Check out a little buddy of mine climbing this wall! He is a 12 year old homeschooler and he climbed all the way to the top, several times! I have known him for five years and it is amazing how much he has grown and what a confident climber he is.
The wall is 26 feet high and has small little knobs that jut out from the face of the wall. The knobs are small, and they are difficult to grasp with your hands and even more difficult to put the toes of your shoe on. The higher you climb, the harder it is to hang on. It requires strength and balance to climb higher and not fall.
You might notice in the picture some of the safety gear that he is wearing. He has a helmet to protect his head in case he was to fall, or bang into the wall on the way down. He is also wearing a harness around his waist. The harness makes a seat by wrapping around the waist and looping around the top of the legs. The harness is attached to ropes. The ropes go through a pulley system that is attached to the ceiling. As he climbs higher, he creates slack in the line above him, but the slack is removed with help from a person on the ground. This helps provide safety and control when it is time for him to descend.
Slack in the rope is removed by a “spotter” on the ground who uses a special ATC device that acts like a break. It takes up slack by feeding the rope through a small hole and keeping it out of the way. It also provides friction against the rope to slow the climber’s descent. The climber is able to land softly on the ground, instead of hitting the ground with the full force of gravity.
A spotter is a person holding onto the other end of the rope. The spotter is making sure the rope and pulley system, the life line, is working properly at all times. He or she is the one who is quick to intervene at the first sign of trouble. The spotter is watching the climber’s progress. If the climber needs help the spotter will take action. At all times the spotter is waiting for the sign from the climber that he has gone far enough and is ready to descend. Once he has descended, he can choose to take a break or go up the wall again. The climb would be to risky, dangerous, and foolish to take on without having this life line.
Do You Need A Life Line?
“Life Line” or “Lifeline” definitions:
1) a line or rope saving ones life
2) a vital line of access or communication
Sometimes fitness and weightloss are like the climbing wall or like a mountain. There is excitement at the bottom (beginning) as you put your body into your plan. The plan is like the harness and it goes with you as you climb the mountain. The harness (plan) needs to be attatched to a life line, or have a life line built into it. Step by step you reach for the next “knob” that marks your progress as you push forward toward your goals. Balance takes practice, and you may loose your footing the first few attempts you make to climb. It takes strength in your legs to push you up to the next knob. Grabbing the knobs takes strength in your hands and arms. It takes time to build strength, time to learn how to balance and shift the body forward toward the wall, time to develop the coordination.
Reaching the top takes stamina too. But sometimes your stamina wears out, you get tired of operating outside of you comfort zone, and you get tired of climbing, tired of standing on a small ledge on your toes, tired of hanging on with your finger tips. Sometimes the harness is uncomfortable. You haven’t reached the top yet, and despite how hard you try, you fall backwards and have to start over. You rely on the life line knowing at all times it is ready to assist you when you need it. You might need to come down, take a break, re-assess your progress and the methods you are using to reach your goals, and start again when you are ready.
As you work toward your family fitness goals, consider this: What life line(s) have you set up to help you when you need it?
Possible life lines:
Faith & Bible Study
Fitness Binder or Scrap Book
Access To A Gym
Access To A Safe Place To Exercise
Personally, I am back at the bottom of the mountain of fitness, and I am re-assessing my plans, my nutrition, my stamina, and more. I shared with you last week that I had hit a period of loss of motivation and loss of momentum. I didn’t realize it at first, but I needed to use my life line to safely land at the bottom for a time of rest. I made really big changes in my life since early December though I didn’t start writing about it on here until January. I had maintained those changes until mid-February, about 12 weeks or so, but I had finally run out of steam.
Now I am using this time at the bottom of my mountain for reflection and re-evaluation, and testing my “gear” including my “life lines”. Though I have still gone to the YMCA for eight weeks straight, I have not done daily workouts, including the T-Tapp workout or the food journal. Instead, I am currently using that time differently. I am searching the scriptures to see myself through the eyes of my creator. I am praying and spending time talking with the Lord. I am combing through cookbooks for healthy recipes. I am putting a fitness (physical and spiritual) binder together. I re-vamping my schedule, and making plans and goals for the next phase. This is not failure, but a time of rest and re-booting, so that I am ready to climb the mountain again.
“If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Family Fitness Activity Journal
YMCA: Our trip to the YMCA was very good. I took my 10 year old and 8 year old sons with me. We did a 1 hour Cardio Dance class. There were 34 + people at the class, and we had so much fun. Here are two of my boys with some of our friends in the class.
Then we walked a mile on the indoor track, and played 30 minutes of basketball.
Next we spent about an hour playing in the pool. We swam, jumped to see how high we could splash the water, and played more basketball in the water too.
I also spent some time in the steam room and the jacuzzi tub. I loved how the bubbling water felt on my feet and aching back. It was very relaxing and therapeutic.
Club: We spent a 1/2 day at our local Lego and Robotics Academy club. This is a very physical activity for us. All six of my kids attend this with me. We have to start getting ready about 6am. By 7:30 am we load the van with lots of huge boxes of supplies. We leave the house around 8:15 or so. By 8:30 we were setting up tables and chairs at the building. It often takes us 20 minutes or more to get the whole room set up.
Then I am on my feet for the entire 2 and 1/2 hours of the meeting, usually teaching and guiding the students. Sometimes this can be stressful if the kids are not behaving, or if someone is having a problem. The meeting was stressful this week and we did have a child not behave and he took constant redirecting from me. It is just a part of life and teaching / guiding kids, so it is to be expected to happen from time to time. But not all meetings are like that, and sometimes it goes smoothly and there are no concerns. But the whole process of preparing, teaching, and cleaning up at the end has its own stress that naturally just goes along with hosting it.
Finally, another 30 minutes or more cleaning up trash, sweeping the entire building, and putting away all the tables and chairs. We really work up a sweat before we are through. I am so thankful for my kids and their work ethic and good attitude to jump in and help me get it all done.
When we are finally back home, I unload the van again, and put it all away until next time. Finally I am able to take a deep breath and relax, nurse the baby, and give my own kids my full attention again. Sometimes it is 2 pm or later before we can settle back down into our routine again at home. It is an incredibly exhausting day, both physically and mentally! We have been hosting this club and keeping this routine for a little over a year and a half. Whew!
Outdoor Play: Though the weather is not freezing, or blizzard conditions, and it is fairly mild for winter, it has been chilly and rainy. Winters (December, January, February) here on the southern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains is alot like March and April weather in the midwest (Indiana and Kansas) where I have lived most of my life.
But on the few days that were not raining, misting, or chilly, or the very few days we had a little bit of snow in the air, we either head over to the local parks or take full advantage of the yard.
We were able to play two afternoons this week. One day we rode bikes and played basketball. But it was so windy that it was not that enjoyable for long. The next nice day we had we kicked around the ball, played frisbee and basketball, and a fun game of freeze tag on these stepping stones. This really made the game of freeze tag even more fun.
How Was Your Week?
Walk and Talk Wednesday February Link Up
So what have you been working on this month? What fitness goals are you taking steps to achieve? Are you making progress? Is your momentum strong or slowing down? What motivates you? Leave a comment below.
If you are writing about health, fitness, nutrition, or anything else that pertains to family fitness, feel free to link up your story here. Please put a link back here on your story so others can find inspiration and encouragement too. This is a blog hop and you are welcome to share the code below the linky on your fitness stories too.