I’ve been bouldering on and off since 2012.
If there’s an activity you could practice more or less anywhere, a sport that requires minimal equipment, a sport that’s both intellectually and physically exciting and exhausting….bouldering is definitely that kind of activity.
Sure, top-rope climbing is also fun but having to trust the belayer with my life is something I really did not want to be thinking about during the climb. The cool thing about bouldering is that you should climb as high as you are willing to fall and that allows you to climb fearlessly (most of the times). Acting fearlessly is concomitant with feeling free. The other thing that put me off about climbing with equipment was that I could use it to rest when I wanted to take a break and reevaluate the route if I got stuck. Once I recovered my strength and figured out how to solve the route I would continue from where I left off. But this, I saw as cheating. The mistake was that I was working under the assumption that both bouldering and rock climbing were the same game. Rock-climbers were not playing the game the right way and I was. This is why I avoided climbing with equipment and focused on bouldering for so long.
Fast forward to Friday, January 15th when I decided to take a class and learn how to belay.
We were a group of six people. A mother with her daughter, a father with his son, a young fella from Spain and me. The lesson was in german, so both the spanish dude and I had to rely alot on our eyes. When time came to learn the knots and the belaying technique, I must have practiced each knot 20 times to make sure I learned it. Repetition is king as the old saying goes.
We then went off to the climbing walls to practice what we’ve learned. Always check your partners gear before climbing. Always. This was something that was repeated countless times throughout the course.
Two hours later the course was over and Juan (the spanish dude) and I exchanged contacts. We said we would meet up on Sunday for a proper climbing session. He then left. I stayed a bit longer.
On my way out, the lady at the reception gave me a memento of my first climbing course.
Woke up around 9AM. Made some “Shakshuka” and some of that Colombian Supremo french-press coffee and then off to an 11.30AM Spinning class (it’s actually not as bad as most people think).
For those of you wondering what “Shakshuka” is and how to make it, click here.
Training on a full stomach works well for some people and I seem to be one of those people. I went to a spinning class with half a kilo of shakshuka trying to make its way through my digestive tract. If it were anyone else, they would have puked their brains out. For me, it was the best spinning session I’ve ever had.
After an hour of spinning hell, climbing was on the menu. As planned, Jasmin, Juan and I were to meet up at T-Hall (Berlin) and practice our recently developed skills.
Here are some pictures from our climbing session
After about 3 hours of climbing we figured out what our levels were, forearms pumped and fingers tuckered, we decided to take a break. Juan was kind enough to bring some spanish Jamón for us to try. A sort of dry-cured ham that tasted a bit like a mix of Cypriot “Tsamarella” and “Xiromeri”.
Our break session was followed by some slacklining, a bit of bouldering and then a 30minute Sauna session
Needless to say, this was an amazing day. Trained hard, ate well, shared stories… As Ido Portal would say:
“Better than this is twice this.”
When we finally arrived home I prepared a post-workout snack, because no workout is complete without a post-workout snack. I opened the fridge, found a bucket of Greek yogurt, crushed some almonds, cut some fresh coconut, added some pomegranate and a little bit of honey… et voila!!
And that my friends is how you end your day happy, healthy and content.
Eat, Move and Play!
Till next time..