My family had a fantastic weekend in Norfolk staying with friends. This frustrated and injured ex-triathlete had the opportunity of trying their favourite sport, bouldering.
Norfolk is flat! Yes, I know but Norwich has an amazing indoor climbing facility and under Adam and Ian's guidance, we were all able to get climbing straight away. Several things things you need need to note if your ever consider climbing: you have to squeeze your feet into tiny little shoes to grip the wall and quickly loose all circulation in your toes; your average six year old will probably be a better climber than you are; it is absolutely freezing inside so dress warmly; be prepared for men donning very jazzy and vibrant coloured tights.
As it turns out, indoor climbing is graded and every wall has about 8 colours on it, grey being the easiest and black being so hard, only a few of the most experienced and hard core climbers would stand a chance. We started with a safe option of the belay climbing wall so Adam could check we could climb and not cry like a baby. My eight year old Oliver scampered up as he is half boy, half gibbon. I stared well on the 'pinks', an intermediate climb as Adam knew I wanted to test myself (or as I am a 'competitive idiot' in his words). My climb paled into insignificance when Danny had his go and managed to do an SAS style roll at the bottom....which he swears was done on purpose.
The going up was great, the coming down was horrendous. The belay works like a seat belt and once you push off at the top, it takes the tension to allow you to abseil down. However, pushing off with a slack rope goes against all instinct of self preservation! The kids had no trouble and with trusting enthusiasm, they let go of the wall with no such qualms.....wheeeeeee!!!!!
Next, we moved on to bouldering which is climbing without the rope. It has carpet covered crash mats around each wall. If you can't climb...you fall off. Ok, this I could do with aplomb! Under guidance I moved onto some trickier climbs, was taught how to move dynamically using your bodies momentum to move your weight up the wall, how to move round corners barely gripping anything with tree frog like agility and eventually how to tackle overhangs.
Experienced climbers move with control, grace and very fluid motion which was a delight to watch. It is also a cerebral processes of looking for your best route, trying different techniques and using trial and error to over come the harder elements. It was a fantastic family day out and I would really recommend it...the kids did as much climbing as we did.
One word of warning, my lats ached so much for 48 hours after that brushing your teeth seemed an extreme sport.
Thank you to those that have sent their A race plans in...keep them coming! Do we have any members who are running the London marathon this year?
Now is the time to plan your races and have a clear idea of what your main target is this year. Good luck with training!