Thursday, April 7, 2016

Advice from a First Time Rock Climber

I am truly a beginner rock climber.  As far as technique and the best places to climb, I am completely useless. Looking for that? Wait a few years or check out another source. I am here to offer advice to anyone out there thinking they might enjoy rock climbing. As a first time rock climber, I offer 5 things to keep in mind.

Rock Climbing can be extremely intimidating to a beginner but don't let fear stand in the way of experiencing something new. It will be worth it in the end.

Rock climbing is no joke. Plan to go with someone who knows what they are doing, not only for safety reasons but rock climbing is hard. I was so glad I went bouldering for the first time with people that could teach me about the sport. They taught me the "rules" and were there to offer great advice.  I was lucky to be able to go outside for my first experience bouldering but if that is not an option, find a gym. Indoor rock climbing is a great way to safely gain experience and build up strength.

Ryan taking Kylie and I bouldering in Colorado

The first time I tried, I was off the ground for literally two seconds. I had just watched my buddy do the exact route I was attempting with complete ease. At first, I was embarrassed and unsure rock climbing was for me but I decided to give it another go. This time, I made it further up the route and became determined to do it. Finally, after more attempts, I completed the route. I am so glad I decided to keep trying because it was amazing pushing my body and figuring out how to use it to climb.

That second piece of advice, where I said to go with someone experienced, yeah do that. Then, make sure to listen to what they have to say. Experienced climbers are going to be able to give the best advice. I craved that advice when I was climbing because I knew that it would help me improve.

It is extremely easy for me to get into a competitive mode when I am being active. I had to realize that I was climbing with people that had done this their whole lives and my friend, who was also a
beginner. Being competitive was probably not the best idea. I needed to remind myself to enjoy my time and not compare myself to the people I was climbing with. That would only ruin the experience. So, laugh it off even if it's difficult and know that at some point, everyone else was also just someone trying something new.
Boulder in Colorado

Been rock climbing? Tell me about in the comments!

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