrong, breaks, I hurt myself somehow, I forget something, or my alarm goes off and I’m not ready to get up yet.

I tell you that to tell you this – I am currently laying in bed because it feels good on my sore back. Why is my back sore?

OH. ON ACCOUNT OF IT SNOWED. And no one salted the walkway outside my apartment building. And like the graceful ballerina that I am, yesterday when walking to my car, I ate it. Big time. Fell so hard my shoe popped off. So I can’t really make as much fun of Sami for all the times she fell when skiing and her skis popped off. Because seriously, yesterday, my walking to my car was like Sami getting off the chairlift at Paoli. NOT PRETTY.

And, unable to control myself, as my feet flew out from under me and I landed square on my butt (I’m sure there’s a softball-sized bruise or two. It feels like it anyway) I let loose a four-letter word. I’m not gonna say which one, but suffice it to say, the parents of the kids on the first floor apartments should be glad their kids were inside and didn’t have to hear it. Or maybe they did. I yelled it loud. IT HURT!

It’s not just when I fall – which is actually more often than I wish to admit – but when I am startled that those words come out. I can’t help it! Last year, the haunted house down the street from my parents house made it sound like I’d developed Tourette’s. Bring on the ghosts and the paranormal excursions, but have a clown or man with a chainsaw jump out at me in a semi-dark room, I’m screaming a bad word. And I’ll give you a hint, it usually rhymes with spit.

Seriously though, the first floor people at this apartment probably aren’t too happy with me, considering it’s not the first time this week I’ve shouted an expletive as I’ve walked out to the parking lot. A few days ago, a giant bird (OK maybe not giant but it sounded like it) was in the bushes right by the walkway where I fell yesterday. About the time I walked past said bush, the bird moved or flew away or something and all I could think was “Holy crap it’s gonna fly out of that bush right into my head.” And I jumped, screamed a little bit and said a bad word.

I can’t help it. But the first step to getting better is admitting you have the problem, right?

This will haunt your dreams at night

I hate clowns. I don’t see the point. They’re creepy and anyone who wants to dress up that way for fun and to entertain kids – that’s effed up.

The Stephen King book, “IT” is the reason behind my fear..I read it at a young age, that was dumb, and then made the mistake of seeing the movie. I was scared of shower drains, sewer drains and Tim Curry as well for a while afterwards.

I didn’t know how bad it was until last year – we went to Thunder on my 24th birthday and while we were walking to the bathroom, we saw some freak with a clown mask on. And not a regular one, of course, one of those extra creepy ones. My sister and best friend thought it’d be hilarious if we stopped him to get a picture with me. It scared the hell out of me. I hid behind Anthony with my head buried in his back while my sister told the clown to put his arm around me for a picture. When he finally walked away and detached myself from Anthony’s back I was crying. I didn’t even know it was that bad. But apparently it is.

So. To today’s story. My mom texted me this morning to let me know that when her boss was playing in a golf tournament this week, a guy dressed up as a clown was following her in a golf cart. Apparently it was because he was the mascot for the tournament.

Doesn’t matter though. WTF. CLOWNS ARE CREEPY.

And you will never convince me otherwise.