Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wielding an Ice Axe

(def) Self-Arrest is a maneuver in which a climber who has fallen and is sliding down a snow or ice slope arrests (stops) the slide by himself or herself without recourse to a rope or other belay system.
Self-arrest can be performed by using an ice axe or by using the climber's hands, feet, knees and elbows. Self-arrest with an ice axe is a difficult maneuver, but without it the probability of effectively arresting a fall is greatly diminished.
Ever since I read Wild by Cheryl Strayed, the term Self-Arrest has been rolling around my brain.  Then I looked up the definition and POP - the lightbulb not only turned on, it shattered!
Self-Arrest your LIFE when you start to slide.  Only YOU can stop a sliding YOU.  
For my clients who fall into the trap of food/family traditions over Christmas, claiming their powerlessness against the tide of hams, sweet potatoes, chocolates and cocktails - SELF ARREST.
For friends that get a good running streak going and then slowly slide back into bed, showing up less and less, and then lament their failed running program - SELF ARREST.

Use any and all means to stop the slide - claw at the ice, wrap your legs around any available tree branch...

When you are surrounded by people who do not share your interest in a healthy body and clear mind, remember the adage "show me your friends and I'll show you your future" and then SELF ARREST.
If you've opened that bag of chocolate chips in your fridge and you keep making excuses to go into the kitchen and grab a "few"... throw the bag in the trash and SELF ARREST.

When you feel the most desperate and the edge of the cliff is rushing toward you, take out that ice axe, raise it in a high arc and with all your strength, jam it into the ice.

The first time you notice your pants are tighter - SELF ARREST

When you've let a vacation derail your workout routine and the weeks and months since vacation are slipping away into inactivity - SELF ARREST

When it's time to go in for a medical check-up and you put it off regardless of that nagging feeling - SELF ARREST

When you're on the town with friends and it's time to switch to water in order to make the following day a good one - for God sakes... SELF ARREST

This is the reality:  Your life will be less if you do not take control of your health. Less productive, less happy, lessened in length and mobility. Only you can do the work. There is no friend, spouse, diet program, trainer or nutrition coach that can do it for you. We are only tools in your backpack - your Coleman stove, a lighter for your fire - but we are not your ice axe.  Anyone who claims to be is a liar.



  1. Replies
    1. Angie - I think this post came out of my gut! Now I've found a two-word reply for every "I wish", "I can't" and "If only"... :)

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