Exercising this year has been so rewarding and so frustrating. Tonight I tweaked my shoulder climbing on the ceiling at the gym (it’s a very low ceiling, but that kind of climbing is still a tad above my normal ability level) and while I think it’s going to be fine, it’s just reminding me how much my body has not been cooperating with my plan of getting into awesome shape this year.
I realize that I’m closer to 40 than I am to 30, but I’ve been smart and careful about my exercising. I eased into things, I did extra workouts at home to prep for the harder stuff like rock climbing, I’ve been doing extra home workouts to build up my abs and shoulders and lower back to stave off injuries, and still nothing seems like enough. I’ve already had to quit running this year because of a mystery hip problem. (This may be related to my previously broken ankle; otherwise I’ve never had any joint issues before.)
The shoulder thing seems minor, and I don’t think it’s going to be an ongoing problem. I torqued it when my feet dropped off the horizontal surface I was climbing on, and it’s a pretty unnatural motion. It felt like my feet were wrong when I was going for the hold, so it’s comforting to know that my instincts count for something. And my hands are good, my arm and upper back muscles are building, as are my leg muscles. But I’m still unable to tame my lower back pain. I stretch at home, I do mild exercises to build up some strength without hurting anything, and nothing helps!
I’m simply not willing to admit the possibility that I might have to forgo climbing any overhang routes until this gets better, because those are the routes that have made me a better, stronger, and more confident climber.
I need to find something good — and free or nearly so — that can supplant the running (biking simply doesn’t offer the same impact) and until I can find a decent gym I can afford (more stories about this later), I need to find a good way both to get me some regular exercise and help complement the work I’m doing in the climbing gym. Aerial doesn’t count, because I know from past experience that this back pain will keep me from doing anything fun on trapeze or fabrics until it’s better. Any suggestions?