Spacekatdude and I are married, so we're always looking for fun new things to do. Recently, we decided to give indoor rock climbing a shot! We totally loved it! We wanted to post a bit about it for newbies.
We each signed up for a $160 class, which included gym membership for two weeks. We got free equipment rental and a really great instructor named Nate that taught us the basics, focusing on safety. We were taught to tie our own knots and how to "belay" your partner safely, meaning how to catch them if they fall off the wall.
I will be honest and say it's a real trust building exercise. I love my husband dearly, but I also know it's in his nature to be distracted. It was a little hard for me to put my life into his hands and trust him to catch me if I fell. Throwing myself off the wall for the first time was very scary — but I quickly learned that I could count on him for this. Working as a team to guide the other person up the wall is both fun and good for your relationship!
It's also a great workout. Within a few weeks of rock climbing, I've greatly increased my upper body strength. If you have moxie, I would definitely say it's a sport you should try!
To hear Spacekatdude's perspective,
A guy's perspective — Spacekatdude here. Rock climbing is awesome. It's not just a physical thing — it's very mental, as you try to figure out set paths up the wall, only being allowed to touch rock outcroppings of a particular color — very challenging. Whenever we go to the gym there are a lot of women there, and it's great to watch those who love the challenge and love to push themselves, I think that's awesome. Our instructor Nate also told us that it was great for kids — one of the best rock climbers he knew was an eight-year-old girl, who showed him some excellent routes during an outdoor climb.
I mentioned that climbing is a mental exercise. This is because you have to constantly concentrate on what you're doing. If you go in mentally weak or lazy, bad things can happen: I read of some climbers who went to Half Dome at Yosemite, all ready to hammer in their own ropes to descend from the top. But there were ropes already there, embedded in the rock, and they just used those. As they climbed down, the ropes gave way, and they fell to their deaths. So laziness has no place in rock climbing.
Also, as you climb, it's important to remember to use your feet for power, and not to try to pull yourself up by your arms. So the mental challenge is to keep concentrating the entire time you're roping yourself in, climbing, and belaying.
Source: Flickr User Charlie Brewer