Would add that starting with the path of least resistance is a good way to start as well. Join the gym nearest your house so the journey isn’t another barrier to going. Similarly start with runs that start and end at your front door (edit: realised this sounded like a dig at nav, really not meant that way).
I mostly despise exercising. PE teachers have a LOT to answer for, they’re basically bullies. Also shout out to my class in year 8 who made me sports captain (would’ve entailed me participating in all the inter class competitions they did) because I hated sport and was off sick the day they did the nominations.
Would’ve loved to have played football as a kid - but there weren’t any girls teams for my age group. I did dance for years (sort of liked tap/jazz, despised ballet - had various issues with the teachers towards the end) and swimming which I absolutely loved, but stopped doing when I was 11 because I suddenly developed horrible self consciousness about my weight. I really love swimming but it’s a real pain in the arse to get to a pool and it messes with my hair
I’ve found that the only way I’m every going to do any exercise is if:
a) it’s part of my everyday commute / job role
b) it’s something that I can do as a family.
So: I cycle about 8 miles a day to and from work, and I go walking with the family pretty-much every weekend.
Things I’ve tried and failed to maintain:
- swimming (2010-11)
- Wii Fit (2011)
- Running (couch to 5k) (2014-15)
- longer-distance cycling (2017 I think)
Also, every time I start doing couch to 5k I get ill and there’s no fucking way I am exercising when I’m ill. Tried 4 or 5 times and it literally happens every single time
Running fucks my knees up. Plus it’s boring as shit. Only upside is that C25K Laura’s “you can totally do this!” has become a bit of a weird, ironic in-joke in the CCB household.
Nothing clears my head more than climbing. You have to be totally in your body when you’re on the wall.
I also use it as something almost meditative. Like if I’m lying in bed overthinking something then mentally working through a route kinda centres me.
I do get a bit obsessed about training at times in a way which, to what I quoted, can be detrimental to my MH as it’s such a crutch for me. It’s not a form of exercise which you can just do anywhere (unlike running).
I am currently the fattest I have ever been so you better believe I’m doing some exercising. Currently just walking and doing a bit of skipping in the back garden, gonna get back to running when I get some stamina back. I’m going to war with my gut.
I watched the Dawn Wall last week, was so good, made me want to take a stab at it - did it on a few school trips and enjoyed it, but I now weigh so much and my arms are so weak I don’t think I could climb much more than a ladder.
Still, the Dawn Wall was good.
actually, the way I lost most weight was by logging my steps in a spreadsheet every day since like 2012 or something. I’m quite easy to motivate by having numbers to aim for, so every year since, I’ve beaten my previous year’s steps, from walking to work and on lunches etc.
so yeah, finding a way of logging and tracking things can definitely help motive you.
I’d also follow this by saying I got good at running by plotting my routes like this. If I wanted to run 5k I’d work out a point 2.5k from my house and run there so that I had to run a full 5k to get back home. I did catch the bus back on a few of my tougher days but generally this approach helped set a clear goal and helped me find the motivation to push through. As I got better I just upped the distance but it’s still an approach I follow. Don’t do any runs that don’t start at my front door.
I welled up towards the end of it. There are climbs outside I’ve spent hours trying over multiple sessions, making incremental progress, going away and reflecting, returning and making a little tweak to a body position. There almost always comes a point where the conditions are perfect, you’ve built up muscle memory, dialled in the moves and you know you have maybe 1 or 2 more attempts before your skin gets too thin to pull hard. I get such a burst of adrenaline at those moments when I’m about to pull on and every movement has to be perfect. If it clicks and you reach the top it’s such a rush of emotion.
Watching that film and extrapolating out to the time, effort, and sacrifice they put into that climb… It’s beautiful.
Yeah, when Kevin was trying to do the traverse for days on end and then he found that perfect run, all conditions were perfect, he felt “weightless” as he put it… then he still fucked it up, it was heartbreaking.
I enjoyed watching that. Imagine crapping over the side of a ledge into a paper bag halfway up a mountain for a week though
Cycle most days. Cycle into work (20 miles each way) at least once a week.
Tried running for a bit but god it’s boring.
Squash once a week.
After I started getting back pain I’ve initiated a core strengthening routine which I remember to do most nights.
Walk 5 miles or so most work days as well I guess.
Still a bit fat but reasonably fit.
Watching that whole film made me ponder whether what they did represents a fundamental difference between women and men (as I just don’t see women every going to those lengths in that way) or whether it’s because women have historically never had the freedom and opportunity to spend that amount of time doing something like that. But anyway that’s a thought for another day.
Got a lot of thoughts on this within the climbing world… Long post inbound.
I guess men have always been celebrated for being single minded and fanatical in pursuit of a goal in a way that has never been the case for women (like, a man who rejects his family to write a novel is a tortured artist, a woman who does the same is just a terrible mother). Which is pure sexism. I wouldn’t for a second think that women wouldn’t have the same goals or ambitions though, or the ability to do them. In this particular case, I got the impression that his first wife was his climbing partner and would have done it with him, but they broke up and that lead to the guy pursuing the climb.
Yeah, Beth Rodden is amazing.
In 2008, Rodden sent Yosemite’s then toughest climb, an 8c+ (5.14c) that had defeated many climbers, including Ron Kauk. She named it Meltdown, and nobody has climbed it since
I tried loads of exercise before discovering cycling: swimming (really boring), going to the gym (induced so much dread in me that I ended up having panic attacks), and running (personally found the really awful as a larger person and couldn’t maintain it at all).
So yeah: I ride bikes, a lot. Don’t really see it as exercise anymore, it’s way more than that for me, which is the key, I think, and the reason I ride about 300km a week without really giving it a second thought. I ride to work every day, I ride at weekends with a club and also on my own and with pals. I’ve met so many people through bike riding. Every holiday I have been on in the last three years has revolved around riding bikes, and I generally wouldn’t entertain the idea of “being off the bike” for more than a week these days. I genuinely get itchy if I’ve not been riding for a couple of days. As others above have said, it does actual wonders for my mental health.