The Fear of Falling: In Life and On The Wall

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be suspended above ground? Probably not. But if you get to, it’s the most liberating and freeing experience you’ll ever have. Rock climbing is the ultimate sport for humans that involves defying gravity and physics in all its splendor. From athletes to normal folk that just enjoy the sport, it’s one of the most physically demanding and technical sports on the face of the planet. I’m not here to sell you on the lifestyle, or even convince you that climbing will be for you. But what I will share is my personal experience of how overcoming your fear of falling, relates not only to climbing but also in our daily lives.

I started climbing last year in October 2016 and has it been a whirlwind of ups and downs, with the realization of where my weakness and also where my strengths lie as a climber. I am by no means a professional. There several different styles of climbing out there, but I’ll be focusing more on sports climbing and bouldering. Sport climbing is the practice of climbing where there are pre-drilled anchors on the wall that allow the climber to ascend the wall by a route set. This allows them to clip their gear on the wall for safety. With bouldering, climbers are on walls that are no more than 20 feet tall with crash pads down below for protection. I haven’t found any other method to learn efficiently without repetition and maintaining muscle memory. Forget the training at first, and just learn to climb. When you learn to trust your body, climbing becomes a part of you and becomes less of a fight to reach the top.

I know I mentioned the physical demands of rock climbing, but haven’t dived into what it’s like for your mind. As for someone who has an overwhelming fear of heights and recurring anxiety, consider it the mental Olympics. My first-day climbing involved barely making up ten feet up a wall in the gym. It wasn’t the physical strength that deterred me from finishing, but more of what was going on in my head, move after move. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far in my climbing is continuing to be present on the wall. I had so much trouble with that first step that falling was just impossible to comprehend. What will happen? Will my harness break loose and fall to the ground? Is my partner watching me? Some of these thoughts may come to mind. And just like in our day-to-day, The “What if’s” just overtake the conscious ability to acknowledge that predicament we are in. We become so afraid of what we cannot control in our lives, that it hinders our growth and ability to see a different view of things. The physical act of falling remains uncontrollable but we can always be ready for.

Breathing is really important. I think we take it for granted daily. In a stressful situation, we all have the tendency to tense up and lose focus. It’s important to recognize their stress factors and take in where your climbing skills are. Breathing through your motions not only help prevent injury but can many times offer us to have a clearer mindset in our decision-making skills when things get a bit iffy or outside of our comfort zone. We all have our limitations and also are aware of what feels good, and also what doesn’t. Climbing requires that intuitive mindset. How can you overcome falling, if you don’t understand what it feels like? As practitioners in life, we have to give it our best and take risks in order to improve ourselves. When we learn to feel sensations instead of stepping back to our comforts, it allows the practice of awareness become alive.

3 Great Benefits of Using an Electric Skateboard

The electric skateboard is very versatile, portable, and easy to ride with minimal effort. Also, they are an environmentally friendly way to travel. Let’s take a look at a few of the positives of having an electric skateboard:

Use less effort

With no need to constantly push, you are less likely to get worn out after traveling across town. The travel distance for a single charge of the battery can vary with the different models, but they do have the potential go as far as 25 miles or more. Also, they are just as easy to charge between each use as a smartphone or similar device. Because there is no need to use a lot of effort, you won’t feel worn out even after making a relatively long trip.

A further great thing is the fact they are built with rubberized, wide wheels that give a very reliable grip that leads to a smooth and comfortable ride.

Control the speed

It is possible to have a lot of control over the speed of the electric skateboard. For instance, the conventional model has the potential to go extremely fast downhill, while its flat speed over a sidewalk is only as fast as your leg power. The majority of the electric models give the option to travel at a steady speed, which can be in the region of 11 MPH. There speed will stay consistent on both a flat road and a hill with an incline that has an angle of about 15 degrees. Also, with the ability to travel at a consist speed it will be easy to arrive at a planned destination on time. Similar to having more control over the speed of the skateboard, there is also the option to slow it down and even use a reliable braking system.

Electric or manual

The electric skateboard is a highly versatile product and often gives the option to switch between an electric and manual unit. For instance, the ability to perform tricks at a skate park is likely to be a lot easier with the manual push style mode. After the fun action at the park, the electric feature can be reactivated to make the trip home faster and easier.

Overall, the electric skateboard is a lot of fun and is a great way to really embrace the future of this activity. Also, with the more leisurely way to travel, there is a greater opportunity to appreciate a journey and take in the local surroundings.

5 Top Reasons to Invest in Lifting Shoes

Lifting shoes are purpose-built to provide a solid and reliable platform. They are very effective at helping the lifter produce more force and push through the floor to get the weight in the desired position. The proper shoes are essential for those involved in regular deadlift or heavy squats. Let’s take a look at five of the major benefits of the lifting shoes:

Elevated heel

A basic feature of the lifting shoes is the elevated heel which helps to hold the right posture when weight lifting. The ability to maintain posture is not only beneficial for the person lifting the weights, but the proper posture in a lift is essential in a professional environment. The height of the heels can vary with the different shoes. The preferred height will make it possible to achieve the right power position and maintain balance.

Solid base

Many of the lifting shoes are built with a solid base consisting of wood, hard plastic, or a mixture of these materials. A solid platform to make a lift is essential. Trying to lift on an unstable surface can be very dangerous. However, the firm base of the lifting shoes makes it a lot easier to maintain the proper posture.

Ankle support

The majority of the lifting shoes are made with a rubber, leather or plastic-like material. The entire shoe is created with firmness in all areas to create a very secure feeling for the foot and ankle. Also, the shoes can feature extra straps to further help in an effort to provide support.

Mobility

The solid base, elevated heel and support are designed to give all-round mobility while performing the lifts. The shoes are particularly helpful for giving proper mobility for the hips, knees and ankles. Proper hip and ankle flexion is essential to help achieve the desired burst of power and the ability to maintain a hold for the appropriate time. If the hips and ankles aren’t in a position to give the desired power production, it will be a lot more difficult to produce the proper power.

Safety

The proper shoes must be worn when weightlifting to help lower the risk of injuries. Lifting heavy weights or performing complex movements have the potential to lead to injury if a solid base and support isn’t in place. Any shoes that lack support can put the body in poor alignment, which has a much greater risk of injury.

Men, Unleash Your Potential With Boxing

Too many guys squander their time in the gym doing curls and other exercises to look pretty while never really challenging their bodies to be everything that they could be. Boxing is one of the best workouts that can help bring you to that next level.

GET RIPPED

Boxing may be one of the best ways to shed body fat and lean out while preserving muscle mass. Research has shown that interval style training like boxing is great for fat loss and for speeding up your metabolism. Exercise like traditional aerobic cardio workouts only create an increase in calories burned during the actual workout that drops off rapidly when you end your training session. But because of a phenomenon known as EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) you have a substantial increase in the amount of calories you burn for hours after you end a boxing workout. Since boxing uses your fast twitch muscle fibers to perform quick and powerful punches over and over again it encourages your body to hold onto muscle and even can increase your muscle size which will lead to a ripped broad shoulder look and not the skinny look that so many endurance athletes have. So, if you only have a limited amount of time to get a workout in, try attending a quality boxing gym near you which will give you better results for your time then a traditional cardio workout, such as going for a run.

SPEED, POWER, ENDURANCE

Few styles of training can give you the full spectrum of physical improvements that boxing can. ESPN ranked boxing the hardest sport in the world because of all the ingredients that go into preparation. The primary qualities needed to be a great boxer are speed, power & endurance. Here are just a few ways you gain those qualities through boxing training.

SPEED: Through hitting a bag or doing mitt work you are demanding your muscles to fire faster than you are accustomed to. Every time you punch, you must quickly twist your body, shoot out your arm, and bring it right back. You must move your feet quickly to get in, out and around a bag or an opponent. In a good boxing workout, a variety of plyometric exercises and other drills that demand your body to move as fast as possible are also mixed in which forces you to new levels of speed production you may have not thought possible.

POWER: Boxing teaches you to use your entire body to produce maximum power in a punch while delivering it accurately, quickly and on balance. The lock and squeeze at the end of a punch is a massive contraction of the muscle fibers in your arms and shoulders that happen in the very instant you first makes contact with your target. That contact puts a tremendous load on your muscles all the way from your chest muscles to the muscles of your back which must bear the load of hundreds of pounds of force when you land a hard punch. When punches are delivered properly you will feel the work that was put on these muscle groups the next day. ENDURANCE: A lot of research has been done over the past couple decades about the benefits of high intensity interval training on VO2 max ( a measurement of your body’s ability to utilize oxygen). Interval training like boxing has been shown to increase VO2 max faster and in shorter workouts than steady state cardio. Boxing is great cross training for individuals that play a variety of sports seriously or for recreation as it helps tremendously with boosting endurance. At the end of the day, boxing is a much more exciting and time efficient way to get your cardio in than running on a treadmill or spending time on a stationary bike.

FUN & EXCITING

We all know exercise can be fun, but boxing for exercise can be even more fun! Whenever you exercise, you get a release of endorphins that make you feel accomplished and satisfied after a hard workout. With boxing, you get the same feelings, but more. After a hard boxing workout you have the feeling of accomplishment as well as progress when you learn new techniques. The excitement of throwing punches, moving around, bobbing, weaving and blocking punches is a huge thrill that is extremely addictive and will leave you wanting more after every workout!

STRESS RELIEVING

Have you ever gone through a super stressful day and just wished you could have punch something? Energy like that, if held in for a long time, can be detrimental to your interactions with people around you and the people closest to you, leaving you easily frustrated and ready to fly off the handle. People that have made Boxing a part of their daily routine get to let out that frustration all the time! If you spend 30 min to an hour of throwing hundreds of punches as hard and as fast as you can, you better believe you will feel a huge sense of relief. When you train boxing, you are using that energy of aggression and transferring it into a positive outlet that will not only make you feel great, but look great as well!

THE FINAL BELL

I strongly encourage you to try a boxing workout either in a class or personal session. To get the most out of your workouts you need to go to a quality boxing gym and experience what boxing is really all about!

Cheerleader Teams Always Do Well With a Car Wash Fundraiser

There are a lot of advantages to cheerleading squads that other sports simply don’t enjoy. I guess that goes without saying, especially in high-school, but I would submit to you that the same applies for those in college – let me explain and give you a real life example here if I might.

Over the years, I’ve participated and planned many car wash fundraisers. It started in High School as I was the president of many clubs on campus and Senior Class President also. One thing we always needed more of in our clubs and organizations was money – there was never enough for our unquenchable thirst for grandiose events. In those days I had a business washing cars, boats and aircraft, mobile car washing and we used the equipment to clean cars at those fundraisers. Eventually, we got really good at organizing them and making a decent amount of money.

Still, we could never make as much as the cheerleading squad for obvious reasons. First, they could out sell us 3:1 in pre-sale car wash fundraising tickets and during the day of the event they’d pull cars off the street in droves with a simple sign “Cheerleader Car Wash” and a couple of girls on the corner in bathing suits. Hey, that’s just not fair, but that’s life. Yes, a definite advantage indeed. Needless to say, if you are a cheerleader parent or student advisor and your squad needs money – a fundraiser of this type is quite easy to hold and quite apropos for the summer months.

The other day, I was talking to a mom at Starbucks who had a daughter who made the cheerleading squad in high school for the next calendar year. Her sister was a cheerleader a few years back at that same school and the mom remembered how expensive it was for cheerleader camp, competitions, uniforms, and travel expenses, and the mom really didn’t want to go through that one again, nor did she want to be assigned duty at “another damn bake sale” I think were her exact words. I explained the car wash fundraising strategy and how they could do pre-sale tickets, and use a busy corner to host the endeavor.

She did remember doing at least one fundraiser of that type a few years back and thought it was fun, but said she remembered getting sunburn, and I explained with proper planning no one has to get burned and her daughter’s squad could make the money they so desperately needed. Please consider all this and think on it.