There's been a lot of this: Kettlebell swing

And that: Kettlebell swing

I appreciate the need for strong hamstrings and glutes even more this go-around. I've been busy researching the biomechanics and neuromuscular control of knee injuries, and I've switched to a new physical therapist who's much more rigorous about sports rehab. Butt soreness has become the new me from deadlifting and kettle bell swinging.

The short version of a longer post is: work out your posterior chain! It's the essential base for power and injury prevention, especially for falling. There's a lot of micro damage our bodies can withstand especially when we're young that we acknowledge as minor nagging issues, but it'll come to a breaking point if we don't take time off to heal. Lower body is especially important for women who have typically weaker glutes and hamstrings. I've heard too many "I want to be lighter" and "I want skinnier legs"!

Our plan is still to go on the road trip in October and do surgery in January. I'll be able to hike with a brace and hiking poles and climb on ropes. After surgery in Jan, it'll be a few months till I can do easy ropes, but a year or more until bouldering again--and I'm not taking chances the 2nd time!

Absorbing all this mentally and coming to terms has been a struggle. Bouldering was my meditation, and I was so dedicated to those goals that the shock of injury again slapped me down. On top of that, 3 weeks after this last injury, my dad had a stroke--relatively minor--but was in a rehab hospital for a week. He's mentally fine, but lost stability walking. When it rains, it pours. And when you think life's downs have turned up, it turns out you're just on another wave.

I kept trying to figure out why this re-injury was so hard to accept; it felt like something was gone from my life when in reality I'm still healthy. Logically I knew it wasn't that bad, but I still felt empty and jealous. I realized that the only time I could lose myself was bouldering. What on earth could replace that, especially when everyone at the gym is so focused on climbing? I got caught up in hive mentality similar to when I burned out on Android--everyone around me and their focus propelled me to do the same things. I've been reading the Peaceful Warrior series by Dan Millman on recommendation from a friend and it hit me:

Life is meditation practice. Daily life is the arena of training; we use the demands of life as the means to reveal our weak areas, transform them into strengths, and develop body, mind, and emotions. - Dan Millman, Peaceful Warrior books

The idea is to find that meditation state that comes to you in the formal meditation practice or climbing or surfing or creating art, and be able to fall into that mental state anytime in daily life while eating, walking, etc. Then you're not dependent on external factors and circumstances.

People at the gym have remarked how upbeat I am. I am, at the gym. The down moments happen much less frequently now, and I'm becoming at peace with everything. My friend told me that I have an incredible strength to achieve goals I set and execute (hey, I'm a great Program Manager), but that strength can blind me to listening to my body and being present in the moment.

I've been climbing on ropes in the gym for a few weeks now, and I'm finally over being scared. Funny, since I'm fine falling bouldering. It's been more like Type II fun, partly because I've only climbed on ropes a couple times a year (really), partly for not trusting my knee, and partly because I couldn't let go of wanting to be back bouldering. I'm actually excited now that I have a bit of endurance to see how I progress as a climber. I could sure use better footwork and sequencing. It's an exciting new chapter with Jeremy! If only it weren't so frustrating to see him flash everything on ropes too!