I’ve embarked on more ‘health kicks’ than I’ve had hot dinners. Every few months I decide I’m gunna bin all the chocolate, wake up an hour earlier to go to the gym before work and take every health supplement under the sun to be the best version of me possible. It usually lasts, on average, half a day.
I like crap food too much, value my sleep above most other things in my life and have an aversion to swallowing large multivitamins. So as you can see, even if I start with the best intentions giving up is normally inevitable. Sitting at a desk all day means that I’m lucky if I even get half of my 10,000 steps in for the day so despite my aversion to exercise I really do need to find something to get me moving. When you get out of breath climbing one flight of stairs aged 23, you know it’s time to sort yourself out.
Instead of signing up for yet another gym membership or making my poor PT boyfriend make me yet another workout plan, this time I’m gunna explore some alternative exercises. Alright alternative is probably a slight exaggeration. I’m not about to sign up to pole dancing or some sort of aerial fitness class that will leave me hanging upside down on a rope for an hour. But I am going to try and find something I enjoy. The gym is just not for me but there has to be something out there that slots well into my life, keeps me active and gets my fitness levels up and most importantly, that I can have fun doing. I’m hoping this will be the first in a series of posts that follows my hunt for the one.
And so the hunt has begun...
Last week I kicked off my pursuit of the perfect sport by going indoor rock climbing. There’s nothing like diving straight in at the deep end is there?! Before then I’d been rock climbing once in my life aged 10 and didn’t even manage to get my feet off the floor. Safe to say I wasn’t holding out much hope that this was going to be my new found forte.
To try out some rock climbing we headed down to The Climbing Hangar in Liverpool. It’s been on my radar for a while as somewhere that looked quite fun and seeing as I’m hoping to become an olympic-level sportswoman soon (LOL) then I thought now would be a good time to pay them a visit.
The Climbing Hangar has 13,000 square feet of climbing space and is made up of a series of walls for all abilities. The walls feature twists and turns, alcoves, corners and crevices; all of which are there to be climbed all over. They also operate a handy little system so the hand and feet grips are all colour coded for skill level, allowing you to clearly see where you should be climbing. For the record, I didn’t make it past the lowest grade; there’s a surprise.
Once you’ve had your induction you kit yourself out with some snazzy climbing shoes that are provided and you’re good to go. You literally just wander around and find a bit of wall you fancy scaling and voila, up you go. If you’re a climbing novice like me then the staff are super helpful but to be honest the best option is just to get stuck in.
I’m not gunna lie I completely underestimated how hard this was going to be. I knew it would require a degree of strength and stamina but boy did I get a shock. The sheer process of pulling yourself up the wall takes a hella lot of upper body strength and I found myself struggling to get to the top (which also probably had something to do with me being a big scaredy cat).
One of the things I really liked about climbing was that it not only put you to the test physically but mentally as well. I’m not really a fan of heights and have very little faith in myself so never believed that climbing would end up being something I could actually do. Having someone there with me to cheer me on and push me to keep moving higher really helped and having an end goal in sight aided in me moving upwards. With every climb I would find myself wanting to get higher than I did the last time.
Overall I really enjoyed indoor climbing. Is it going to be a regular activity for me? Probably not and I don’t think this is the exercise I’m looking for to turn me from a couch potato to, well, a slightly fitter couch potato. That being said it was a really fun and different way to spend a Saturday afternoon and I would definitely go back, but I think this one is more of a sporadic past-time than a regular hobby.
My session at The Climbing Hangar was kindly gifted to me in return for this post but as always, all opinions are my own.