One of my new favorite things to do is rock climbing, though last time it was almost literally a pain in my ass.

Saturday afternoon, the workout options for the day were DDR and pushups or less DDR and rock climbing, and since climbing is much more fun than pushing, off we went. I was almost an idiot (gosh…) and forgot how taxing it was and didn’t rest after my cardio, but after a rest and a shower and change, we were off to Main Event to hit their rock wall.

Last time we had gotten our rocks off for free, but even paying for it – 6 bucks per 30 mins to cover everything (8 for 1 hour, 12 for 2) – is a good deal in my book. Here is video proof that I climbed rocks, even though it’s got the same sideways affliction as the last video, it cuts off just before I ring the bell at the top, and you see kids 1/3rd my age kicking my butt. I am in the way-too-orange tank top.

So from one climbing newbie to another – let me give some tips.

  • If you have the option to pay by time increment, start with the lowest one the first couple times out. 30 mins sounds like wimpy stuff to those of us who can do an hour of cardio without batting an eye, but you’re using unusual muscles unless you live on top of a mountain and regularly have to make the commute that way.
  • Stop when you get tired and can’t really hold on anymore. It’s no fun to keep falling off, and if you’re at that point, you WILL get sore for days.
  • You need the shoes and harness, you can probably get by without the chalk if you’re trying to save money.
  • Don’t let the kids who climb up the wall ten times faster than you discourage you at all. They probably weigh half what you do and just got done climbing a tree before they rolled into the joint.
  • If you’re a parent who’s taking their child to go rock climb, for god sakes, FREAKING GIVE IT A TRY YOURSELF. All the parents were just sitting around watching and we were the only people who could legally buy alcohol in a bar on the wall. The only way to have energy like a kid again is to act like a kid again – aka HAVE FUN when fun is presented to you.
  • Wear lose clothing. It looks like I screwed up by wearing tight jeans but they were super stretchy. I would have been better served in loose shorts but I hadn’t shaved my legs that day and didn’t want to frighten the kids with my wildabeast legs.
  • The first time you climb up, just go up a few feet and repel down so you know what it feels like to do it from 30 feet (or more) up. I went up all the way and climbed most of the way back down because it freaked me out to jump off a wall about 3 stories up. Once I did it though – it was my favorite part of the climb!

There is a lot of info out there if you’re just getting interested in climbing. Some sites really take it seriously and talk about what to eat before climbing and all that, but as you probably know, if you’re going to scale up a wall indoors for 30 mins you probably don’t need to be that into it. Maybe if you’re going to climb this thing

All I have to say is that if you get a chance to go, do it! It’s a workout, it’s fun, any able bodied person can do it, and you feel like a kid again! Don’t worry that you’ll suck at it, you probably won’t be nearly as bad as you think. I know I doubted my ability to get even up the wall once, and there I was, scaling walls non-stop for 30 mins. I might even drag Zliten and company back this weekend if this actually includes climbing as well. So go climb a rock already!