I don’t like new year’s resolutions. No one keeps them because they make people feel guilty. Slip up just once and we feel like failures. Furthermore, it makes me less likely to make changes to my life in February. I feel like things need the start and end date of January 1. Bah.

Well, something is different in my life recently but not because the year changed. I suppose I can blame it on the fact that I didn’t get to go to Vegas.
See, my workplace closes between Christmas and New Years because there’s very little demand for services, and all employees are required to take vacation. Well, I didn’t want to end up sitting around in my apartment for a week watching Discovery Channel – not that there’s anything wrong with that. If I’m forced to take vacation, well darnit, let’s take a vacation! But where to go for a short trip very cheaply? Vegas! I’d never been there and even though I’m not a gambler I know there’s enough other cool stuff that I could be entertained for a few days. So I booked a room at the Tropicana and set off.
But I only made it as far as Hanging Lake before I started to feel very sick and kinda dizzy from sitting still in the car. I haven’t driven a road trip in years and I guess I’m out of practice. The thought of driving another 10-12 hours made me feel even sicker, so I turned around and was back in Boulder by noon. On my couch. Watching Discovery Channel. Isn’t this what I was trying to avoid?
Well, after a day or so for some crazy reason I suddenly remembered: the CU Rec Center is free this week! I guess they have less demand also or maybe want to let people try it out to sell memberships. I had gotten some books on CD for my car for the trip to Vegas. Now I transferred them to my iPod, climbed the hill to the Rec, and jumped on an elliptical machine. And I liked it! I went back the next day. And the next.
Now this is kind of crazy. And surprising. Though I’m not overweight (my 5’5″ frame hovers around 130lbs), I would not call myself in shape. I’ve never been an athletic person. I’ve always thought people that run for fun have something seriously wrong with their heads. The most athletic and “in shape” I was had to be my senior year of college when I played cymbals in the marching band. Moving briskly six to ten hours a week with weights on each arm will definitely get you in shape! And, man, I had some great guns that year…
When free week ended, I was sad. So I ended up doing something I never thought I would: I bought a membership. Some quick mental math told me that going twice a week over the semester would more than pay off the membership rather than paying per entry.
Who would have thought I would like elliptical machines? I’ve heard some people say they hate machines and treadmills and would much rather run outdoors. If you know me you know I have NOTHING against the outdoors. But I love the freedom that the machines offer. I don’t have to plan or guess how long it will take me to get from point A to point B. Will my body give up before I can get back home? What if I want to keep on going? And if my timing’s right I can snag a machine overlooking the pool where I can watch the high school girls’ dive meets, or the men’s club water polo team trying to impress the girls on the treadmills.
But it didn’t stop there! I realized that the Rec provided me with an opportunity to fulfill a life-long goal: learn rock climbing.
They have an indoor rock gym. Thirty-five dollars for a class on tying in and belaying, then you’re free to use the gym whenever it’s open. (Sadly, that’s only in the evenings. But still!) I don’t know why but I’ve always wanted to be a rock climber. Maybe it’s the monkey part of me that has no fear of heights and doesn’t mind crawling around under tables or climbing ladders and scaffolding or perching on sofa arms instead of sitting in chairs. Maybe it’s the idea of conquering these massive obstacles, chunks of rock. Probably a combo of both.
And after a week bouldering in the gym I’m already feeling the muscles in my arms develop. My poor little puny arms. I’ve broken six bones in them in my 28 years. Playing cymbals for five months was definitely an accomplishment. I look with envy on the college guys scrambling over the walls in the rock gym, forearms and biceps bulging. With all this bouldering practice I hope one day to be able to do a pull-up. Yes, that is a real life goal for me.
I don’t like being a couch potato. I want to take care of the body that God’s given me. More than that, I’d like to be in good enough shape to be able to explore God’s world. It would be nice if summiting mountains was a little easier. (I’m already daydreaming about Longs Peak…) And I’d like to finally climb the Flatirons – not just hike. I’ve got a ways to go, but I’m excited to get started.
Me. Athletic. Who would have guessed? If I’m not careful one day I may try running for fun…
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