A few Saturdays ago I ventured out to Brooklyn Boulders with Sumi and Taryn to climb some rocks. We had an experienced climber and friend with us, John, who graciously belayed us for the afternoon and kept us from falling to our death. That’s a little dramatic, but as a first time climber I must admit I was a little hesitant and intimidated. The place was packed and filled with spider monkeys (what I call experienced climbers). You basically go in and pick an empty rope and wall area and start climbing. Some walls are harder than others, but they are labeled by a grading system, so you kind of know what you’re getting yourself into. We mostly stuck to the straight up and down walls, but some people were actually climbing upside down. We aren’t ready for that…YET.
Once we were done standing around admiring all the spider monkeys we got ourselves settled and strapped in, and I was the first one to ascend. I made it about halfway up the wall and that’s when I started to feel it in my hands and forearms. Holy grip strength. My comrades down below encouraged me to continue up to the top, and so I did, but only after stopping several times to shake out my hands and figure out where to put them next. I felt very accomplished after climbing the first wall, but I was also pretty certain I was done for the day. I couldn’t feel my hands or much less use them.
Sumi was not surprisingly pretty good at climbing. I think her weird hips allowed her to get really close to the wall which seemed to help. Taryn couldn’t climb because her broken big toe is still healing, but she provided great moral support! We decided not to pansy out and did end up climbing a few more walls before calling it a day.
As it turns out, rock climbing is really hard! You’d think being a dancer I’d be in shape, but climbing takes a different kind of shape and strength. I could barely click buttons on my phone for the rest of the day because my hands were so tired from gripping the holds. I suppose March is a little late to make a resolution but this year I want to try new things, and specifically new ways to be active. The gym bores me, and yes I do pilates and dance but I want to do new and exciting things! Climbing was the start to that resolution. We all had a blast and I definitely plan to head back to the rocks, but I do think I’ll hold off on pursuing it more intensely until our season at BAM is over.
For you folks out in the interweb: How are you staying active? Do you have any exciting suggestions for new things to do? Do you want to come with us? Let us know!