I’ve actually tried indoor rock climbing one time before. It was almost 10 years ago when my husband and I first started dating. He took me to an indoor climbing gym on a date. The climbing session ended with me smashing my behind into his face while he belayed me from below. I broke his glasses and he vowed to never take me rock climbing again and he didn’t.
I have to stop here and note that rock climbing is serious business in my household. My husband was a professional climber for 20 years. That’s him in the photo below, high above El Capitan in Yosemite, CA. He does not climb anymore, but he’s pretty much of a climbing snob. (Do not mistake mountain climbing for rock climbing - he will quickly correct you.) He spends hours of his day researching climbs and routes and equipment and climbers… all for the fun of it.
So when I told him that I wanted to go climbing again so I can do a write up for OurHealth, he quickly shut me down, reminding me of our date night adventure many years ago. “You're not built for climbing” he likes to say. Meaning: my black booty, thighs and hips are to heavy for my scrawny arms and shoulders to pull me up. Humph.
But I convinced him to take one for the team and told him that I at least needed him to go with me to take the photos. He agreed but not before rifling through all of our storage boxes to find shoes, harnesses, carabineers and other equipment that I’ve now forgot the name of. I reminded him that they rent you all of this stuff at the gym – but apparently real climbers don’t rent equipment. Mmmmk.
First - Why Rock Climbing? Have you ever seen a climber’s body? I’m talking about all lean muscle, no fat. Ripped shoulders, sculpted back and calves that go on for days! You get this body from the great combination of cardiovascular exertion combined with continuous all over strength moves. You also develop great core strength and amazing flexibility. Now this is an exercise that I can get with! *Husband demands a note here – climbing is NOT an exercise it’s a sport! Ooook. Well this is a SPORT that I can get with!
But, why does it have to be so hard!
What you need to know – It’s a humbling experience. Do not expect to show up at a climbing gym and shimmy your way to the top of the wall. I got smoked by a 7-year-old girl on three different routes! If you want to get good and increase your skill level, you will have to devote the time. Many gyms offer great package deals and beginner classes. There was a time when you had to have a partner to climb because one person had to belay, but now most gyms have fancy automated belaying equipment that allows you to climb solo (I still think it’s more fun with a partner). The gym will have all of the equipment you need for rent. Don’t worry about being a “real” climber and needing to bring your own.
My take away- climbing is FUN! Go for the fun of it! It’s a great way to spend time with your kids and expose them to something new and challenging. It’s a great girls night out or date night (in lieu of the typical dinner and drinks) and it’s a great way to get a good workout, anytime of year!