Balance And Weight

My application of life and activities

In the past two weeks I’ve spent at least a portion of the day outside doing something I love. Lots of rock climbing and mountain biking, and a little rope swinging. Life is meant. I be enjoyed and these activities just make me happy.

It’s funny because they are usually excruciatingly tiring but I always finish with a smile and happy I climbed up that thing.

In climbing and biking especially there are some important techniques to ensure you are able to perform at the best of your abilities. Almost always, they are simple tweaks that allow you to do far better than you previously thought you could do.

Let’s start with climbing. Most men, when climbing, resort to poor technique and rely heavily on their upper body strength to pull them up the rock face. They go for a big hold with their hands and pull themselves up. This is fine I guess while you have strength and are fresh and there are big holds, but becomes troublesome when the climb gets harder, the holds get smaller and the route gets longer.

Suddenly, strong guys are spent on the wall and can’t make it further.

However, when a woman starts climbing she often has less upper body strength and resorts to natural flexibility and legs to climb. Always a better climber out the gate for that fact.

Climbing is more about balancing yourself over the center of mass than strength. It is about getting proper foot placement and grip so you can make the moves up the wall. When you’re balanced you aren’t worried about falling. You can calmly and collectively make each move from a stable position, where your muscles are less fatigued.

In biking, especially mountain biking balance and where you put your weight is key. When coming down a hill on a single track with turns and banks, rollers and jumps you have to keep your weight centered and ideally positioned to counter the forces you are generating while riding.

That is why you lean into turns, drop your seat post and counter weight those hairpin turns. We could do the math and physics as to why it works and why we naturally do it, but everyone, even non-bikers do this. Just watch your friend drive next time and see what happens when they make a turn in their car. 😉

I’d venture to guess that maintaining balance and weight position is extremely critical in any sport. Every racquet sport has it, all the major televised sports require it, and certainly every extreme sport has huge elements about how you control your weight and being successful.

If the very laws of nature require that type of commitment and expertise to excel in an activity, why would our lives pose any idea different?

Our lives and personal time get filled up everyday with way more things than we could possibly accomplish. Thus, finding balance in what we do is critically important to our success.

Where we shift our weight of energy, how much time we allot for work, school, play and family. All require some calculated decisions to achieve optimal results.

We thrive on dynamic events and opportunities where we get to learn and apply critical thinking. So creating that variety and balance in life is key to being happy and successful.