If you have been reading my blog posts for some time, you might notice that 1) I have absolutely zero experience in rock climbing 2) I am scared of heights. Yet I found myself hanging at least 10 meters in the air with a harness, and trying my best not to look down. My arms were shaking from gripping, and the fear was paralysing. My instructor who was belaying me from below, continued to encourage me: “Just two more steps to reach the top! Trust your shoes and harness, don’t look down, and just reach for it!”. I looked up, and I was so close to finishing. I have to complete what I started!
I came across this indoor rock climbing gym while collecting my race kit at the same venue. I was drawn to the indoor rock climbing concept – modern, bright, safe (upon supervision), and you can climb at any time of the day under any weather condition. So I signed up for the Explore Climbing class, and it includes one hour of coaching to cover the basics + one week free access to all facilities + equipment rental, all for RM50. I think it’s great value for money; the facilities are top notch, the instructor is knowledgable and professional, plus you have access to the pool as well.
In my humble opinion, I don’t think you need special talents to be able to do rock climbing. It’s a matter of logic sequencing and finding your balance. Even kids can do it too. As simple as it sounds, there are some basic techniques that you must master to be able to progress, which is why having an instructor for your first session is highly recommended. So we started with some very simple moves while bouldering. Bouldering is climbing on low walls without a harness or rope. But don’t worry, there is 12-16 inches of protective padding if you fall down.
Before moving up, you must learn how to move sideways. This is called traversing. The rocks are coloured for a reason. All you need to do is pick a colour and follow it until the end.
Lastly, it was time to strap on our harnesses and go for top-roping. Top-roping involves scaling a wall with several meters of height, and it takes the challenging factor up a notch because the rocks were close to mimicking the natural conditions of outdoor rock climbing. Unlike the bouldering area which is open for anyone to drop in, this area can only be entered under the supervision of a certified belayer.
I had a good upper body work out, even in the muscles that I never knew it existed. I think this is a great way to build strength as an alternative to pumping iron at the gym. Plus I think I can overcome my fear of heights in the long run because it helps to improve my confidence and mental endurance. I can’t wait to go again next weekend!
For more info, head to their website: http://www.xerogravity.my/
Note: If you are already an experienced climber who does not need any classes, and a subscriber of the KFit app, you may book a slot without paying an entrance fee (since it’s already covered in your KFit monthly subscription). Explore Climbing class is not available through KFit.
Until next week,
The Weekend Runner.