my new found love of climbing

taking on the walls @chimera Tunbridge Wells

New energy, new passion!

I have recently become one of many new climbers and loooooovvveee it!

Since coming out of the gym and realising the changes I needed to adopt to look after my pain-filled body, I started to feel the disease of not knowing what it was I wanted to do to LOOK AFTER my body.

Climbing was something I had tried as a child, experiencing that token fear of heights and not really enjoying it all that much.

As an adult I am HOOKED!

Imaging feeling unstoppable, when pain and injuries had once dominated, Feeling strong and in control when stress and anxiety normally take centre stage, entering a state of mindful motivation to move and engage your body , problem solve and find your own way to the top!

As a health coach and someone who loves sports and staying active, it has been my main focus to find FUN and safe activities that serve my main goal and intention. Having struggled with anxiety and depression for the last 10 years, movement has naturally become a healthy anti-depressant and a tool for me to learn more to release my body from stress and tension and understand how it works.

I remember my first session in an indoor climbing centre, the adrenaline coursing through my body and the immediate sense of anticipation in again not 'knowing'. Not knowing what I was meant to do with my body, how i was meant to get to the top, what i was meant to feel. This new sport was a little daunting, I have to admit so i was lucky have the pleasure of a mate for moral support!

I tend to be quite harsh on my self, assuming as a fit and knowledgeable person. I 'should' know what i am doing and be impressive all the time...sigh!

I was quickly reassured that i was in a safe environment, surrounded by lovely, encouraging people and immersed in a cool and chilled environment, amazing!

My first session turned into a two hour affair where I came away with torn skin, bruises and a new found energy and a sense of personal power.

Becoming a health coach has gifted me opportunities to channel my skills and knowledge, meet amazing people and gain perspective.

I believe in synchronicity, that people and experiences happen as a result of constantly moving energy, when we are ready, able and wanting, the right things just happen for us.

I believe that climbing is just one of those gifts that have confirmed and re-affirmed what it is that i am doing with my life and my work and i feel very inspired and lucky.

As with my work as a Holistic health Coach , the nature of climbing to overcoming apparent obstacles and achieving anything you want to through mindfulness, strategy and motivation.

Imagine knowing what it would take to perform to your maximum day in, day out, and believing you could do it. Imagine being able to assess and accept the risks of failure and progress as though you had no doubt you would succeed. Climbing gives me this.

Some benefits of rock climbing

Physical benefits of rock climbing

Rock climbing is a technical sport. Just like any other sport, this type of activity encourages you to activate your entire bodies musculature at once. You’re required to use your body strength to cling to the wall and often times you are holding most of your muscles in a static hold, constantly tensed. This uses a ton of energy, surprising most newbies at how exhausting it can be. The aim is to maintain a relaxed body-mind state to get the most perspective and engagement when climbing.

Stronger arms. Your arms will become stronger the more you climb, this is because your arms are used to traverse the climbing wall or face. Your grip strength will increase dramatically after just a few weeks of climbing.

Stronger Shoulders. Of course your shoulders are part of your arms, but the strength you’ll gain in your shoulders is important. You’ll develop nice toned shoulders, as this muscle group is used to keep you stable on the wall.

More powerful Thigh muscles. Your legs will become more toned, although this isn’t one of the main muscles that will become stronger. Your legs are used to push you up fro leg holds and further up the wall, but it’s not a ‘very strenuous’ workout for them.

Stronger Back and neck. Your neck will develop stronger muscle groups around it because you’re always looking around you and up and down as you climb. The nature of the sport also means your back gets nice workout too!

Forearms. I had to mention this one, because I love this muscle! Forearms, specially on a man look great when they’re toned, and your strength here will increase a LOT.

Improved Cardio. Because it’s a low impact cardio exercise, your breathing and heart rate will improve as well as your stamina etc..

And every other muscle group (pretty much).

It’s a full body workout and can improve your strength, endurance and speed in most muscle groups on your body. The nature of the exercise forces you to use your entire body to climb the wall, not just your upper body. Many people think it’s just about having strength in your arms, but it’s not.

No wonder I always look forward to climbing again, after every session I revel in the feeling I get. A potent cocktail of endorphin and adrenaline racing through my body tinged with the sense of anticipation for the next time, to overcome those challenges that 'got in my way' !

I would recommend climbing to anyone. Anyone wanting to meet their body, better their understanding of primal movement and conditioning and wanting to FEEL more confident and release their mind from the stresses of the everyday. As a women wanting to inspire and empower other women, I would love this blog entry to make that impression on someone out there like me, yet to discover how powerful they are and to give climbing a go! As a personal recommendation, I would take a friend, attend a taster session or a 1-1 climbing course to get you going and feeling confident with the basics.

You can find me at Chimera climbing centre in Tunbridge Wells, give me a call if you would like a 'climb-with-me' session or a chat about coaching, nutrition etc. Hoping to meet some of you there!