Last Thursday I went Bouldering for the first time ever. I've been rope climbing before when I was younger and absolutely hated it, so when my friends (who are regular climbers) kept asking me to try it with them I wasn't at all keen at first. But eventually I decided to give it a go, I had an evening free and I figured what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?
We went to a place called Highball, which is near the airport in Norwich. As soon as we pulled in to the car park I got really excited as I realised it was in the same building as Bedlam used to be. If only we really were going to Bedlam... so many wonderful childhood memories.
It turned out to be almost as good as Bedlam, though. I have a terrible fear of heights and the thought of climbing without a rope seemed terrifying to me. But they have these really cushioned mats that mean even if you fall from the top you're absolutely fine, which definitely helped me feel calmer.
At first I was a little shaky, but once I'd gone up a few times I felt more confident. I found that because I was focussing on where I needed to put my hands and feed to climb up, I didn't really notice the height at all. Plus once I realised I could jump down from the top without hurting myself I stopped worrying about falling.
I did get a bit of scare at the top of one wall, once I grabbed the top hold I wobbled a little and felt like I was going to fall off. It freaked me out a bit and luckily my friends were there to talk to me and help me get down. The next wall I tried I had my first fall, which actually made me realise that falling isn't at all bad so it made me braver.
I started to take more risks and go for holds that were a little out of reach, I generally fell every time but I still enjoyed myself. I've got a couple of tasty looking bruises now. You also don't even realise what a great workout it is. You're too busy thinking about climbing to even realise you're working out. But boy am I sore today! My hands and wrists are so weak! It's a great core workout too, and I love a good core workout.
I'm definitely going to go back, probably not every week as I doubt I can afford it. But I really enjoyed myself and I'd like to get better so hopefully I can make it a monthly thing. I definitely need to do more upper body work at the gym though, my arms got tired ridiculously quickly.