Thursday, December 2, 2010

RT everywhere!

Today I went on the swings just because. I was walking through a park and there was a swing set with wooden seats (you know, the ones that don't crush your hips when you're an adult) just begging to be played on. I thought about how if I were with any of my friends, I would be racing them to the swings, but since I was alone I found myself looking around to see who would be watching (and judging) me. I then realized I am in the middle of a foreign country in which I have met a handful of people that I might never see again, and... who cares anyway? I love swinging, so why shouldn't I swing if I want to?! It was beautiful. Hot in the sun but actually chilly in the shade with the breeze and the movement of the swing. I really enjoyed having a few minutes on that swing with the wind blowing in my face! I had no appointments (aside from a rock climbing date later in the evening) so took advantage of my freedom and it felt so good!

In case you've never tried it, it's a little hard to get a picture of yourself on a swing--and capture the essence of swinging--without setting up a tripod on a delayed timer, etc. :)

I wasn't actually in the middle of New Zealand when I was on the swing, but I was at the base of a walk that brought me there! The geographical "centre of New Zealand" is located in Nelson at the top of a hill with a fantastic view. I climbed up there and, since there was nowhere in particular I had to be, I sat. Of course I took the standard pictures, but mostly I sat with my little moleskin notebook and a 2H pencil. I hadn't sketched in a while and it was the perfect spot (though there was too much that I wanted to draw!) The occasional sight-seer (or local who was exercising) came through but I just sat on the bench, taking in the view. Directly down the hill is Nelson City, where the main part of town is, and the housing area spreads out from there. Off to the right (Northish) is the sea (Tasman Bay, I believe) with a huge sand bar just off the coast. There is a fantastic view of Port Nelson, and the coastline continues beyond that into Able Tasman. There were mountains fading into clouds and blue skies all around. To the left the town disappeared into rolling hills and they continued behind me as well. I think I can safely say that if I spend any amount of time in Nelson (as roughly planned) I will be back to soak up this view!

On my way back to the backpackers I saw an elderly gentleman riding a tricycle. He struggled a bit with pedaling and I noticed his cane in the basket behind his seat. He was taking his dog for a walk. I said hello and he was friendly, commenting about how his dog had his tennis ball. This simple exchange made me smile and somewhat emotional at the same time. I love seeing people use adaptive cycles! It made me really happy to see this man going to great lengths to do something an average person may find mundane. He may not have known it, but he was engaging in recreation therapy in so many ways!

Tonight I went climbing again and it was discount night for everyone (not just the ladies) so the place was packed. I had done way too much thinking about the amount I struggled last night, so resolved to climb to the point I was capable without paying too much attention to trying to climb higher grades. Actually, I didn't let myself try a higher grade unless I was able to do a couple climbs at the grade below. It worked out pretty well for my confidence, and I think I succeeded at climbing in "training mode" to increase my strength and hopefully build some callouses rather than trying to "project" any specific routes. I made a point to climb slowly and plan my moves, and constantly heard some friendly voices in my head: "Read your route." "Breathe, Kirstin." "Nice, way to work it out!" and even some "that's what she said" moments brought me back to my climbing friends in the states. I came out of the night with a much more positive attitude than last night, and felt like I had made some progress (I wasn't able to finish the route in this picture yesterday [note the massive overhang], but I did it twice tonight!)

As I look back at my day, I see it is very "recreation therapy" oriented! Swinging, drawing, cycling, cooking (which I didn't mention, but did this afternoon), and climbing. Then again, I suppose virtually anything in one's daily life could somehow fit into the category of RT. I guess it is a good thing that even though I am so far from my job in RT, I am still thinking about it and implementing its concepts in my life!


  1. I LOVE the swinging picture, just LOOOOOVE it!
    Dude, there's nothing like swinging. I remember the last time I swung, was in San Francisco in the middle of the night. We played on this playground in the city for hours and others played guitars and sang and we all sang and danced too. We wer there till the cops came and told us to go home. I lost my phone that night. I didn't care at all, I was with all the folks I needed at the time. It was just lovely. ahhhh swings!

  2. Every time I let out a "That's what she said!" I think of you! I'm glad you're getting back into climbing! Craig and I are going to start back up in March when he's done with the academy. It won't be the same without you, but I'm really looking forward to getting back to it!

  3. @ Topher, thanks!

    @ Em, every time I swing I think of our adventure on the playground in Florida. They're the greatest!

    @ Nicole, I think of you whenever they come up too, but it's never the same. Somehow those jokes were so much funnier with you around! Glad you're going to get back into climbing, you should just hop on over and climb in NZ sometime!


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