WHEW!!! While the rest of the semester continues to go well, I just got the hardest grade I will likely ever earn in college. I just finished taking a course on rock climbing. Admittedly, I did not think much of it originally, except that it might be a fun challenge to do something new. What I did not really consider is how much it might hurt!!! I don’t mean bumps, scrapes, and bruises. Those I just assumed. What never occurred to me, is that we might be walking a mile uphill to reach the rocks in question. Just never thought about it. I did not consider how much time I have spent in a chair, in front of a computer. Sure, I don’t look terribly out of shape and everything is still in working order, but somehow the concept of conditioning just never popped into my brain.
I am seriously considering marching down to the college administration offices and demanding more than one lousy credit hour for so much sweat and a bit of blood… As soon as my legs return to their pre-jello state. Wow, that was a workout! I have yet to bleed for any of my other classes and I have gotten at least three times the credit hours! I smell a disparity here!
LOL! Once reaching the top, it was not so bad. It was a great time and we had access to two very competent instructors. I was certainly not one of the better climbers, but they rewarded effort, teamwork, and the determination to continue on in the face of gravity and regurgitation, no matter how many times those opponents made you look like an out of shape chair jockey.
All I could think was, I used to do this kind of stuff all the time when I was younger. Not climbing so much, but running around in the woods, jumping off rocks, ect. In my mind, I could see myself doing all those things before. My ass however, it seemed to delight in reminding me that those memories were circa several presidential administrations in the past. Needless to say, I took a grim satisfaction in seeing my ass kicked for having the temerity to remind me of such inconvenient things.
Meanwhile, I attempted to use my expanding knowledge of biological chemistry to mitigate my conditioning problems. This past Saturday I was very disappointed to find the walk up the mountain just as painful. The other thing I found is that, everyone on the web who writes about OTC supplements for fitness are either trying to gain muscle or loose weight. No one seems to consider how to simply survive a one mile uphill walk without collapsing like an unsupported hypothesis. I tried to support my calcium and potassium channels, the necessary nutrients for maximum ATP production… All for naught.
That night however, I discovered something interesting. While my trip up the mountain was no less painful, I was not as sore and whiny that evening. Recovery seemed to improve remarkably. While I entertained that observation, I dreaded the following morning’s hike no less. Sunday was still painful, but was actually an improvement over the previous day. Not as many stops and rests. Very interesting, but very anecdotal all the same. In the end, it was a great class. Had a lot of fun. Was in a lot of pain. How does that saying go? If you didn’t bleed, you didn’t have fun? There really was not much blood, but it still says fun to me! …And by this time next year, I might sufficiently recover to have more fun…
The sorta crazy pirate looking old guy on the mountain
(P.S. As if to maximize the ego deflating nature of the exercise, the lead instructor had 20 years on me and never seemed to be out of breath. I can only hope that, whatever ego I have remaining learned it’s lesson!)