My Favorite Things

Tevas and Kayaks
Tevas and Kayaks

Today is my birthday and this is a picture of some of my favorite things.  And not just my toes.  On my feet are my Teva sandles.   I have had them for over 3 years now and when I am having fun they are usually on my feet.  They have climbed Mayan ruins in Belize, and hiked up side canyons in the Grand Canyon.   Sometimes I just wear them around town.   Today I was kayaking.

My other favorite thing in this picture is my kayak.   Well, the very tip of my kayak.   It is short and squat, a little like me.  But very stable.  It has yet to dump me in the lake when I don’t want to go swimming.  It is getting a little banged up and faded, but that is because I use it a lot.

In this picture is also the little lake near my house where I go kayaking. I am not going to tell you the name of the lake or where it is.  Not many people know about this little lake and so it is usually empty when I want to go kayaking.

My Kayak
My Kayak

Here is a better picture of my kayak.  And the pretty little lake I like to kayak in.   You can also see another one of my favorite things inside my kayak.  Right up front there is my camelback.  It is my little backpack that holds water, lunch, and a few odds and ends.  It has gone a lot of the same places my Tevas have gone.

So today has been a good day.   I started with a nice walk in the local park.  The flowers were beautiful. I didn’t have my camera with me so you will have to take my word for it.   When I got home I showered and then went to lunch with my mother-in-law.  We had Mongolian BBQ at the local Asian buffet.  Then I went through the buffet and picked out my favorite foods.  Sushi and cream cheese wontons.   For desert I had soft serve ice cream with chocolate sprinkles, peanuts and bananas.   Then I went kayaking.   Now hubby is making BBQ for dinner, and I hear that dear daughter is bringing home chocolate cake.

I hope your day has been as nice!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Indoor Rock Climbing

Getting started at being an “adventurous” type person isn’t easy when you have lived most of your life staying a little to far on the  “safe” side of life.   Call me silly if you like, but the idea of getting hurt just doesn’t appeal to me.  That is why  I really like indoor rock climbing for beginning adventurers.   It is amazingly safe, a lot of fun, takes less strength than you might think, and definitely has the cool factor going for it.

indoor rock climbing I wish this was a picture of me climbing the wall, but I have climbed to the top of that wall!  The climber in the picture is my daughter, and she made it all the way to the top.
She took the hard route.

Unlike outdoor rocks, the rocks at the indoor gym are color coded to show different tracks up the wall. Some tracks are easy, some are hard, some have special challenges. I am still working on the easy ones.  My daughter skipped right to the intermediate level routes.

You would think that you would need a lot of upper body strength to climb.  But at the beginner level you really don’t.  You use your legs to move up the wall.  Your arms and hands are just for balance and stabilization.

It really becomes fun when you learn to trust your rope.  When you trust your rope (and your belayer, the person who is holding the rope for you) you know you really can’t get hurt.  If you fall you will just swing a little bit, and that is all.  So you can try for tricky moves, or even jump to get over an obstacle, and if you miss it is no big deal.

The hardest part about indoor rock climbing, when you are forty something and have a few extra pounds, is that it is not a skill you can work out in private. Lots of people may be watching you, and not from the most flattering angle if you know what I mean! At the very least your belayer will be watching your every move. And then there is the fact that it seems like most of the people in the gym seem to be really lean and really fit. Rock climbing is a great sport for overall fitness. But for the most part everyone is the gym is really supportive of the newbies. They really seem to enjoy sharing their sport, and offering tips on how to get over that next obstacle.

You don’t really need to buy anything to get started with indoor rock climbing. You can rent everything you need at the gym. Wear clothes that are comfortable that you can mover freely in. The price for indoor rock climbing is pretty reasonable. For 2 hours of climbing, harness and shoe rental I pay around $15. The gym I go to includes a belay class for free, so you can bring a partner and take turns climbing and belaying. (The belayer is the person that holds the rope, their job is to make sure you don’t fall so be sure to bring someone you can trust will pay attention!)

Climb On!