I’ve mentioned before how I was never very “sporty” growing up. It wasn’t that I didn’t have an appreciation for sports – on the contrary – I had (and have) a great respect for all sorts of athletes. I think it was the bullying that I was subject to. That torment would rear it’s ugly head come gym class when I would be forced to be a part of team activities where the other kids would actually argue over who got stuck with me. Not really a confidence builder right? Any agility or sport skills I might have begun developing was squashed by my insecurity and low self esteem.
Now that I have this new lease on life, and I apologize for being sooo cliche, but I really feel like anything is possible. On that note, I have decided learning how to rock climb is now in my immediate future. I am looking for INDOOR rock climbing of course. It’s not like Essex county has an over abundance of hills anyways. Plus, scaling up the side of a small mountain for someone who is new to the whole ‘moving your body’ concept, is likely not the safest thing. But finding a rock climbing facility in my city was proving to be quite the challenge too.
I mentioned to a friend I play rec league volleyball with, about my new adventure. He gave me great news. Turns out in the summer time, Windsor is getting a “rock gym”. Being the studious nerd that I am, I wrote down the name of the place my friend told me about and went full out doing my research.
I began following “Windsor Rock Gym” ALL over social media and quickly became a #1 fan even before I had EVER tried to climb. This approach may seem a little overzealous to you, but lets recall that it worked out pretty good when it came to my first 5K. Wink, wink.
As luck would have it, Windsor Rock Gym noticed my enthusiasm (it was hard to miss) and invited me to their warehouse to check out the construction process of what will surely be a new and exciting attraction! Slated to open later this summer, Windsor Rock Gym is located in a plaza on the corner of Ontario and Walker Rd. When I met Marco, the owner, I could tell instantly that he has such passion, not only for the sport, but for providing the residents of our city something unique and different to try out.
I got the grand tour of the gym. I got to see the construction of everything from the change rooms to the special type of flooring they will be using. I felt very privileged to get this sneak peak.
Marco told me it wasn’t going to be a typical climbing experience however. His gym would be specializing in “bouldering”. Bouldering is a type of rock climbing that doesn’t involve the use of any harnesses or straps. You just put on a special pair of shoes, chalk up your hands (and very likely in my case – prepare to fall a lot) and maneuver across the wall. You can climb in the traverse style (side to side) or in the usual vertical manner.
You wouldn’t be necessarily climbing as high up as you would if you had a harness on. Bouldering, like rock climbing, challenges your core and gives a whole body work out. It also challenges your brain as you decide the best routes to take and figure out the “puzzle” on the wall in front of you.
For someone who has never done this type of sport before, the idea of trying it the first time sans harness, scares the crap out of me.
I injury easily enough as it is. Just ask my husband – he’s seen me trip over my shadow more than once. But I am assured by the owner that children and beginners alike, will all have a blast at Windsor Rock Gym. I left the developing gym with a souvenir t-shirt and a willingness to give it a go once it is operational. I remind myself, as I drive away, of the other things in my life that have been difficult and seemed impossible.
Just like any aspiration we have, a bit of practice never hurt. So to work on my grip strength and rock climbing abilities, I take a trip to GoodLife Fitness. I recently heard they have a mini rock climbing wall, the type involving a harness. The actual wall was bigger than I thought it would be and located right in the middle of the gym floor. I knew I would surely make a spectacle of myself, but got up the courage to give it shot. I wasn’t half bad at it. Having done my research and watched numerous YouTube videos about proper form and hand holds, I felt more confident taking my first climb. It was actually repelling down that gave me some initial trouble. I did a backwards somersault trying to land and had the whole gym laughing at me. But I got up, dusted myself off , laughed with them for a second and tried again. The snickers quickly stopped once they realized I had the nerve to keep going. Rock climbing is absolutely something I want to get better at and I think it is so much fun incorporating a unique sport into my fitness routine. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I am the creator of my own life.