After a break of a couple of years I’m back climbing.
It’s something I’ve done off and on for about 20 years. The thing about climbing is you need someone at the bottom of the rope to belay you, to hold and tighten the rope if you fall, stopping you from falling. And if you’re going to do it outside, you should go with people who know what they’re doing – ie how to tie knots and set up ropes safely and securely.
So the off times have been when I haven’t known anyone who likes climbing, or has the right amount of knowledge, or just the time to do so. The on times when circumstances have aligned and I’ve have found the right people.
I’m back on again after an old friend originally from Germany moved back to Australia.
I find climbing a great combination of a physical and mental workout. Physical because you’re using your arms and legs to climb the wall, and mental because you need to think about how best to get to the top.
You can’t just muscle your way up. You need to think how to place your feet, where to put them, which holds to grab and how to hold them. You need to be efficient in your moves otherwise you’ll tire quickly.
And that’s one of the things I like most about climbing. The best climbers aren’t necessarily the ones with the biggest muscles. The people who get up quickly and make it look effortless are actually small and lithe and are economical with their movements. They look like they flow up the wall.
I climb at an indoor gym although outdoors is the best. At the gym you’re using colour coded holds to determine your climb while outdoors you use anything and everything to get yourself to the top.
Plus being in the outdoors in the fresh air, amongst the trees and birds, just makes everything better. But if you’re going to go outdoors, you also need equipment, which can be expensive. And as I said earlier, know what you’re doing. Because while climbing is a safe sport, it’s only safe if you make sure you follow safety guidelines religiously and don’t cut any corners.
So if you’ve never tried climbing, give it a go. It’s a fun bug to be bitten by.