The Zimmerman Family Project – the Conclusion

So for all of those Ninja’s following the Zimmerman Family Project – we have reached the conclusion.  But only the conclusion to this part of their story.  Obviously so much more of the story is yet unwritten, so keep an eye out on social media to see what they all do next!

As a family what does training look like?

It’s not uncommon to see all the Zimmerman’s sitting around the kitchen table with a piece of paper and pencil planning out and drawing diagrams of our latest obstacle course.  We dream up new obstacles or courses together and then go try them out.  The one tricky part is making sure the courses we design can be adapted to our various sizes and levels of ability.  For example, we might do an alley way that has kid friendly grabs and gaps on one side and adult level grabs and gaps on the other so we can all race through the course but go at our own level.  We also design courses for the kids but then Charlie and I will treat it as a speed course and see how quickly we can move through it.  We also like to time everything, I’ve always trained like this so it’s just continued with the rest of the family but it’s motivating and encouraging to do the same course several times and try to beat your own score so everyone is competing against themselves rather than each other.  When we’re stuck inside for the winter we have to get really creative with our courses.  We have a long alley way to hang holds from downstairs and then set up balance and agility stuff all over the house.  We time each other through the course, cheer each other on, coach each other through obstacles, talk strategy together, celebrate each other’s successes and progress as well as help pick each other up when we come up short.

Fun family facts or unusual stories or experiences.

A fun story that I wanted to share happened on our trip to Arizona for the competition at AZ on the Rocks.  I mentioned earlier that we hiked Camelback Mountain but what I didn’t mention is that we did it the morning of the competition.  We had been told that if you were going to do just one hike while we were there that was the one to do.  It was Saturday morning and we got going a little late so by the time we got to the road that led up to the trailhead there was no place to park.  Charlie was ready to turn around and go back but I’m not one to be deterred, we ended up parking two miles away from the trailhead.  If you’ve never hiked Camelback before its not your typical leisurely hike, its pretty intense.

Well about halfway up (the easy half), we got to a part where you could see that the trail ahead kind of stopped being a trail and more or less just became scrambling up steep rocks with nothing more than a long drop on either side of you.  Charlie decided that it was crazy to take our six-year-old Blake up there and that they would head back down.  Well the Coach in me came out and I gave an impassioned half time speech that we Zimmerman’s don’t give up! We get to the top come hell or high water!  I think I ended it with “suck it up, buttercup!”  With much eye rolling and shaking of the head Charlie followed with Blake.

Needless to say, we made it to the top.  Everyone was commenting and congratulating our kids for doing the hike and it was at this point we noticed that there weren’t any other kids there, just adults.  The view was truly amazing though and we took a short break to take it all in.  However, it took much longer to get up than we had planned and we had to start the descent.  As we started down Charlie remembered that my knee had just been cleared by my surgeon and I think I heard him mumble something about what was I thinking.  The trip down was almost harder, especially for Charlie because he was in charge of Blake who had to be lifted or carried down the steepest parts.  Once at the bottom, we all noticed the trail sign that said it was “EXTREMELY DIFFICULT”.  Good way to put it.  At this point it was early afternoon, we still had a two-mile hike back to the car and I felt a migraine coming on from my blood sugar getting too low because I missed lunch.  Well, we made it back to the hotel with just over an hour before we had to head to the gym for the competition.  Plenty of time!  Would we do it again?  It depends on who you ask but one’s things for sure, we’ll always remember it.


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