Say yes, 2012 (hot yoga, pink hair, rock climbing)

So, it’s almost February, and I’ve finally decided on my New Year’s resolution. And I want you to do it with me. More about that at the end, but be ready, my friends.

I had a little bit of an idea about what I wanted it to be in my head, and I’ve been kind of toying around with it, but I think I’m ready to make 2012 the official “yes” year.

I don’t want to steal a cheesy plot from a movie, but I can’t help but think of the movie “Yes Man” in which the guy, who constantly says no to everything, decides to say yes to anything anyone asks him and see what happens.

Now, if you know me even a little bit, you probably know that I’m not a “no” person. I say yes to crazy things probably more than most people, already. But I want to branch out even more.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to be silly enough to do things like give a hitchhiker a ride to the middle of the woods (which happens in the movie).

The things that will be the official exception to this plan will be: a) anything I can’t afford and b) anything that puts my life in danger. I think that’s fair, right?

I’ll have to credit Stacey and my venture into hot yoga for planting this idea in my head. Two months ago, when she invited me to take yoga with her, my initial reaction was to say “No thank you. I’m not good at yoga.” But then I thought about how my doctor said I needed to stretch more, that as a runner I’d killed my flexibility. So I told her I’d do it. Turns out, I love yoga. I’m not good at it yet, by any means, but I will be. In fact, I used the last class of my living social deal at Arrichion last night. Not to fear, though – I bought 10 more classes the other day. I cannot stay away from that place!

I had this “yes” thought in my head when I got the idea to dye my hair pink. By far, the craziest thing I’ve ever done to my hair. And I absolutely loved my hair the way it was. Tommy is an artist and a genius. But that was the problem – I’d changed it up a little over the past three years, but I was always going back to my “favorite” hair color and length. I didn’t want to get stuck in a rut – so I just went for it. Turns out, I love it! I’ve decided I’ll keep it through 2012 – I’ll use it as a reminder that branching out is not a bad thing.

I also had the thought in my head when I signed up for boot camp classes at Gunn’s Fitness. Less so about the workout (yes, it would be different, but would it be that different from things I’ve done in the past?) but more so about the commitment to be somewhere at 6 a.m.

I’ve also credited my new outlook to some work projects recently – saying yes when I think I don’t have time to take on something new. So far, they’ve all led to super postive things. And it’s served as a great reminder that the busier I am, the more productive, creative and happy I am.

And I most certainly had the “just say yes” thought in my head when Susan and I made plans to go indoor climbing the other day. She’s been doing it for a while, and she’s invited me along several times, and I kept saying, “Sure, I’ll try it with you at some point.”

Well, she posted a Facebook status last week that was just super inspiring – about what climbing meant to her and how she felt she’d grown so much in doing it. I knew it was time. I responded and told her we should figure out a time. We decided on Tuesday evening.

Funny thing about Tuesday evening is there is also a boot camp class, which I’d just started on Monday. And the climbing place happens to be only a 5 minute drive from the boot camp place. I knew it was a risky move, and both Jeff and Stacey advised against me doing both in the same evening, but I just couldn’t help it. The geography was just too convenient. So, boot camp at 6 (this only my second boot camp class, so I still wasn’t sure what to expect), and climbing place at 7:15 (including time to change from sweaty clothes to not-yet sweaty clothes, to drive over there, miss the turn, and circle back.)

Boot camp class: What I expected, but still a pretty tough workout. By my count, we did at least 105 pushups. Tricep pushups, pushups then leading to side plank, and pushups with weights that you had to lift into the air after each one. In addition to all the other stuff we did (pushups took a very small portion.)

Climbing wall: Did you know how much arm strength is required to climb a wall? Well, I was about to find out.

I walked in and was instantly amazed at the facility. Inner Peaks is huge. There are tons of walls. Tons of “boulders”. Caves and arches and all kinds of things. All with little (sometimes really little) things to hold onto or step on. It’s the largest indoor climbing gym in the Charlotte area, per their web site.

I got to watch a video about what to expect (it was really helpful, actually, as I truly had no idea what I was getting into.) I got a demonstration from the instructor about how to use the equipment. During this demonstration, I was to be Susan’s safety net – meaning, the person that controls her rope in case she falls. Uhm, what? At least the instructor, and Susan’s climbing partner and friend Justin, were at my side to make sure I was doing it right. I like Susan, really don’t want to drop her!

Then it was my turn to climb. Susan controlled my rope this time. There’s a term for this: Belayer. I started up and it was surprisingly easy to get my feet to feel steady on these small rocks. Some of the rocks had grips I could hold onto which also helped. I got about 2/3 up the wall and realized I was really high. Truthfully, I was a little nervous about the process entailed in coming down. Susan and Justin guided me through it, though, and it wasn’t only easy, but kind of fun.

We went to another wall and I watched Justin climb it using no hands. Meaning, he would put his hands flat against the wall but not grab any rocks with them. So he used only his leg strength to get up. Then it was my turn to try again. They told me to use hands, of course (didn’t have to tell me twice!). And I was climbing.

I honestly didn’t expect to make it all the way to the top. I was going to get as far as I felt comfortable getting and then I’d call it a day. The scary part really starts to come when there are rocks that seem too small to trust. I’m not putting my foot on that tiny thing! A few times, I stopped what I was doing and just looked around on the wall. At one point, I looked down at Susan (wow, she was really far away) and said, “I’m scared.” She was awesome. Gave me suggestions as to where to put my feet. Told me to trust in my leg strength – that I’m a runner, my legs can handle this. And you know what? I made it all the way to the top! Was able to tap the bar (signaling a finish line, almost) and then was led down.

I climbed to the top of the next wall, too! Two finishes.

The fourth wall I tried was tougher. There was a boulder jutting out, meaning I’d really have to rely on arm strength. I got my arms past the boulder but when it came time to trust them to hoist my legs up, my arms just started burning from the workouts I’d done. Curses, 105 pushups! So I came down. Same with the fifth wall – got most of the way up and felt the arms burning. I didn’t want to push it too hard or fall, so I listened to my body.

I also got to witness some pretty incredible techniques – Susan and Justin say they’re not experts, but I couldn’t tell by looking at them. They are able to just scramble up those walls like it’s nothing. They know different knots to tie and different bevel techniques and they’re attempting to pass different “levels” of courses on the walls. It’s all pretty amazing, actually.

We finished the evening by playing around on a boulder, low to the ground, that contained an archway where we could hang upside down. Someone who works there was vaccuuming and stopped what he was doing to show us some “fun” things to do on the arch. Swinging from the arch, I felt like I was a kid on the playground! Was so much fun. Of course, everything was fatigued by this point and my arms and legs were screaming at me.

I never would have tried this had I not just emptied my mind about any preconceived notions and just gone for it. I’m clumsy. I suck at balance. I’m not scared of heights, per say, but I wouldn’t say I love them, either. But I did it. And it wasn’t really that scary. In fact, it was a blast. I will definitely go back.

So, who wants to make 2012 the year of saying yes to new adventures with me? Here’s what I want to know: What’s the one thing (or 10 things) you’ve always been curious about trying but never have because you thought it wasn’t for you? And when are you going to get out there and give it a shot?

While you’re pondering that, I’m off to get my next fix of pink hair dye.



6 responses to “Say yes, 2012 (hot yoga, pink hair, rock climbing)”

  1. Stacey Avatar

    Not curious really just never liked camping. That will all change come March when I go camping with you guys!!

    1. Melissa Avatar

      Stacey, I have a feeling you will be hooked. It combines two of your favorite things: Calorie burning and socializing. It will be a blast!

  2. Jessica Avatar

    I am doing that this year, too. I decided that life is too short to miss out on anything that could change you in some way, and that I need to not limit myself to just certain kinds of experiences. So far this has led me to a moonshine distillery and will likely lead me on hiking trips and other things I may be missing out on. 🙂 YAY to yes!

    1. Melissa Avatar

      Jess, I hope two of those hiking trips includes ours! Would love to see you guys. Want to know more about this moonshine distillery …

  3. Melissa Avatar

    Forgot to mention another “yes” moment. I told Meghan I’d do 4 zoomba classes with her. I have to admit it was the “4” part that sold me. Any more and I would have been OUT. I don’t love dance workout classes. I feel like if I’m dancing, I need a beer in my hand. But I liked yoga, so who knows?

  4. Jo Avatar

    Congrats on your climbing experience. I use to do it at Winthrop. They had a very small wall there but it was fun. I’ll have to try it again in a bigger location that specializes in it. Keep it up, lady! 🙂