There are few pleasures in life that I like greater than food. There are a few, but food is just one of those things I take great pleasure devouring. Take last night, I came home after a long day at work, shattered and also rather unwell. I knew one thing that would make me feel better- Ben & Jerry's- well, I opened the freezer and it was gone! Lying in the bin was my empty carton. Raging was an understatement. So there you see, never come between me and food.
Yet, as much as I love going out for meals, drinking cocktails and all round being merry, it has led to some serious weight gain. Now I'm not here to moan to you, oh woe is me, I've eaten myself fat, no no, there will be none of that. However, the feeling of falling out of love with your body is a serious one, and sadly something most girls go through.
With this in mind, I decided to ramp up my exercise. Surprisingly I do actually really like the gym, however the theory is you have to mix it up to keep your muscles always guessing. So with this in mind, I decided to learn to rock climb. Women's Health stated you can burn up to 600 calories an hour- when do I begin?
Me and Caroline headed to The Castle Climbing Centre. The Castle was actually a large, grade II* listed, Victorian water pumping station built between 1852 and 1856. However in 1995, the then abandoned building was turned into a climbing centre.
Every single wall in covered in artificial rock faces for both Top Roping- the style where you are attached to a rope, and Bouldering- a freestyle climb.
We booked ourselves on a 5 hour course, which is the minimum you need to do in order to be allowed to climb on your own. We were taught all the safety procedures, including how to tie ropes, how to fasten the harnesses and how to belay someone else who is climbing.
Climbing isn't as easy you you'd think. As much as it is a workout thing, with it being a total body workout, toning leg, arms and chest muscles, it is also a technical skill, requiring thought, planning and a little bit of guts to take your foot of that nice, big boulder.
After a good few hours of training, we were off. First up, top roping.
Top roping is quite technical as it involves alot of equipment and safety checking. It also requires a partner to belay you (essentially hold the rope and save you if you fall). As we partnered each other, there aren't many pictures of this.
Saftey before style kids!
Now the second technique is called bouldering, which we discovered was much more our thing. A freestyle climbing technique, there are no ropes or safety harnesses. If you fall, you land on the crash mats. There are many different routes to keep challenging you- and boy does it challenge the muscles!
After 5 hours, my arms were burning. I can see why it is a great workout. We came away now being able to climb anytime we wished, so hopefully we'll be like this monkey boy soon.
We did the 1 day intro class, which you can find out about here
Bored of the gym? I'd definitely recommend.