Conquering Fall and fantastic Birthday adventures…

It really was the perfect birthday day.

It is the recent birthday tradition with the fella that he gets me a class of something I love: a class with one of my favorite teachers who inspire me.  Last year, it was Sadie Nardini, the amazing yoga teacher that I love, and this year it was Holly Rilinger at Flywheel. Holly was the perfect choice.  As she began to really get into the class, she started yelling at us to “conquer the Fall”, to see what you want and get it, know what you want and go. I was in the zone, all “hell, yeah” this is it. I am going to make it happen this year! Ok, admittedly at first I thought she was yelling to get the ball. To focus on what you want when entering a new season and GET IT. Knowing Holly was a former pro-ball player, I was like ok, I can get behind this analogy but after a little bit I was like…. oh FALL…. of course that makes much more sense with what she was talking about. Either way, really, it was perfect for me on the morning of my birthday.  Last year was about being myself, but THIS year is about doing.  I love when a choice for inspiration really is the right one. Holly’s class was the perfect thing on the morning of my birthday – it was not just about being a great workout (come on, it IS Flywheel and Holly, it is always going to be an awesome workout) but for me, it was also an inspiring workout. It was funny though, I ran into a friend of mine at Lululemon, who was stunned I worked out on my birthday. STUNNED. It really never occurred to me NOT to workout on my birthday. It really was more of what great class will I treat myself too??

After my amazing workout, I went home to meet up with the fella, who had also taken the day off. He made us a big brunch before we headed off to wander around Brooklyn. It was a beautiful day and we didn’t plan anything other than a good, solid walking around before heading to BK Boulders.  It is so nice to be back climbing, even if really I am not remotely where I was a few months ago skill-wise. It was still a blast. A few hours later we headed out to go to our favorite bar before Happy Hour ended… ahh, one of the unsung joys of working out lots:  a few drinks without any of the guilt!

After a late night birthday plea, because I had forgotten to sign up for my Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp class, I woke up the next morning early and headed to the bridge. I got there in plenty of time for a beautiful morning on the bridge. It wasn’t super crowded, it wasn’t super hot and was just all in all perfect.

24 hours of perfection. Great workouts, good people, and a beautiful city to start out my new year. Does it get better than that?

(Top photo: random goodness from the internet, bottom photo: Sipping iced coffee on the Brooklyn streets on the sunny, beautiful day that was my Birthday)

Climbing really is a little bit like riding a bike…

On Sunday morning, the fella and I got up at a ridiculously early hour to go stand in a line at Brooklyn Boulders (BKB) for a membership deal. When our last membership deal ended at the beginning of the summer (a regular membership just wasn’t in the budget), we decided to take the summer off, hoping that in the Fall or Winter they might offer another deal. So, when the new “Back to School” deal popped up on Saturday, that the first 20 people in line on Sunday morning at 8am would get a 3-month membership for $125, there was no question where we would be.  We were 14th and 15th in line.

So there we were on Monday night, back at BKB, and I was squeezing my feet back into my climbing shoes. I love my sassy silver climbing shoes – they are tight but not crazy painful like all of the great climbers will tell you they need to be.  I am not nearly good enough at climbing to need technical shoes like that! The rental shoes are fine but really, you need your own pair if you fall in love with climbing. The good shoes really do make a difference.  I didn’t think twice about getting that deal – really as soon as I saw it, I was giddy about the idea of going back, though, I admit that I was worried. When we climb at BKB we always “boulder” – which basically means you are just climbing the wall without a rope harness to attach you to the wall and to a partner spotting you from the ground.  By the time we left in the beginning of June, I was up to climbing V4’s (in bouldering, a climbing grade is assigned to a route that describes the difficulty and danger of climbing the route; they start at V0 and go up from there) and working on harder and harder problems.  I was worried that I wouldn’t remember a damn thing and would never be able to get up the wall at all, that I would just be stuck clinging on for dear life, desperately trying not to fall off. I was rusty, easier problems were hard and I was slower than before, but I did remember the basics and scampered up the wall a few times. Climbing really is a little bit like riding a bike. Your body remembers even if your mind is having a little “oh hell no” moment.  It is funny though, that first night of climbing reminded me of one of the craziest parts about climbing: hours will pass without you even realizing it!

I work out a lot, at a lot of different places that I love, but really, Brooklyn Boulders is special. They have built an amazing, supportive, and fun community – filled with interesting and smart people who love to climb and will shout out encouragement while you are on the wall.  I have had some amazing conversations there, not just an amazingly fun workout.  The music is eclectic and fun, the problems hard and motivating, but really, it is the BKB-ers that make it such an amazing spot in the world!

BKB rocks.