It was back in 2014 when my husband tried climbing for the first time. Our life has never been the same since….
OK, perhaps not that much (lol), but there’s a bit of truth in that. I remember many evenings spent alone because he was THERE, climbing. Well… some guys love fishing, others like watching football matches in the pub with their crowd, for some others gym seems like the second home, and for my guy it was the climbing centre.
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My husband’s passion
He got totally hooked on climbing. It was his love from the first sight. Should I be jealous? Nah… Climbing has so many benefits, both physical and mental, it was only for his, and our good.
AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE I GIVE YOU:
Full list of climbing BENEFITS
A few useful TIPS for complete beginners
I remember when he went to the climbing centre for the first time and came back jumping with happiness like a little boy! Since then he was there almost every day. He’s very slim but a muscular guy who doesn’t know the word “fear” and strives on adrenaline. He also used to do martial arts thanks to which he’s very strong and flexible, so climbing seemed just perfect for him. His dedication was incredible and his progress was outstanding!
In fact I didn’t mind those lonely evenings that much. I saw how happy and proud my husband was of himself. He was so excited about all his new achievements and it seemed like he was really doing great! It wasn’t long when he asked me to try climbing with him some day. Me – a very cautious and not really adventurous person… but curious on the other hand. I kept hearing his stories, told with so much excitement, about how he managed to complete this and that route, how he reached another level… And there came that moment when I actually wanted to SEE that with my own eyes! Seeing how much joy that climbing thing gives him I thought “why not, let me try!” So he bought me the whole gear and took me there! And there was no way out… Just kidding!
The beginning wasn’t easy…
I think it took me somewhat around three sessions before I started really feeling what he was so excitedly talking about. I was scared shitless (excuse my language) on my first attempt to climb the wall and I was very careful not to look down! I also had to put a lot of TRUST in my husband’s belaying skills(!), which I had absolutely no idea about back then. It was a great experience though, tightening the bond and building mutual trust (because there came the moment when it was my turn to belay him, and I was only a beginner! – talking about trust, ha!). It was a great feeling, I discovered yet another thing which was slowly becoming our mutual passion. Seeing what he could do made me so proud! He was actually really REALLY good!!!
MY HUSBAND’S BEST MOMENTS (Youtube videos):
Then our daughter
Our daughter is absolutely crazy about her daddy and everything he does (as most daughters usually are, right?), so she wanted to go climbing with him of course. She was only 5 when he first took her to the climbing centre and she was so thrilled! She absolutely loved it and we were all going together many times after.
She was only 5 in that video! I’m so impressed how brave she was climbing that wall.
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OTHER POSSIBILITIES FOR KIDS:
There is a kids corner (something like an indoors little playground) in that place where we used to go, so when my daughter wanted to have a break from climbing she was playing there with other kids. There’s also a reading corner for kids and a small cafe where you can sit and have your coffee and a scone or a slice of pizza while watching others climb or keeping an eye on your children playing. I know in our climbing centre – Awesome Walls in Dublin – there’s also a possibility to organise a birthday party for your child, which I think is pretty cool! Check out in your nearest climbing centre what they have in their offer.
And then my sister and her son
It really looks like climbing is our family sport, doesn’t it?
My sister, who lives in the UK, also became a huge fan of this sport at some stage. She got so into this, it turned into her real passion! She shared that with her little son, who is a year younger than my daughter, and they often go together with their friends for some wall or rock climbing adventures. I’ve seen their photos and they’re absolutely amazing! My nephew is such a brave little man and my sister is very skilled and fearless in climbing (just look at her muscles in that photo!).
7 AMAZING BENEFITS OF CLIMBING:
1. Climbing is a full-body workout which burns calories and increases strength at the same time.
2. It strengthens and tones muscles. ALL your muscles. Not only arms, as it’s often mistakenly believed, but ALL your muscles are working extremely hard when climbing.
3. Climbing increases flexibility. Oh yes, sometimes you need to really stretch to reach the next climbing hold.
4. Builds up strength both physical and mental. It conquers your fears and lets you extremely challenge yourself and push yourself to the limits. Once you manage to get to the top or complete the next level, you get an exhilarating feeling of fulfillment, self-belief and pride.
5. Improves problem-solving skills, develops concentration and builds up patience. Climbing wall (or a rock) is like a puzzle which you need to solve. That requires good concentration, good goal setting skills and prediction. You improve those skills while climbing, getting better and better with time.
6. Climbing reduces stress. It’s a great way to take a “time off” from work, all the hustle and forget about problems for some time. It requires concentration so when you’re climbing or belaying there’s no way to think about anything else in order not to get distracted.
7. It builds up social bonds. You can go climbing with your friends and spend active time together. Apart from that, climbing centers often have dedicated social evenings or competitions in their schedule so it’s also a great opportunity to meet other people with similar interests.
Is climbing for me?
This sport is for everyone! There’s kids as young as 5-year olds and also people around their 50’s or even older! Climbing centres always have a crew of well-trained instructors who can teach you all the basics, and there’s also a possibility to rent equipment for the climbing session so you can go there having absolutely no experience and just try it and see if you like it.
Climbing or bouldering – which one to choose?
Climbing means you’re climbing up a high wall using protection equipment such as a harness and a rope. It requires two people: a climber and a belayer. You need to be properly trained before you start.
Bouldering means climbing on shorter climbs and requires no rope and no harness. There’s a thick mattress on the floor for safety in case you drop, or jump down after reaching the top. Bouldering doesn’t require any assistance so you can do it on your own.
Whichever you choose is a matter of preference, however bouldering is also a great way of mastering your climbing skills so doing both has great advantages.
What equipment do you need?
When you go for the first time, you don’t need any equipment at all because you can rent it at the climbing centre. You only need to have some comfortable sports clothes. If you’re looking to buy some equipment though, here’s some of what I have been using, and what I recommend (some items are not available since I had mine bought in 2014, so I give the closest alternatives):
- CLIMBING SHOES La Sportiva (perfect for beginners) – find out from the climbing instructor what size you should choose, climbing shoes need to be very tight, much MUCH smaller than your regular shoes
- ROPE (Mammut)
- CHALK BAG (mine is from Blue Ice but you can go really CRAZY with the design here!)
- CARABINER and a BELAY DEVICE
- OR THE WHOLE SET
*Oh! and girls, a very important TIP for you – NO LONG NAILS on the climbing wall! As for the nail polish, hybrids (if done well) are indestructible (I personally tested that in extreme conditions a few times)!
Hope my tips are helpful and I managed to get you interested enough that you’d like to test your limits, conquer your fears and just DO IT!You'll never know what you're capable of until you take that first step and go for it! Click To Tweet
Now, tell me…
Have you ever tried climbing? If not, would you like to do it?