Friday, December 31, 2010

Climbing pregnant: Weak 33

Well this one is a short post cause I'm WEAK!
I made the mistake of not climbing for the last two weeks and now I'm all outta pregnancy climbing shape! Suck. I tried to climb a couple days ago and only did four routes (all 5.9). And they felt sooooooo hard. But I wasn't sore at all! Which means that its my endurance that took the dive. That time I took off because of the holiday's eating obligations made me stiff. I've had more hip and back pain than usual. Plus more swelling. YAY!
I went climbing and did those few routes and my body was tired yes but it was like it gave this giant sigh and said thank you. Climbing stretches the old tissues. Phew. I feel better.
I shall now refer to weeks 32 and 33 as WEAKs.
It is 7 degrees outside today with the sun shining. brrrrrrrrr
I really want to go sledding and or skiing. But I generally don't do either of those activities very safely in the first place. This coming week I'm going to work really hard to not hibernate too much and get those juices flowing!!!!
We'll see how it all goes down.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week 32: Balance: An argument in favor of climbing pregnant

Balance seems to be a popular question from people who discover that I'm still climbing. They ask, "How is your balance?"
"You must fall a lot."
"Does that big belly make you tip over?" That one is my personal favorite. Thanks for the compliment.
My answer is NO!!

Balance is a product of a few key factors. The main ones being muscle tone and balanced proprioception. These sensors in your body tell you whether or not your foot bone is connected to your leg bone and they tell you if you are standing, and if you are standing solidly most importantly. We use our vision for 90% of our balance. Have you ever tried to stand still with your eyes closed? How about on one leg with your eyes closed? It takes practice and what do you think you are training? Your proprioceptors.

Putting all this into context, as a pregnancy progresses, weight is gained in the center of a womans body. The center is the belly, the mid section that connects your top half to your bottom half and because there is little help from this area late in pregnancy, other adjustments must be made.

That myth that pregnant women fall over a lot, in theory, has to do with whether she sits all the time or is able to move and exercise.

So here is my argument for climbing while pregnant.

Climbing allows for a change in weight distribution. A climber must shift weight onto the left foot to lift the right foot, must balance weight in the center in order to match on a hold above the head. If a pregnant woman climbs throughout pregnancy, as a pound is added each week, proprioceptors are able to adjust to this change and therefore balance throughout the body is maintained.

I may not be good at picking things up off the floor or tying my shoes but I can balance on one leg with my eyes closed. I did it yesterday.

Climbing is good for pregnant women.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Climbing pregnant, the first fall: Week 30

It never crossed my mind that I might, at some point, actually fall while climbing. I know, duh, it is a possibility, I just hadn't considered it. I have been very thorough with whomever is belaying me. Checking and double checking that everyone is double backed, locked and loaded. I make sure that my belayer knows to keep me tight so I don't go far if I was to fall. All the precautions were there, and I felt safe.
A few nights ago I was in the gym, same old same old. I was warmed up, it was my last hard climb of the session. I placed my foot on a positive but slick foot hold, and stretched up for a far reaching hand hold. SLIP. My foot skated off and off I went. I was dangling there in space when I realized I had actually fallen. During which time I tightened my abs as much as they would tighten (reflexes), so tight in fact that I had a hard time getting them to relax. I re-situated myself to a more comfortable resting spot and contemplated what had just happened. I sat there, waiting for the contractions to start. But there was nothing. My breath wasn't labored, my body felt fine. I was fine. So I kept climbing, I finished the route and called it a day.
Even though everything seemed well and good, I needed to feel the baby move before I was on a path towards ease of mind. I sat down to take off my climbing shoes and put on my regular shoes and bam bam bam goes the baby. Knocking around in there like nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
I would have been fine had the voices of the hundreds of people who have said to me,
"You aren't still climbing are you?"
"Oh that's so dangerous, what about the baby?"
"You shouldn't be climbing, should you?"
And even though I know how to answer each and every one of their questions and comments. Even though I know that everything is fine and that climbing feels better than walking. Even though the baby was moving, I didn't get a single contraction...
The ghost-like voices in my head filled me with anxiety. It took me two days of talking myself, talking to the baby, talking to my medical practitioner friends for me to let go of the notion that I had damaged the baby by falling a 1/4" on top-rope.
I'm fine,
the babies fine,
if something irregular happens with the baby, it has nothing to do with my climbing. If mama is happy, baby is happy.
How much better can I take care of the growing life in my belly than to eat well, be well, and choose activities that give me peace of mind.
F*** the police.