Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Nicely Achy :-)

ahhhhh I have a mild ache in my shoulders, biceps, forearms and back, it's ever so slight but noticeable nonetheless - and very much welcome!

I went indoor rock climbing yesterday, for the first time in absolutely ages! We went to the Castle Climbing Centre a superior climbing wall, the exterior of which does indeed look like a castle! (well, you'd be rather disappointed if it didn't, I'll warrant!).

I first learnt to climb at The Westway Climbing Centre in West London. It's a really great beginner friendly place, an awful lot more of the routes are definitely less taxing than at the Castle! However, for whatever reason my friends and I all ended up at The Castle and have definitely not looked back (not least because there's a pub across the road that sells cheap yummy Thai food!)

I was very apprehensive about going back... not least because I was worried about getting into my harness again! But also because climbers, generally, have fabulous physiques!! (Take note girls!! ;-) ) From a female perspective, it's definitely eye-candy central (sorry, not trying to sound crude!), mainly because climbing is one of the best sports around that exercises the
entire body... and I'm including the mind in that generalisation too!! Apart from Triathletes, whom I consider to have the absolute best physique when at their peak (strong well-defined shoulders, arms and back from swimming, slender waist from running and swimming and awesome legs and also bottoms from the combined running and cycling... they really are perfect... that goes for the women too as you can see!!), but climbers tend to be smaller, leaner and with more obvious visible muscle. During the summer months all the men feel the need to remove their tops, which can be nice so long as they remember the anti-perspirant should not be optional in a closed environment!! However, this does mean that the women wear less too...though not *quite* as much less! This can be quite intimidating if you don't feel you want to expose your flabby bits and there can be quite a lot of comparing yourself against others going on!

Anyway, all that aside, I decided to brave the climbing wall, with my heavier frame... and was pleasantly surprised! Being heavier, i.e. having 2 extra stone to carry around, has meant my legs are stronger (also the increased running and cycling I've been doing has helped with that!), and climbing is definitely *not* just all about upper body strength, it's about balance, courage and technique too. I was a little disheartened to begin with at having to loosen the legs on my harness :-( and then at all the teeny-thighed women walking around (I carry most of my weight in my thighs, they're pretty substantial!!) and there were a couple of routes that I struggled on, but overall my boyfriend and I had a superb time! He said that he was so glad that I "forced him to go" hehe referring to his trying to bow out beforehand with excuses like "we need to tidy the place up because the cleaner's coming tomorrow" and "my legs are tired because I cycled 130km of hills yesterday"... okay so the latter excuse might have been somewhat more plausible but I wasn't accepting anything! (I'm a hard task-master me ;-) ) mainly because it's a) been so long and b) because me and the other committee members of our work climbing club decided that if we committed to just one night a month (in this case the first Monday of the Month), we'd be more likely to go as it's been a case of put-off-til-next-week-just-to-find-next-week-never-comes!

It turns out that none of the laimos from my work went (okay so some had legit excuses like being ill, out of the country and at Ski Club AGMs, but the rest were just plain lame!)! So I climbed with the boyfriend, our friend from our running club (who is scarily lacking in any body fat whatsoever, but at the same time really quite muscular!), and 3 other lads. Very disappointed with the work lot, tsk tsk... smug superiority points pour moi I think though ;-)

So good to get back, a couple of the routes really made me stop and think and plan my next step, it's an exercise in logistics and a great mental, as well as physical workout to boot! I'd highly recommend to anyone, can't wait to go back, unfortunately it won't be til May now as I've got play commitments, but still... that's a little less time elapsed than previously, hehe... I've well and truly been re-bitten by the chalky wall bug!

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