Sunday, January 31, 2010

To tweet or not to tweet...that is the question of the hour

Twitter - this is a word that makes me shiver.  I recently helped facilitate a social media training workshop for the organization I work for in Bristol.  The first half of the training focused on twitter - what it is, how to work it, and how to make it work for local and regional voluntary and third sector organizations in the Southwest.  Although a useful channel in which to dispense information to a large audience I just couldn't see how twitter would be useful for me personally.  I always saw the thing as a way for people to be more self absorbed, thinking others cared about their every move and need to read about it instead of actually engaging in real human contact (ok maybe I am sounding a little old fashion there).

Well more and more I am being told by close friends that twitter would be a good medium to use in order for more blog exposure.  I don't know for sure where I will end up work wise once I am done with this Ph.D. but I do know that no matter what I do I will continue to write.  Write about life, experiences, fears, new adventures, fictional stories...the list is endless but writing, for me, has become apart of my identity.  If I can improve and find a niche that I can fit into then I would also like to make a bit of money off it in the form of book writing and selling.  So exposure is needed and thus the question: to tweet or not to tweet?

But, am I ready to open up my networks and be faced with both praise (I hope) and criticism (which I am sure I will get)?  Hell, I guess so.  I have lived with constant criticism and few praise for my academic writing and logic for years - only recently receiving more praise.  Although the content of this blog is more personal than professional a little bit of criticism can only make my writing stronger (right?).  So I guess it is time to get with it and open up my twitter account in the next week or so and start to tweet my way to more exposure.  Will you follow me?

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I miss sleep.  That peaceful time of the night when your body is relaxed, your mind is at ease, and the comfort and ease of sleep takes over.  Lately, anxiety and worry has interrupted this bliss causing my resting heart rate and blood pressure to increase - even as my body gets in better shape (which is a big pain in the ass if you ask me). The minute I close my eyes my mind begins to race and my body tighten as thoughts of money, career, research, life all enter at once.  One image jumps to the next and I am left with a body and mind that feels more exhausted once the next day appears.  Coupled with the lack of sunshine I feel as if I wake up and go to bed in the dark.

Bottom line, money is tight as it is for everyone.  Although I know that the move to Bristol was a much needed one for Mike and myself I can't help but wonder if I made a mistake in allowing Mike to quit a good paying job in Michigan and come to a country that is still in the mists of an economic recession (and then come to the part of the country that has been hit the worst by the economic downturn).  We are stronger  as a couple, but the strain financial and mentally on me to sustain the household is wearing me thin.  I am now maxed out at 20 hours a week - all the hours my visa will allow me to work - on top of the 20-30 hours a week I spend on my own research plus the training for the half marathon and the rehab for my back.  Mike is looking and looking, but the doors are just not opening.  I mean even B&Q (the Home Depot of the UK) turned him down, telling Mike his personality was to big for a job working the till!  So he continues everyday to look for jobs, making calls to everyone he can in the hopes of landing a position.  Honestly, things could be a lot worse and I am glad for the support I am getting from my mom which is unexpected and unusual considering our up and down relationship. 

But in the meantime I have to learn how to not worry so much.  As I get closer to my goal of graduating in May 2011 I get more and more scared.  How am I going to finish?  Will I get a job?  Why did I decide to do a Ph.D. in Anthropology (well hell at least it is not in Philosophy or Romance Languages)?  How in the hell am I going to pay off my MASSIVE student loans if I don't get a job?  Will I be able to stay in the UK?  Can I see myself back in the US?  I mean WTF?!!!!  I know, I know a little manic but really all I want is to sleep.


In the meantime I guess I just have to think positive.  That is really all I can do.  I can keep on working -through this job I am learning so much more and applying the skills I obtained in school to a "real world" job which hopefully will make me more marketable.   To be honest, without Mike I couldn't do any of the things I am doing now.  His support keeps me going day in and day out and for that I am deeply grateful.  In the end this should all pay off - but for now I will try to sleep and take each day on step at a time.  Good night...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just Lean Back

Looking up and then down I realized that I had nowhere else to go.  I feel my legs and lower back becoming stiffer, a result of the strength training session I completed just an hour beforehand.  My arms are heavy from maintaining this position for longer than needed.  I call down "I'm stuck and done."  Brooke shouts back "I got you, just lean back and let go."  My mind starts to race as I imagine myself letting go of the security the wall has to offer, but I have no where else to go!  I can't stay here hanging all day and the place is so damn cold I feel my toes becoming numb.  So I reply "Yes mam" and lean back, putting all faith in the rope and in Brooke.  My feet slowly walk down the wall and I find myself back on the ground.  I just completed my first indoor rock climb (over 1/3 up the climbing wall) and belay down.  And you know was a rush like no other.  I can't suppress the smile that creeps along my face, so I let it stay and ask to go up one more time before we leave.  Last time up, I go just a bit further and then belay down again, ever so gently releasing my fingers from the grips implanted into the wall.  God damn it I think I may just be turning, ever so slowly, into a climber...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pain in the Ass...literally

My body - it is a strong, powerful, explosive entity that is also fragile, weak, and becoming a big pain in the ass.  I stand at 6 feet 3 inches, a height that is perfect for retrieving items placed in tall places, for shooting balls in various baskets or spiking them across nets, for looking down at students who want to challenge you on a grade you gave them, and for wearing long dresses and flare jeans (if you are woman or just like dressing as well).  But it is not a height made for squatting for long periods of time or for certain gym machines or for airplane seats (don't even get me started on 5'3 passengers who  insist on the exit row seats for 12+ hour flights and my tall ass is relegated to the back in a cramped plane with a beer bellied man in front on me who insists on reclining his seat for the WHOLE DAMN PLANE - but I digress).

But really, I am ok with my "abnormal" female frame.  However, what I am finding out is that this height comes at a price -  a bad back that likes to act up during exercise and now sciatica that leaves me with a pain in me right ass that just won't go away.  Now I am not saying that because I am tall I am destined for back pain.  On the contrary the bad back comes from playing a sport in which my height was valued - one of the few places in which I was comfortable and proud of my stature.  But the constant jumping and explosive moves required on the volleyball court were to much for my frame (that was bigger than is should have been for college sports) and eventually led to a compressed disk and pinch nerve down my right leg.  It was left untreated for 2 years due to incompetent doctors who insisted that "a female of my frame tends to get a lack of feeling in their lower extremities due to muscular over development" or as I now interpret it "you are only a female so you can't really have a serious college sports injury and let's be real you are too freakin tall and we all know tall females are just destined to be in pain so deal with it and that will be $500.  Hope your insurance pays for it."  Essentially, the preconceived notions and stereotypes about tall women led to a misdiagnosis and uninterested in a serious injury that, if I were a man in college sports, who have been taken more seriously.  Challenge me if you like, but I have seen it time and again. 

Once I found a doctor to actually listen to me it was uncovered that I have actually slipped a disc that broke 2 spinous processes in my lower lumbar, pinching my L4 nerve in my right leg leaving me numbness, tingling, and atrophying of the muscle in the right thigh.  I played on that injury my senior year of college as a starting right-side and co-captain and was made to feel as if I were making up the pain.  When I finally received that diagnosis I was actually glad because if finally proved that the pain was not in my head or because of my "abnormal" height, but in my back.  5 years since that diagnosis the pain is chronnic, but manageable as the discs in question healed themselves by shrinking, leaving 2 flat black discs in place of the once full white ones.  That helped alleviate the pressure on my nerve giving me back a little feeling in the leg but forcing me to quit the sport that I love due to the lack of stability and cushioning in my lower.  In place of organized team sports that involve pounding someone or something I moved on to individual sports that test my own physical and mental endurance, starting with this half marathon and entry-level mountain climbing. 

Yet, my body is not as strong as it needs to be to handle this level of pounding.  Hence the sciatica - a consequence of my body adapting again to my weakened lower back by tucking  my pelvis bones under to handle more load.  That worked for while, but when I decided to stop being lazy and start working out again the running and lifting proved to much to quick and my body let me know with a sharp pain in my ass and knee that left me frozen in agony just before the New Year in a training session.

What do I do now?  What I have now been told is that I need to stand taller and elongate my frame to alleviate the sciatica ass pain - a concept that I already knew but is now making me comes to terms more with my height.  After every osteopath session I leave standing taller - her manipulations allows my spine to straighten more and the muscles relax.  I feel good standing taller - I can breathe deeper and my digestion functions better.  With pilates as my rehab prescription (which I start tomorrow and should be interesting) I am guaranteed to stand even taller as my core becomes a stronger part of this body.  I will have to come face-to-face and reconcile with my height - which in itself may be a big pain in the ass.  Bring it on.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Give Back

Haiti has been hit by a massive earthquake with devastating consequences.  The New York Times, CNN, and The Times London are all reporting an estimate of at least 100,000 dead and more still to come.  The pictures are shocking, leaving many to tears as the world is given photographic evidence of the pain and suffering.  In these times of crisis it is up to everyone to come together and pool resources to help those in need.  Yes, in a month's time the people of Haiti will most likely be forgotten by the media and push to the back of people's minds.  But, for now we must stop the cynical nature and push forth a more humane view.  So, what can you do to help?

DONATE:  Whether it is money, time, clothes, food.  Everyone can help by giving. If money is short and you have a family to feed then look through your closets/wardrobes and see what you haven't worn in a while and give it the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Goodwill, or any other body that is giving aid to Haiti.  Look through your cupboards and food that can be spared don't throw away - just give it to a charity.  And if you have an extra $5 or $10 lying around then put to good use and send it to a local group you know will help in this time.  Please, let us not forget that apart of being human is to be humane and the people of Haiti need some humanity. 

Places to Donate:
1) Partners in Health 

2) The Red Cross 

3) Doctors Without Borders or in the UK go here  

4) In the US Wyclef Jeans' Yele organization will allow you to text 501501 to donate and the sum will be added to your next phone bill

5) The Disaster Emergency Committee

6) Any other local group you know that is giving relief to Haiti

I know some of you wish you could go and give your help on the ground, but if that is not possible at this time then give your support through money, clothes, supplies.  In the future remember these emotions and channel them into volunteering and community help either abroad or at home.  We can't forget the humanity part of being human - something that happens far to often.  If you have anymore organizations you know of then please share.  Have a good day

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mind Block

I sit here today unable to do work.  I try and try, but my mind just floats away to ideas far removed from the article I am trying to enter in EndNote on theories of citizenship and liberal democracy in the UK (but really whose wouldn't given the content).  What am I thinking about...what else...LIFE.

I am having one of those weeks (and it's only Wednesday) where I really don't know what I am suppose to be doing with my life.  I am running despite the cautions from my osteopath and for the most part that is going well.  I have signed up for a 5K road race and 10K trail race in February with Mike - again two events that I am looking forward to and plan to do well in.  But, the other parts of my life I am feeling unsettled.  Research is good - I can't complain to be honest. I have interviews done with more to come, a good work environment that will only help the ethnography, a few talks lined up, support for article publications, and at least one grant in progress and waiting for the outcome of another grant in April.  But when I look at that sentence I am not excited - grants, articles, reading all day long in a room by myself, writing (well I quite like the writing so that's ok).  Maybe it is this new found pleasure I have gotten in my bones for the outdoors that is leaving my anxious or maybe its the weather with its short days and long nights.  I don't know but I want to DO something other than research and I want to do it now.

But, you don't always get what you want when you want it and I can be an impatient person.  So I will keep sitting here, plugging away at this article and chipping away at the research that will ultimately get me a Ph.D by May 2011.  What I found out though is that by me really putting myself out there and doing activities I never thought I could do I am finding my past plans for my future to be quite dull and not fulling- which I guess is the growing up process.  I don't think I can spend the rest of my life just "doing" research.  Why would I when there is more of a world out there to explore?  This is making me more and more antsy - it is like my body is revolting against this chair and desk routine that I have been performing over the past 10 years.  Sitting for too long makes the sciatica act up, but moving all day makes the pain go away.  My tall frame can't handle the slouching for hours on end as I write and read more and more theory, policy, and grants.  Maybe I need a poster like this on my wall to keep me going.

Hell, who knows but I guess it is time to get back to what makes me some money and lets me keep my visa.  Now where am I..."feminist framework criticized liberal citizenship models, and their egalitarian theories of distributive justice, as gender blind and androcentric..." oh screw it I think I'll get a cup of tea first....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Holiday Challenge RESULTS

So around 50 days ago I wrote about a holiday challenge I was participating in.  Well, the holidays have come and gone and with them so have 13 lbs been lost, 4.5% body fat gone, 7.75 inches lost, 1.84 lbs lean muscle gained and 16.44 lbs of FAT SHED from my body frame!!!!  If you haven't guessed I am a little excited because since I began to focus on my health and body fat September 24, 2009 I have dropped (and don't want to pick back up) 26 lbs and 8.79% body fat.

But, what makes this time around so different you might ask?  I actually am doing it the right way for the first time.  That makes a huge impact on lifestyle changes, allowing me to change my attitude and relationship with food.  In the past I focused on weight loss programs that only dealt with food and discouraging exercise.  Then I worked at two weight loss camps that, although encouraged exercise, did not allow me to function in the "real world" of balancing a new lifestyle with the stress of school and work. So once I left that safe environment, over time, the weight piled on and the workouts became less.  Now, I am working - collecting data for my dissertation, writing grants, drafting articles, compiling presentations, and interning with a local third sector organization.  To be honest, it is a lot but I am learning to balance that workload with other activities - running, hiking, attempting to learn to climb (with attempting being the key word) - that keep me sane and allow me to see the bigger picture.  Life is not all about work, and this is something that is so easy to lose sight of.  I don't need to devout all waking hours to reading, research, and writing and I can still be a "good successful anthropologist/academic" (whatever the hell that means).  More importantly, I am learning that I don't need to sacrifice my health and happiness to succeed - cause really what is the point of "success" if you are constantly tired and miserable, and is that even really "success"? 

The Tom Venuto book, Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle and The Body Fat Solution were saving graces for me when I first moved to the UK in September.  I have read a lot of the self-help New Age style books like The Secret, part of A New Earth, and The Art of Happiness that talk about the need to be in the present moment and the realize that your thoughts will dictate your future so you need to change your thoughts in order to "be happy."  Now for the most part I get it (well not really A New Earth as I thought he was all over the place, but that will be a BIG digression if I go there so I am not) but it didn't really sink in.  Then I picked up, and finally read, The Body Fat Solution...and you know, I had on of those light bulb moments.  The idea that I needed to set goals, set realistic dates to achieve those goals, and to think about "shedding fat" instead of constantly telling myself that I am "fat", were all factors in my success of ultimate health that made sense.  He focused on the mind first and then set off on the body which most programs neglect.  Then going back and reading his first book Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle gave me all the steps to put those goals in action. 

As the holidays came and went I finally see that I can enjoy life, have some fun, but stick to my own convictions and treat my body in a respectable manner.  This really came out of this challenge and my long and short terms goals of pushing my boundaries.  That is why I wrote the Push-over piece yesterday.  For a long time I was a push-over in my resolve to stick to a healthy life style change - one slip up and I would say screw it and go back to food and drink as a comfort, even though it only made me more uncomfortable.  So to Tom Venuto I say thank you for doing this challenge and helping me to show myself that I can do it.  By August 21, 2010 I should have reached one of my long term goals of fat loss with further goals to come.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


The dictionary definition of a pushover is someone who is easily taken advantage of.  Now, usually I would not describe myself in these terms, but looking back on past friendships and thinking about future endeavors I have come to realize that I can be a HUGE pushover.  And you know what, I really don't like it.  It is something that has been with me since I was young, afraid of loosing "friends" if I stood up for myself or put my own needs first.  As a result I learned to put on a tough exterior to those I did not know, but the few that I allowed myself to get close to I cowered and allowed them to use me as a dumping ground for their own problems and emotions.

Well, I figure if I really want to take back my life and make it the best one for me then I can't keep doing this.  Really, it comes down to me taking a good hard look at myself and realizing that I am good enough.  Ah, now memories of Oprah and her "self love" days come back to mind.  While I won't go hug myself and say "I am special, I am worthy" (although I can be a little special now and then) I am going to stop investing so much time in people that can't return some of the investment back.  I mean I figure that is what a friendship is - mutual caring and understanding for another.  More than that I realize that as I get older I need to start believing in myself.  I don't know, graduate school on one hand has torn me down and made me have to stand strong to my thoughts in order to survive the back stabbing, idea stealing, ego-centric world that comprises academia.  Yet, on the other hand it has also made me doubt more and more my own self worth - which is just not cool on all levels.  I have found that I am more cautious then I need to be, trying to make sure I have someone agree with me or not make to strong of an assertion because I will be shut down automatically or people just won't like me.  It's funny I can get so passionate and strong willed when I start to talk about issues of race, nation, injustice, education, politics but then I can be such a flippin wimp when a "friend" decides to "confide" in me about all their problems and tell me all their dramas but could care less to hear about my life.  It is so emotionally and physically draining that I just can't do it anymore.  The power of "No" has to enter my mind and come out my mouth, so I guess this is my New Years Resolution a few days late.  And really, I don't need everyone to like me or I like everyone - just respect and mutual understanding is really all one can ask for.

Honestly, this is hard to write but sometimes facing yourself and your own demons/issues/problems is a bitch.  But, it is necessary and after last years wave of depression and self deprecation I don't, and can't, go down that road again.  I am sure all of us have gone through waves of this in some form or another.  I think this is why I needed to get out of Michigan, start fresh, and realize I can make friends outside of a preconceived academic environment, that I can be fun and not have to rely solely on my "intellect", and that I am overall a good person who happens to be a little too nice sometimes.  That is not a bad thing - I just need to remember my own interests and social, mental, and physical health.  So I guess it comes down to balancing self-care and remembering that nice doesn't have to equal pushover.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's Official

No - I'm not pregnant...or engaged.  This is something more important than that. 

You ever get that tight feeling in your stomach when you open up a letter (or email) and realize that whatever you signed up for or did is now official because if it written down? Well, I got that feeling today as I opened an email from the Hervis Prague Half Marathon committee telling me my registration was now "official" (even though I signed up in November), my start number is F1044, and that I am to take this letter with me when I pick up my number and goodie bag.

Looks like I'm running 13.1 miles on March 27, 2010 in Prague and you know what I want to throw up.  I guess it's that mix of fear, excitement, uncertainty, stupidity, and down right anxiety.  Can I make it?  Can I complete the training?  Why am I really doing this?  Will my body hold up?  What the fuck am I thinking (excuse my French, but you know it gives it that extra zing)? 

Really, the training is the hardest part.  Keeping to this half marathon schedule that just looks at me day in and day out when I am in my office working or in the kitchen eating is what worries me the most.  The diagnosis of sciatica from the osteopath with the warning of no weights and no running doesn't help either.  As she worked on my lower back this past Monday thoughts raced through my mind.  I am ok forgoing the intense weight workouts and replacing them with pilates and body weight routines.  To be honest it is better for my joints and should help me in sculpting a physique I desire and can maintain until weights are my friend once again.  But the running - can't let go of it man.  Every time I have said I was to run a half marathon in the past some injury has gotten in the way.  Now some would say that it's a "sign" from "somewhere" that maybe running long distance is not for me.  But, if you know me then you know I see it as a sign that I need to get off my ass, suck it up, log the miles, and run across that damn finish line on March 27 in a city where I have never been.  So, it's official - I'm running 13.1 miles.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Years Weekend

Here is a link of pictures from Wednesday night on the 30th of December, 2009 to Sunday afternoon on January 3, 2010.  One of the best weekends I have had in a long time, I hiked with Mike, Vix, and Alex New Years Eve in a forest, climbed a mountain on New Years day, hiked another forest the day after and geo-cached Sunday morning around an old Welsh fort and mining site.  The scenery was stunning, feeling more like the Swiss Alps than the UK (but technically I haven't been to the Swiss Alps so this is all based on the Sound of Music and pictures) and my love for nature grew.  So I hope you all enjoy.

New years weekend 2009-2010


Fear is a powerful emotion, one that can be both a blessing and curse depending on how much of a hold it has over your life.  For me, I have grown to become fearful of too many things - heights, speed, adventure, water..hell you name anything extreme and I would tell you I was not to keen on it.  But, as this blog says in the first post, I am trying to overcome these fear by pushing my limits.  I am only 28 years old, but sometimes feel like a broke down 80 year old woman who belongs in a nursing home surrounded by books.  Lets be real, life is to damn short to allow fear to cripple and choke the fun out of living.  So for this past New Years I wanted to do something different - something that would really test by boundaries and so I set off with Mike, Alex, and Vix to Snowdonia, Wales to climb a mountain...and guess what...I did it!

Well, I didn't make the summit - but baby steps man, baby steps.  We were able to reach 1,400 feet on Mount Snowdonia on a crisp sunny New Years Day morning.  The trail was busy with others partaking in the great conditions and trying to start a new year and decade off in style.  We also shared the trail the day with runners competing in a race - not sure how long but as I looked at runners young and old booking it across the lower part of the mountain I was both in awe and inspired.  So I pushed down my fears as we began to ascent to the summit. 

Scared shitless - that is all I can say.  I was scared shitless as we rounded a corner and I realized that the nice trail I was on for the first 1 1/2 hours was ending and the climbing needed to begin.  With the wintery snow blanketing the landscape the once well marked trail was now compressed snow - the remnants of previous hikers.  Vix and Alex made the ascent with little problems - making it half way up before I was even a third there.  Mike stayed behind, encouraging me to put one step in front of the other.  My head just raced with thoughts - "What if I fall?  What if this is how I die? Why in the hell did I think I want to climb mountains? Black people don't do this shit!"  You know normal stuff you might think as well. 

But climb I did, not looking back as I put one step in front of the other until finally both of my feet were on the ridge.  Alex and Vix gave me a high five and told me to look at how far I had come up.  I said no, preferring to keep my eyes straight ahead and allow my fear to suppress itself.  The summit was in sight, but the ground was turning more and more snowy - with ice accumulating along the way.  We had no crampons so walking in snow was making my legs tired and my back ache.  But we continued on, with me always trailing far in the back - afraid to walk too fast as I might slip and fall (down the hill is what I was thinking, but in reality every time I fell it was just into snow.  Really more of a bruised ego than anything else).  At around 1:30pm I asked a couple coming from the summit how much further - they said 45 minutes in tough conditions but well worth the trek.

Yet, that was not the day for me to reach the summit.  The sun was already at its highest point, preparing itself to sink slowly from the horizon.  Clouds were rolling in and we decided that being on that mountain in the dark was not a smart idea.  On their own Mike, Vix, and Alex could have easily made it up to the summit and back before dusk - but with me at the tail this was not an option I could or wanted to take.  I was happy with my progress and knew going down was going to be harder than coming up in the ice and snow.  So we made out descent, going down by another trail that left me falling on 3 different occasions into the powdery snow. 

But, I had a damn good time.  Even though I was slow, scared, tired, sore, and annoyed with the parents who thought it was a good idea to bring children on the side of a mountain and the flippin 12 person group who hogged the trail taking pictures in their jeans (ok that was digressing) I loved every minute of it.  I looked at my fear and said "Fuck you" and I am proud of that.  Once I made it up that hard climb Alex looked at me a said "Nikki (it's funny cause only my mom calls me that and so to hear a white British guy doing the same makes me laugh) didn't you say you wanted to climb a mountain on your 30th bday, well you already did so you might want to change that goal."  And you know what he is right, for my 30th bday I plan to summit a mountain in South America and I think I can get in physical and mental shape for that here in the good old UK.

Going back to fear - I am tired of it.  Just as I am tired of being a push-over (this will be talked about in my next post).  The new decade is one of new beginnings.  While I was on the side of that mountain trying to descend I did a lot of thinking.  Dreams that I have had I want to make reality. I don't know for sure what my career will be, but I am having second thoughts about academy as my only route.  Many of you know this but writing, politics, the outdoors, food, and family are taking over my thoughts more than grants, tenure, and publications.  Essentially life is taking over, not just career, and I am trying to wrap that around me head.  

Also, bullshit is coming out that I want to get rid of.  I am tired to being the "nice friend" who is always there for others, but does not get the same in return and you know what - that is my own fault for not seeing my own self worth.  So that mountain (and really the whole weekend as we hiked everyday) did more for me than just kick my ass and leave me falling asleep at the dinner table.  It got me thinking about what I really want to do with, and have in, my life.  Climbing that mountain made me come to terms with and climb out of my old shell - and for that I say thank you!  So, to a New Year and New Start, make this life what you want (God, now I sound like Oprah). 

Oh and for some reason I was singing this song the whole weekend - including while trying to climb so I thought I would share.