After spending a good part of my Sunday (10am-5pm) @ Onsight Climbing Gym Singapore, am now a n00b but certified belayer! Well… doesn’t mean I can go for rock climbing solo – I’ll still need a buddy who is certified to belay me unless I’m content with being a “belay slave” the entire time, which I am NOT btw. I wanna climb! Feels really good when am able to overcome an obstacle with some determination. Keeping fingers crossed that I’ll be able to find a ‘climbing group’ to go for regular climbing sessions o(^^,)o
This was my second time at Onsight Climbing Gym, and like my third time climbing – I did a 2hr introductory session in June with another Meetup Group & I climbed once when I was in primary school, during some school camp. All I’m gonna say is: Sports Climbing Rocks! (no pun intended) It is relatively safe and great for building up upper body strength & endurance, something I sorely lack.
That being said, there is this HUGE misconception that you need strong arms to be able to even try sports climbing. I still remember my WoW guildie giving me a totally skeptical – “rock climbing? You sure you can?” response when I told him I was gonna try it out. When I told him that climbing isn’t 100% arm strength and that technique plays a huge part especially for female climbers who aren’t as strong as their male counterparts, he didn’t believe it and claimed that his rock climbing friends told him that the sport requires strong arms to haul the climber up the wall. He also went on to say that I won’t be able to make it up the wall with my skinny arms; and that though he is stronger than I am, even he didn’t attempt the sport cos he is certain that he won’t be able to make ._.
His comments got me quite irked tbh. Just cos I don’t have as much physical strength as he does (duh… he’s male, 20cm taller & at least 20kg heavier) doesn’t mean I’m ‘weak’. True, I have difficulty even doing a regular push-up and my chin-up count is 0, and I definitely can’t carry as much stuff as he does… but… do I actually have to match my physical capabilities with guys to do something? That’s one trait I absolutely hate with local guys (PS. my guildie is actually Malaysian, but close enough) – tell them that something isn’t as impossible as they claim it is, they’ll challenge you to do it. /rolleyes.
Thankfully I like challenges…
That is from my first attempt during the introductory session last month. Made it up 3 different (beginner) routes that day! ┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐
Don’t get me wrong, am not saying that you don’t need any strength at all do sports climbing. What I’m saying is that your perceived ‘lack of strength’ shouldn’t be the deterring factor to try it out in the first place! That being said, I felt that I used more of my leg strength to push myself upwards as compared to using my arms to haul myself… and I used quite a bit of uhh finger strength? Lol ~ lucky I’ve got a decent grip to begin with – all those years spent mashing my keyboard buttons during extended raids on WoW paid off!
Oh btw, I didn’t do much climbing yesterday. The Sport Climbing Course Level 1 focuses on using the equipment, belaying for top-rope, checking procedures and other ‘techie’ stuff instead of actual climbing. We did get to climb a little here and there, but it’s more to let the belayer practice than anything else – and gosh, belaying is tiring work! My arms are hurting a little today, but whatever. Good pain is good!