Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: teamwork

Rock Climbing: Yoga On The Wall

Last Tuesday H and I went to a beginner rock climbing class at a local gym. For $45 each we were given a two-hour lesson, with time to climb afterwards.

By the time we left that night, I was hooked.

I’ve climbed 3 more times in the past week. Each time I love it more and can’t wait to go again.

It feels like the perfect activity for me right now b/c it’s all about flow. When you’re climbing you have a sense of your own skill and limitations against the ratings of the routes. I guess this is part of climbing culture, but everyone I know who climbs says that, at the very core, it’s all about problem solving.

When you’re on the wall it’s just your brain and your body, solving problems. Where to go, how to get there, pushing your feet a certain way or gripping your hand just right. It asks me to be both mentally focused and intuitive in my next move.

Our trainer at the first class went straight for my heart when he said “I can’t wait to see you climbing after a few weeks of practice because you get it. You’re intuitive about it, you just need some experience and technique”.

It’s crazy b/c I thought I would like climbing, but I never found a class to attend. It took H signing us up for me to go.

Which is another awesome thing about it for me – it requires two people (if you prefer a human-, vs auto-, belay situation, which I think most people do). So this is something H and I can do together, but it’s still a singular activity.

I don’t really do well in group situations. I much prefer to have it be me against the task, not me working with others against others. Most of the things I like to do (run, read, yoga, take photos, write) are solo pursuits. I love enjoying hobbies with other people – attending a class with friends or running with another person – but it’s us about us having a parallel experience. They’re on their mat, and I’m on mine.

With climbing it’s sort of that, except there is an element of team work since H is belaying me, and sometimes coaching me, and I can do the same for him. We act more like support staff or cheerleaders, rather than direct teammates. This suits me really well and also gives H and I something fun to do together.

In short, it feels like yoga on the wall – it encourages me to be stronger, to rise to challenges, to actually try and possibly fail (and fall, though luckily H keeps the tension on tight). With all of the up and down moods of the past few weeks – coming down off of that crazy stretch of events – I am really loving this challenging and fun experience. And the best part – there’s nothing like working a route and making it to that top hold, touching the bar, knowing you made it – just your muscles, clinging to bones, hanging onto handholds, 25 feet off the ground.

4 of 52, Year of Ocean

Last week was challenging. I could say “What a way to start off 2014” but it’s how I start every year – with events that are bigger than me, with more work than I can handle alone, with an abusive amount of stress and socializing.

What was different this year is that I had a team. A few coworkers that came out to attend and assist at the events that actually helped.

And after the crazy weekend, we had some time together – sipping coffee, walking Santa Monica beach, eating at Cafe Gratitude and talking for hours. Of course we were still working – one of us would step aside to take a phone call while the other two looked in shops. They took photos of the ocean while I sent important post-event emails. But it was exactly what I needed after the pressure, the exhaustion and the work.

These two gals are my support group at work, despite us working 3,000 miles apart. We vent, laugh, work, challenge and discuss so much. We call ourselves Team DAJ and one day hope to take over the world.

But I think what’s most important to mention here is that they’re kind, hard-working people with smart opinions that set very high bars for themselves. They may have traveled out here to work my event, but the whole thing would’ve sank without them.

I was offered Grammy tickets as a thank you for my hard work, but the Grammys were right after my biggest event on Sunday, and there’s no way I would’ve made it there without crying. I was able to extend the offer to these ladies and they took it with glee. It was the perfect topper for their LA trip, despite the very long day they endured.

And as they were getting ready in the bathroom at the venue, while I still had guests mingling outside, and was waiting for the rental company to come and break down all of the tables and chairs, I listened to them chatter with excitement between stalls. And I felt like a proud older sister, ushering them along to the next Hollywood adventure. As one skipped out of her stall so I could pee, and the other asked me to zip up her dress, I felt like, for the first time in a very long time, I had girlfriends. Not individual women who I shared deep conversations with, but a tight group of girls who gossiped and joked with their own group language, full of inside jokes and shared experiences.

So for the first time ever, I came out of the eventful weekend happy with my work, and I give most of the credit to feeling like, for the first time ever, that I had a team.

Team DAJ. #loveyameanit

**See all of my Year of Ocean