June 04, 2010

NEW ADDICTION - Jennica Hirrlinger

It wasn't until I graduated from High School (many, many years ago) that I fell in love with the sport of rock climbing.  We traveled a half hour each way to get to some kind of rock that was climbable.  Yeah, it was an everyday occurance that I thrived on.  We even ended up building a rock wall in our downtown bike shop.  It was an addiction.  A good addiction.

I love hearing about so many of you and your cross training programs.  Sometimes life makes you want to get off the bike for a while, take off those running shoes and try something new.  I get chills when I think about climbing.  It always really makes me smile.
NEW ADDICTION - Jennica Hirllinger
I once ran behind my friend Mohammed on the sand dunes. Mohammed is a nomad from the Sahara and a wicked fast runner. He and his brother have been competing in and often winning a 6 day stage race called the Marathon d' Sable and he is, quite literally, at home on the sand. Because of his lifestyle, Mohammed weighs about 90 lbs and crosses the dunes leaving hardly any foot prints. He can read the sand like a map and knows how to cover ground quickly. It's amazing to watch and try to figure out how he does it.
I have been a little burned out on running and training lately. Actually, a lot burned out and I've been searching for ways to get a good workout and to occupy me enough that I don't just sit on the couch and eat reese's peanut butter cups because doing so has caused me to gain about 15 lbs and I'm starting to get anxious about the fact that my daily wardrobe consists scrubs or pajamas and even those are beginning to get a little snug.

I've been getting into rock climbing over the last couple of months and I've spent a few days bouldering. I haven't climbed very much but it's been enough to wedge a new obsession into my brain. I find it super challenging and I am inspired by watching talented climbers make sense of the giant masses of rock littered near the old Teton Dam Site. I spent part of Memorial day with Dean and Heather and found myself feeling an odd sense of polarity. On one hand, I felt like an oaf following Heather on these routes. Much like Mohammed in the sand, Heather leaves hardly a footprint. I could rarely get passed the first move and I still have not learned the language...But on the opposite side...I felt like I belong. It felt good to be there, looking at rocks and testing those foot holds. It feels like with time, and good friends to learn from, I could get better and that's exciting to me.
I have a ton of fear to overcome, a lot to learn about how to move my body efficiently, and I'm not "rock climbing strong" yet but I am loving it. The diversion from pounding the pavement is nice right now and it feels like just what I need to direct my attention away from the Reese's. I do have a problem though, I'm dreaming about routes attempted and not yet conquered. Dean said that means it's an addiction.

If that's true, save the intervention folks, I don't want to be cured.


heather D said...

Oh how I love a good CRAG. You ROCK.

Jarom's Running Page said...

Interesting cross-training, but very impressive and understandable why you'd be hooked on the adrenalin and awesomeness of conquering a big rock or mountainside!!! Keep up the great writing Jennica :o)

Jillicious said...

next time we are out bouldering, i'm packing you some reese's jenn!

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