Monday, February 2, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do

One of my Happy Places is the gym. I looooove my gym. I used to belong to a different one of the same local Happy Gym Company and would happily drive past about three other perfectly nice places in order to get to it. The reason? Phenomenal child care -- two blissful hours of it. This Happy Gym Company is great about being family-oriented and offering it's own building for child care, plus fun classes that the kids can take in order to massage Mom's guilt at doing a happy dance out the door, etc. Add to that the swimming lessons and summer camps... they've found quite a niche and have become very good at it.

One of the greatest joys that I've had in the last year is that my Happy Gym Company finally opened a long-delayed and much-anticipated gym just two short blocks from the Urban Family's front door.

Ok. My point. Finally.

All of these gyms feature a climbing wall; ours is an indoor wall. I've watched people climbing it and wondered about how people get started learning about this, but shied away from inquiring.

Urban Kid 1, however, is not shy about pursuing her interests. Our gym opened when she was four, and she has been consistently and repeatedly been asking about getting on the wall -- thus forcing her mom out of her shell. But they don't allow the kiddies to take a class until they are five.

For her fifth birthday, Best Namma Ever! popped for the class. But I held off on signing up for it because our schedule was already hammered with activities, none of which U-Kid 1 was keen to let go of.

So I made an executive decision -- one of the perks of being the Director of Curriculum & Implementation at the "Urban Family" Country Day Academy: we would skip swimming during the Deep Freeze and try climbing instead. This got me out of having to completely blow-dry a squirmy little one, plus avoid the New Year's Resolution Crowd in the locker room.

Here are a few shots of my little Monkey Girl from tonight's class. (those of you who might be new around of the rules is no pictures of the Urbans, due to U-Dad's security concerns, thus the reason you can't see U-Kid 1's face)

Now in order to keep up with U-Kid 1, in January, I took advantage of a class that the gym has been offering every 4-6 weeks called Climb Like A Girl. About 30 of us chicks all got a relaxed and casual introduction to climbing, plus wine. (and a cool t-shirt!) And a glass of wine certainly helps get one brave enough to try the wall in front of anyone and everyone who might pass by outside.

My first try, I didn't get too far. I sort of attacked the wall and clutched onto it clumsily with too much emphasis on the upper body.

My second try, I took an easier route, relaxed (I mentioned the wine, right?) and managed to shimmy my way up to the top. An enthusiastic shout of, "hey Val, you climb LIKE A MUTHA!" from my friend Julie at the bottom had me laughing so hard I almost lost my groove completely, but no harm done. What a feeling! Especially for someone who is afraid of heights!

Now I try to stop by the wall during Supervised Climb, when they have someone who knows how to belay just waiting to cheerfully help you out. Despite the psychological struggle to convince myself that I will not plummet to my death if I let go, it's a nice strength exercise without having to lift weights. Just my own butt. And I tell myself that I'm keeping up with and staying involved with my five-year-old.

God help me if she takes up cage fighting.


Dy said...

GO VAL! That's awesome. I can't believe you have a gym that serves wine. Of course, I live in a place that keeps trying to pass legislation requiring alcohol venders to brand us on our foreheads when we make purchases. Just so's they'll know who to avoid right off the bat. But still... wow. That's so fun!

Dy said...

OH, and hey, I tried to find you on FB, but I don't think I have all the pertinent info to do so.

My settings are a little hyperparanoid, so I'm hard to find. But if we have any friends in common, that would do it.

Stephanie said...

Awesome! How fun for all of you!!

Amy said...

Val, I used to love rock climbing but got old or something and haven't done it in a while. YOu have now motivated me to do it again. Our gym has a wall also, (but no wine)and I'm going to go do it.

You rock. (Get it?)

Amy said...

Val, I used to love rock climbing but got old or something and haven't done it in a while. YOu have now motivated me to do it again. Our gym has a wall also, (but no wine)and I'm going to go do it.

You rock. (Get it?)

Amy said...

Val, I used to love rock climbing but got old or something and haven't done it in a while. YOu have now motivated me to do it again. Our gym has a wall also, (but no wine)and I'm going to go do it.

You rock. (Get it?)

Urban Mom said...

Dy, I sent you a friend request. At least, I *hope* that was you.

Amy, get back on that wall! If I can do it, YOU can!

And the wine was just for the Climb Like A Girl class. It's not like it's there for the morning Supervised Climb sessions. But think of the line there would be if they did! And the crowds of loyal climbers! hee hee


Jenni said...

We used to belong to the Kansas Cliff Club outside of Wichita. There aren't any mountains to climb here, and before there were climbing walls at gyms around town, this was what was available without driving a few hours. (The closest outdoor climbing is Elk City Lake 2 1/2 hours from Wichita or various places in Oklahoma.) The Cliff Club is an old concrete grain elevator covered with handholds. Appropriate for Kansas:o) We bought all the equipment and would make occasional trips to Elk City Lake or Wichita Mountains near Lawton, OK. We took it to Colorado when we went backpacking, too. We haven't had time to climb for several years, though. It sure was good family fun! We did classes for our Cub and Boy Scout groups and for Young Marines, too. On one trip to Elk City Lake, a photographer spotted our Scout group climbing and took pics. Na (then 4 or 5) wound up on the front page of the local paper.

Anonymous said...

Urban Mom,

I did not accompany you to that event, but will consider it in the future. It puts a smile on my face to hear about the fun you had at Climb Like A Girl.

P.S. Amy is rock!

alisha said...

If it wasn't for my friendly and wonderful swim instructor Christina. I think I wouldn't have taken to swimming so much. I'll be sure to send my kids to take up lessons with her. Where did you learn swimming anyhows?

chicago_mom said...

Hey there! I think I belonged to the west side version of the gym you go was near Oprah! It did have phenomenal childcare and now I go to a cheap one and the childcare is an awful joke. I miss our old one. Sniff, sniff. But, I wasn't going often enough to justify the big bucks.