• Boston Rock Gym

    February 4, 2013

    Hi, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Mine was great. I tried rock climbing on Saturday!

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    After posting about my goals for 2013, a reader, who does PR for the Boston Rock Gym in Woburn, hooked up Mal and me with a beginner’s rock climbing class. So cool!

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    During the 3-hour class, we learned all of the basics of indoor rock climbing—from using the equipment and tying knots to belaying and climbing.

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    The class started at 10:00 AM on the dot. Our instructor, Dave, introduced himself to the group (there were 8 of us) and then asked us for our shoe sizes, so we could rent climbing shoes. All of the necessary equipment for the class (climbing shoes, harness, carabineer, belay device, and chalk bag) was provided.

    During the first hour of class, we learned how to properly wear our harness, tie the rope, and safely belay another climber. Then, each of us had a chance to climb with Dave belaying us.

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    Mal went first and sped right up the wall.

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    He was like Spiderman!

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    And then it was my turn. I was a little nervous because I’m afraid of heights, but Dave walked us through each step and double-checked our work (properly wearing the harness, tying knots, etc.), so I knew I really didn’t have anything to worry about.

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    My first climb actually wasn’t scary at all, and I flew right up the wall.

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    Before I knew it, I was coming back down.

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    Once we had a taste of what climbing was all about, we focused on tying knots and belaying.

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    The rest of the class was spent belaying our partner with Dave nearby for extra instruction and technique tips.

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    Mal and I took turns belaying one another.

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    Mal went first.

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    Spiderman.

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    The first time belaying on my own was a little nerve-wracking (I didn’t want to drop Mal!), but Dave coached me through it.

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    Once I had the hand movements down, it was actually pretty easy.

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    Mal and I did a few climbs on our own after class, and I felt totally confident in my belaying skills.

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    Once Mal finished his climb, he belayed me while I climbed.

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    This climb was a lot more challenging because I needed to move sideways and then navigate a ledge.

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    I quickly learned that rock climbing is a lot more about strategy and precision than strength. Dave kept encouraging us to use our bodies and shift our weight to make ourselves more stable instead of just trying to lift ourselves up with only our upper body. He also told us that people with a background in dance or martial arts (or anything where you use your body a lot) tend to pick up rock climbing quickly because so much of it is about how you position your body.

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    I also learned that looking down for where to step (instead of up for where to grab) was a lot more effective and efficient.

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    Success! Made it to the top!

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    Once the class ended up, Mal and I stayed and did a few more climbs together. The “Intro to Indoor Rock Climbing” class that we took includes a day pass for the day of class as well as a 2-week membership.

    The Boston Rock Gym was a great place to try rock climbing for the first time. The instruction was excellent, and I definitely feel confident in my climbing technique and belaying skills now that I’ve completed the class. If you’re looking for a new way to mix up your workouts, especially in the winter (it was nice and warm inside), I highly recommend the Boston Rock Gym. It would also be a great place to take kids for an afternoon activity. There were a TON of kiddos climbing on Saturday—some of them were really small too (like 4-5 years old) and whizzing right up the walls. It was pretty cool to see!

    Question of the Day

    Have you ever tried rock climbing? If so, what’d you think? If not, do you want to try it? 

    P.S. You still have time to enter my giveaway to celebrate my 5-year blog birthday! I’ll pick a winner tomorrow morning!

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    { 96 comments… read them below or add one }

    Kate February 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    That’s where I go climbing whenever I visit my parents in the Boston area. I agree – it’s an excellent climbing gym (and I’ve been to quite a few all over the country).

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    Mrs. W February 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    So awesome you guys tried climbing for your date! My husband and I have found it to be a great team builder for us. I think its so awesome for married couples. Plus you both are in form fitting gear, good for congratulatory butt slaps ;) If you can find a way to make the expense work for the gym + gear, it is a great work out. Especially if your gym offers classes like yoga, spin etc. Our old gym also had crossfit, which was a great two-fer when you’re already paying so much for membership.

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    Tina February 5, 2013 at 8:32 am

    @Mrs. W: I love working out with Mal. We have a lot of fun together! :)

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    Ashlee February 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to rock climb! I’m pretty nervous and terrified of heights, but it HAS to be a blast!!

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    Molly O. February 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    My college has a great rock climbing facility and I made a goal for 2013 to finally take advantage of it. :)

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    Audrey @ In Shape Cupcake February 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    That looks so much fun! Our gym in 3rd grade had a rock wall and it was pretty awesome. I love rock climbing and would love to do it more often.

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    Aaren February 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve rock climbed for a while now and really enjoy both indoor and outdoor. Living in NC we have some amazing mountains with fabulous routes. Two of my breakthrough moments in rock climbing were as follows: 1) When you are moving up the wall or mtn (rather than laterally) keep your hips OPEN and your knees pointed OUT. You’ll be using more inner thigh strength and although these muscles may not be as strong as your quads… your center of balance is much closer to the surface you are climbing (SO KEY!!) AND you won’t be banging your knees on protruding rocks (especially when you start getting tired) 2) If you find yourself in a particularly tough spot and aren’t sure where to move next, push your body away from the wall and hang from your SKELETON rather than keeping your muscles engaged to hold you up. Prop yourself and really just relax while you plan your next move… If you find yourself shaking then you aren’t hanging from your skeleton, your muscles are engaged. Hope this helps a little! Rock climbing is THE BEST!

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    Tina February 5, 2013 at 8:33 am

    @Aaren: Thank you! :)

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    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise February 4, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    That gym looks like so much fun! It looks like you had a great time. I went climbing once or twice in college with my fiance, who actually used to teach rock climbing classes. He’ll always be way better than I’ll ever be. :)

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    Katie @ skinnyminniemoves February 4, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Looks like fun! I’ve tried those obstacle outdoor courses. Similar, but not as large!

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    Candice@allthingsyogi.com February 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I’ve rock climbed before and I like it!

    I dont like it enough to do instead of a dance class, but its a nice change of pace.

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    Kristen @ notsodomesticated February 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Fun!! I worked at Lifetime Fitness this past summer, and they had a rock wall. So I tried it once. It was quite a workout, but I really liked it. Of course, I totally got schooled by my 6-year-old niece … she killed it and made me look like a chump! ;)

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    Melissa @ A Girl Called Cake February 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Looks like you had so much fun! I’ve never been to a rock gym before but went actual rock climbing in the Shawangunk Mountains once with some friends who were climbers. I had a blast but was terrified of crashing down the mountain. I think I really want to give it a go again, but at a gym this time!

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    Angela February 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    When I was in high school a teacher took a group of girls rock climbing and white water rafting. It was such an amazing experience, especially on real rocks. I would love to do it (in a gym or outside) again one day!

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    alison February 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I LOVE Boston Rock GYM!! My hubby and I used to climb there almost every weekend They are always really patient and always helpful!! Once our little girls are a little older we’ll bebringing them there to take a class. So glad you had fun!! It just gets better!

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    Kathleen February 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    That looks like so much fun! I have always wanted to try and I think I may try soon! I think my 3 year old would enjoy it too if he is allowed.

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    Aryn February 4, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Two of my male coworkers took me rock climbing in the mountain in Arizona last year. When they mentioned I could come with I was freaked out. They are both super athletic and appear naturally skilled at everything they try. Add to that, the fact that I had only known them a few months and they wanted me to join them on an hour long drive up a mountain, hike two miles, and then propel off the side of a mountain…yeah that sounded like a GREAT idea to me! :)

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    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food February 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I have never been rock climbing but it’s something I would definitely try! I am afraid of heights, but I think with all of the safety gear, I would feel okay! Great job!

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    luv what you do February 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Oh my gosh!
    I am super jealous! What an awesome way to spend the day!

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    Alyssa February 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I love rock climbing and would go all the time in high school! You’ve inspired me to try it out again this weekend!

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    Kristina @Rn and Assimilate February 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try rock climbing. As a grad student at OSU, I get to use the rock wall for free! Can’t wait!

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    Kendall @onaninhale February 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Celeste and I went on Sunday with our guys! It was rock spot in Hyde park. They had auto belays which was really nice! My hands and forearms are soo sore! I def have to check out Woburn soon:)

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    Tina February 5, 2013 at 8:33 am

    @Kendall @onaninhale: Cool! The auto belays look pretty sweet!

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    Debbie February 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I tried it on a blind date many years ago. I was surprised how much I liked it although I did find it very hard.

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    Melissa February 4, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    As I was reading this I said to my husband that we should try it. I think it may be in our future!

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    Mai February 4, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    i tried rock climbing once with a friend in college at the rec. it was so much fun (& i was pretty nervous belaying at first too!) very interesting learning about the technical terms too.

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    Babs February 5, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Rock climbing is so much fun. A few years ago I used to spend 5 evenings a night climbing indoors and had a blast. I even learned how to set-up my own top rope system outside. I wish it wasn’t so darn expensive!

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    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance February 5, 2013 at 3:33 am

    Rock climbing is SO much fun. I have not done it in years and I think I am going to set it up for my boyfriend and I to do for a date night :)

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    mary @ minutes per mile February 5, 2013 at 6:18 am

    my boyfriend and I went rock climbing a few times last year and loved it! Unfortunately the rock gym is too far away to really commit to climbing on a regular basis. It’s such a good workout!

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    De @ Cooking for the Other Half February 5, 2013 at 6:57 am

    This looks SO fun! My boyfriend & I live in Waltham, MA and I work in Wilmington– how have I never heard of this place?!?! I have never done rock climbing but now I definitely will be trying it!

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    Tina February 5, 2013 at 8:32 am

    @De @ Cooking for the Other Half: It’s actually right next door to a CrossFit! :)

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    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 5, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I used to do rock climbing at summer camp and I went to an indoor gym a few times. I haven’t been in years, but I would love to try it again sometime!

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    Tara February 5, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I went rock climbing for the first time about a month ago! It was awesome!! I get the access to the climbing gym for free as a job perk but it took me a full year to jump on using it. But it was such a blast!! My complaint is how long it takes to get there (Brooklyn is FAR from the other outer boroughs!!!)

    So great that you guys went together! I have been trying to convince my guy to come with me!

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    Amy February 5, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    True story: Rock climbing with my now hubby almost cost me a divorce. I was tired, and wanted to come down off the wall… but my hubby thought I still had some juice left in me so we got into a little bit of a domestic while I was hanging in the air, and he was controlling my rope!

    ….we laugh about it now at least. :)

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    Lea @ Greens and Coffee Beans February 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    I took a climbing class similar to that over the summer. Unfortunately, I went by myself and the girl I got paired up with to climb was a little clueless and I had to show her how to tie the knots two or three times. Needless to say I did not trust her catching me if I fell and was clinging to the rock wall for dear life whenever I felt the rope go slack. Next time I will be sure to bring someone I trust to belay me!

    Reply

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