"I Climb-You Climb" - guest blogger Abby Helm blog entry #12, September 13


I Climb - You Climb

Well hello! I know this isn’t the ‘normal’ Val Bock blog post – but since she is away on vacation (lucky her!), they’ve asked me to fill in. First off, let me introduce myself – my name is Abby Helm, I’m the Y Membership Director and also one of the returning veterans to the group.

I’ll be honest, fitness wasn’t always something I loved – I was never the athletic one in school, I truly despised playing sports and tried everything to get out of running the mile in PE. It wasn’t until after high school and college – when I was just starting out in my career, that I started exercising more. At first, it was something I used to shed weight – but now, I do it for my mental well-being. Somehow, along this journey, fitness and activity has become a part of me. A part of who I am and something I truly love to do. It didn’t happen overnight and there are plenty of days where I don’t want to do it – but, fitness has become my ‘thing’.

But, that’s enough about me - let’s get down to today’s workout. It was called – ‘I Climb, You Climb.’ So, picture walking into the gym and seeing a bunch of cones, agility ladder, boxes, etc. It really starts to make you wonder what in the world was up Molly’s sleeve.

We started off with a six minute warm-up where we had run around the gym – all while weaving in and out of cones, hopping through an agility ladder, running up those treacherous stairs and box jumping our way through to the finish line. Then, repeat until the six minutes were up. In my eyes, that’s a workout – not a warm up. But, what do I know.

After our warm-up, we were told to partner up. I partnered up with Rachel. Such a fun person she is! Even when she’s sweating and in pain – she’s smiling the entire time. If I’m going to be pushing myself and doing a bunch of burpees – then I definitely want someone like Rachel as my partner. Cheering me on, smiling the whole time all the while I try not to lose my lunch.

It was explained to us that we would be “climbing the ladder.” This meant that for 3 minutes, we would do a certain exercise. Our rest was when our partner was working. So, for example – the first round was squat presses. I would do one rep. Then Rachel would do one rep. Then I would do two. She would do two….you get the point. For three minutes. Once those three minutes were up, it was time to move to the next exercise. In this round we ended up with 8 sets.

Next round was BURPEES. Yes, those dreaded, awful, make even the sweetest person say cuss words, burpees. Back up the ladder we went again. This time, we were able to get 6 burpees completed in those 3 minutes. I was happy with that. I was also happy I didn’t lose that apple I devoured right before class, either! After burpees, it was on to glute bridges – where we topped out at 9.

So, of course, we metaphorically speaking had “climbed up the ladder,” now it was time to climb back down. So, for another 3 rounds and another 9 minutes we started at wherever we ended up during that first round and worked our way back down. If we finished early, then we were able to have a small rest period.

But of course, we didn’t just end the workout there – we finished with a Tabata style, partner ab-workout where we high-fived our way through 4 minutes of grueling planks. But again, I had my positive, smiling, cheerful partner Rachel who kept me from quitting before time was up.

See, that’s the thing about these workouts. We’ve all become like a small little group of friends who help push each other through all of those times where we want to quit, throw in the towel, and head back to work. It’s really become something I truly look forward to each week. Seeing everyone’s (including myself) progress just confirms we’re getting stronger both mentally and physically each week.

Looking forward to next week - it sounds like Molly has plenty of tricks up her sleeve – including a downtown workout equipped with burpees for someone’s (I won’t mention any names) 40th Birthday!

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