A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life

Step out of your comfort zone

Too often we get stuck in a routine.  We wake up at the same time every day.  We sit in the same seat on the train.  We do the same workouts.  When we have some free time we are just not sure what to do with ourselves and we end up saying “man, I wish I had gone and done (insert cool thing) this weekend!”  Well, Meghan and I took a step out of our comfort zones this weekend.

Our original plan was to try cross country skiing.  This is something we have wanted to try, and this winter in New England has been snowy.  Unfortunately, the end of last week was rather springlike, with some rain.  Having been watching the Olympic cross country skiing and hearing about how the warm temperatures were messing up the terrain, we decided that we should wait until we had more ideal weather to try this.  Instead, we headed to Boston Rock Gym ( for some indoor rock climbing!

Now, if you know Meg and I, you know that neither one of us like heights.  So rock climbing is certainly outside our comfort zone.  We signed up for the 3-hour introductory class.  Special thanks to our instructor Dave who made the class entertaining and educational.

First step, figure out how to get yourself into the harness.  They are not the most comfortable or stylish things around, but they will keep you safe in the event that you fall off the wall.


Climbing Collage from Meg

Second step, tie in.  Make a double figure 8 knot, tie off the loose ends with a double loop.  Make sure your belay partner has properly tied in.

Third step, cross check.  “On Belay” “Belay On” “Climbing” “Ready to climb”  And you are off.

Staring up at a 20-30 foot wall can be daunting.  I will admit to having sweaty palms just watching everyone else climb.  But once I got on the wall, my mentality changed.  It was all about the next foothold and making it to the top.  Sure, on the second wall there were a few longer reaches that made me feel a bit nervous.  And the third wall, which tilted away, created an awkward feeling, but in the end I made it to the top of 3 walls.  Meg also had a very successful first day.

So what is next?  We head back, take our belay test and we are ready to climb.  I also plan on trying out the bouldering room, which looks like a lot of fun.

An interesting note: while my forearms are a bit sore today, climbing is much more about your feet.  A key seems to be being able to set your foot and stand straight up.  You can lean into the wall a bit, but gather your balance on essentially one leg and look for that next foothold.

I am so happy we tried this, it was a blast and I can’t wait to get back into the Gym tomorrow.


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This entry was posted on February 23, 2014 by in Healthy living, Peter Waterman's posts and tagged , , , , , , , .
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