This week I decided to step completely out of my comfort zone and try something that I haven’t done in years. And when I say years, I mean it – I literally have not done it since I was 10 years old on an elementary school field trip.
So what did I do? I went rock climbing!
And boy, was it exhilarating. And challenging. And strenuous. And fun. And everything else in between.
It was incredible.
I had actually been contemplating giving rock climbing another try for quite some time. I knew that there was a free rock wall in town and multiple friends told me that it is a daring way to get a great work out in and have some fun.
So, I decided to give it a try.
I ventured all the way out to Lake Wauburg, an outdoor enthusiast’s home away from home and a free lake for all University of Florida students, and climbed a wall for the first time in 10 years!
I must say, getting strapped in was the scariest part. I could feel my heartbeat rising as I pushed the helmet down on my head, slipped the straps around my legs and pulled them up to secure myself in. However, a certified belayer (someone who in connected to your straps and stands behind you to make sure that nothing bad happens) and Lake Wauburg employee was there to calm my nerves.
“Don’t worry girl! You’re going to do great!”
Those eight words were all I needed to hear as I began my ascent up the wall. Thankfully, the one at Lake Wauburg isn’t as high as the wall I scaled as a 10-year old. But it was definitely high enough — and higher than I originally thought when I reached the top and looked down at the ground below me. (Which I’m happy to say that I did, reached the top of the wall that is.)
Although, getting myself up there was no easy undertaking.
I think the hardest part was finagling my way up, because figuring out which pegs to put my feet on and which pegs to put my hands on proved quite challenging. Rock climbing requires you to utilize all of your upper body strength, and I have absolutely none. So that was interesting.
I really had to focus on every movement I made and I used absolute every ounce of strength in my arms, back and legs to scale my way up. I’m still not quite sure how I even made it to the top, throbbing arms, aching legs and all. But I had a blast doing it, and I (hopefully) burned a calorie or two on my way up.
All in all, I’d say it was a success. I got to enjoy the wonderful Florida sunshine, breathe in some real fresh air and work out in a usual way. For all you exercise enthusiasts out there, I definitely recommend giving rock climbing a try — your sore arms the morning after will be a clear sign that you got a great workout in!