LVMC BEGINNING RAPPELLING CLINIC
To the following members, please note that your membership will expire this month:
Please contact the membership director if you have questions about your membership.
Please make your
check payable to the Las Vegas Mountaineers Club and mail to: P.O. Box
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LVMC BEGINNING RAPPELLING CLINIC
THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING FOCUSED WHILE WORKING OUT
By Paul Des Roches
Three seconds, two, one, and I am off. The belt squeaks to life. Having kept up with my training these last few weeks, I know I can skip some of the warm-up, so I bump the speed up to four miles per hour. Things feel good, no knee pain, ankles are limber. I am convinced that I am going to run strong but my blood feels more like mud today. I can’t get the lead out.
I try to create a Bruce Jenner fantasy about myself but nothing happens. I think about the most abusive things that have ever happened to me, to give me anger and the surge of energy I am looking for, but nothing abusive ever happened to me. I hear my feet clopping along clumsily and they feel like wood blocks. They sound like wood blocks. I’m getting old. Who am I kidding? I should just stop.
What’s this? My Radar is picking up what appears to be a hottie walking up in peripheral vision. Four MPH turns to eight MPH really quick. My feet are no longer clopping, they are fluid. I could be cross-country skiing I look so smooth. My arms swirl with the grace and precision of an airplane propeller. Casually, like I’m doing “the push” (a dance term), I depress the speed button bringing the treadmill to a rocketing ten miles per hour. I feel the charge in me like I have just been reborn. All thoughts of getting old are gone now and I notice I’m not even sweating! I should warm up at this speed from now on! My hands have found the karate-chop position most effective, most streamlined. My head drops a bit and finds a point of stillness like it is sitting in a cradle.
I reach out again and bring her up to twelve miles per hour. I’ve touched twelve miles per hour on occasion, but it is definitely not a cruising speed for me. My feet are flying now but still smooth and my head still remains stationary. I am a model athlete now - smooth, strong and graceful. I am starting to feel some fatigue in my breathing, but I know I can overcome it if I just breathe deeper. The babe has decided to take the treadmill next to mine. I glance over and she is an angel incarnate. She starts stretching, lifting first one leg over her head from behind while looking forward, then the other. This chick is limber. Her bright pink yoga pants don’t match her green floral tank-top really, but she doesn’t care. This girl is an athlete. There is no question about it. She fiddles with her iPod and starts up her treadmill. She wouldn’t be interested in me, but I still have to look cool.
I don’t know how much longer I can run at twelve miles per hour. I’ve never ran more than a minute at this speed. I start feeling nauseous and after a good show I decide it is time to slow down. Just a bit more showing off though. Again the streamlined animal slices through imaginary terrain like a cheetah. That’s me, a cheetah, a cat, strong, playful, sleek and cunning. I notice that I’ve got the familiar side-ache coming on. I can slow down to ten miles an hour and still be a stud. That is still a six-minute-mile speed. Yes, that’s what I’ll do! I’ll slow to ten MPH. I reach for the speed button and find that I can’t reach it. Not to worry. I am only about four inches away, but man, my legs are flying already, and holy crap, I gotta run faster. No go-go-gadget arm trick here to pull out of my hat. I gotta run faster. I speed up, but find that I am no closer. That’s bad. That means that I really didn’t speed up but rather that I am slowing down. For a second I think about asking the floral beauty queen for a little help, but I can’t do that.
OK, so it is plan “B”. What is plan “B”? I just lost about two more inches. My strides are ridiculously overstretched already. I am sweating now. I first think maybe I can dive for the stop button if I have to. I try to picture the end result. Just thinking that thought lost me about two inches more. I don’t know exactly what happens to people when they fall off the end of a treadmill, but I am sure it isn’t pretty, especially at this speed. OK, so if I can’t reach the stop button, I have to prepare for hitting the carpet.
Yeeouch, that is gonna hurt, but probably nothing like hitting the belt. Am I going to hit the belt? Or do I get flung back? Let’s see here, If I hit the belt, it is going to slam me into that stanchion at the front of the machine at twelve miles an hour. I check but no helmet. Will I hit the belt or fly back? This is not the time to be figuring out physics questions. If I hit this belt it is definitely going to throw me into the mirror behind me, not forward. I think that is better than forward. OK, so what about my feet? They are going to hit the carpet behind the treadmill, which isn’t moving and what will that be like? Crap, it is my legs that are going to propel me at 12 miles per hour into the stanchion at the front of the machine! Then I’ll flop onto the belt that is traveling at 12 miles per hour in the opposite direction, removing all sorts of skin when I hit, then to be flung into the mirror behind me. Plan “B” is taking its sweet time presenting itself. The string. The string that is attached to the emergency stop button. I just lost three more inches and can feel the roller hit each foot at the back of each stride. I’m nearly off the belt now. I have absolutely no idea what to do. Should I tuck and curl, drop and roll? I have no idea. My brain is shutting down.
The string! The string that is attached to the emergency stop button that I tied off, disabling it... Forget the string. Disabling it was a bad idea. My hands are still whirring but I look like I am trying to swim with my hands. Like cupping the air is going to help propel me up to reach that damn stop button. My head is bobbing now like a chicken’s. I stopped thinking about the slowing down option completely. The red stop button is my only focus. Of course I haven’t made a peep as my ego requires staying cool a paramount objective no matter what the danger. My feet are back to flopping. I am flailing. My left foot only catches the toe on the roller, I don’t get a good enough push to keep the pace and my right foot misses its mark and hits the belt midway knocking me pell-mell face down onto the belt.
Please send no notes or flowers. I have received all of the attention I need from the paramedics and the hospital.
CLICK HERE FOR LVMC EVENT SCHEDULE
Las Vegas Mountaineers monthly meeting this month
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
John "SNAFU" Mueller
The 2001 SNAFU
Dickel Runners Expedition.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Mount Olympus, Greece
in Greece, is "the mountain of the gods" and a mountain
of myths that has been celebrated in folks songs, by Homer and other
Greek and foreign poets. It is special mountain with a spiritual
beauty all its own.