Daily Archives: January 18, 2012

Paleo Works for Rock Climbing

Jack Frost on the WallLast week we took a post Christmas break.  It wasn’t much.  We didn’t go away or invite friends over or visit family.  We simply closed the doors and slipped back into our life.  I love these times.  They don’t happen often but they are moments of ordinariness and comfort that bind us together.

One morning, after the children had gone to school and the breakfast dishes were cleared away, we decided to go for a walk.  Our house backs onto the hillside from where it’s a vertical climb up to  the Cow and Calf Rocks.  As we walk uphill, I can feel the slight ache and tension in my calves.  The air is crisp and bright and there is a heavy frost on the ground that dusts the heather white and sparkly.  All the way up the hill, the wind whips my hair across my face, numbing my cheeks.  Mike shouts back at me but I can’t hear his voice.  The climb is exhilarating.

View through the Old Quarry at Cow and Calf RocksWe reach the old quarry.  The sides are steep and for a moment I pause and am uncertain.  But Mike pulls ahead and starts to climb the rock.  I follow, finding foot holds and finger grips as I go, climbing higher and higher.  It feels extraordinary to be using my body in this way.  I am connecting with the rock and doing it and doing it….until just for a second, I experience thought and it interrupts me and I stall.  And I am stuck.  Six foot below the top of the quarry, I am stuck.  It’s a long way down and I am suddenly very afraid.

I am perched on the cliff edge.  Mike is keenly aware that the foothold he found is a step too far.  He tells me firmly to keep still and then disappears back over the top to find another way down.  In the moments he has gone I think how far we have come together on this paleo journey and what a difference it has made to my life.  Because I am up a cliff.  I am stuck, granted (!) but I am up a cliff and I am doing it!

The body has such a need to move and play in whatever shape or form that takes.  Movement releases powerful brain chemicals that lift us and shape us and yet how easy it is to forget and compromise and prevaricate and not use it, caught in the daily routine and grind of work, school runs tea and sofa.

The wind is fierce now.  Mike climbs up the quarry below me and instructs me to place my foot on his shoulder.  He holds me and lifts me down.  And slowly we climb down together until we reach the ground.  Looking back I realise just how high up we were. I wonder too whether the climb was an experience of that point where everything just is, where we sit perfectly in the flow of life, a moment of being?  And may be I’ll never know.  Have you ever challenged yourself?

How has paleo changed you?  Share your experiences with our readers!  We’d love to hear from you……..

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