Balancing Act



As I type this post, I'm making dinner, wearing a face mask, munching on torrone, sipping on green tea, and making a list. This is my downtime on a Sunday night. Maintaining a work life balance has been difficult lately, so I took a few days off to de-stress. Unfortunately, I'm not completely MIA because I've been checking and responding to work emails.

It's often hard for people to step back and realize that they're pushing themselves too hard mentally and physically. We work ourselves this hard because we feel we have to, and hard work is necessary in order to strive towards a goal. But at some point it begins to feel burdensome and you start to feel worn out. There comes a point when you have to set personal boundaries and take a step back. It can't be "go go go" all the time or else your mind will get overworked and shut down.

Overworking yourself physically is also detrimental. You have to know your physical and mental limits. I started indoor bouldering two months ago. Since then, I've made great progress without realizing until someone pointed it out. I'm able to master bouldering problems that take some people almost a year to figure it out, which is pretty amazing. But in pushing myself so hard, I've put a strain on the pulleys in my fingers. It's an uncomfortable sensation and hurts when I press on my fingers. No matter how many times I fell off the wall, I kept going and would tell myself that I could do it, and that I was going to dominate this climb. The problem was that I was approaching bouldering as if it was just like any other exercise, but it isn't. If you put stress on your muscles in weight lifting, your muscles will grow, but it doesn't work that way with bouldering. The tendons in your hands strengthen at a much slower rate than the rest of the muscles in your body which was something I didn't realize.

It sucks because now I have to slow down and climb easier bouldering problems. But it's okay though because I need to work on my technique anyway. And I'm doing other exercises to train my body so I can become a better climber. Patience is key. I was reading a climbing blog the other day, and I started laughing when I read "There is only one way around it; stand back and realise that you are just training. You are just pulling on plastic blobs. Who cares what the number is? If you think other people do, you’re kidding yourself." Plastic blobs are exactly what they are. All of this physical and mental stress has taught me that I need to recognize when my body and mind is telling me to slow down.

Step back and breathe. Pace yourself. Take care of yourself. Eat better and sleep better.

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