Climbing is something that I DO, but like I’m not a climber, ya know?
But! Since it was rainy & since I do enjoy climbing – I decided to check out THE ONLY climbing gym in Jackson, Mississippi. And it happens to be solely a bouldering gym. Great, cool, fine. I much prefer rope climbing but I guess I can’t be picky… Plus, bouldering is probably a better way to just casually chat with people, & living in a van – that’s always something I’m craving.
Reasons I don’t love bouldering:
- Falling onto a pad (no matter how big the pad) is scary – give me a big ol’ whipper any day.
- It feels like everyone’s always watching you (which kind of they are because there’s so much sitting in bouldering, but I do realize not everyone IS watching you & even if they are – it’s usually in a very encouraging fashion. But still. The feeling of being watched…)
- Since there IS so much sitting in bouldering:
- If I go alone: I’m not sure the correct activity to occupy my time. Other boulderers seem to be like STUDYING the routes (but like – no route that I’m doing requires me to stare at them for the 5 minutes that I rest). I’ve tried reading – but that just feels silly. Other people go do like push-ups or something? That feels hard…
- If I go with friends: I just am not 100% clear on the etiquette. Are you supposed to climb one at a time so you can watch & congratulate each other on a sick send? Or at the same time so no one is feeling watched? And then when you’re resting together – it just feels rude to like get up and leave your friend sitting there as you climb…
Anyway. Not a climber, just have strong opinions about bouldering (& it has little to do with actual bouldering & more to do with my uncomfortableness in public settings…) But! Was very willing to checkout this gym both to climb & to get some chatting in.
So! I go to this bouldering gym in Jackson and it turns out I am literally the only climber there. Just the two workers and little scared me. And as if straight out of my bouldering nightmare – the front desk faces the bouldering wall. There was no escaping the gaze of these 2 workers.
Side note: these 2 kind souls were super nice & they told me that when they saw a van drive onto the street they turned to each other & said “yup there’s a climber in that van.” They even insisted that I give them an MTV Cribs tour of the van. ~*swoon*~
Regardless of their kindness though – they still had 4 eyeballs between them & I didn’t like that they’d be focused on ME: THE ONLY CLIMBER AT THIS DANG GYM.
But! I sucked it up & climbed some problems & overall had a good time, despite them surely judging my every move… (Jk. But that’s what it can feel like…) So, I guess joke’s on me for giving bouldering a shot & thinking I could get some normal social interactions in by going to a climbing gym. Might just stick to my normal strategy of being extra friendly to baristas, fellow hikers, anyone I make eye contact with…
Extra long side note:
I got into climbing a few years ago because I was SUPPOSED to have a 3rd date with a guy. And on that 3rd date he was SUPPOSED to take me climbing. A few days before said date, he asked if I had climbing shoes & I texted back “of course” (as I then immediately jumped into my car to head to REI to purchase my first pair of climbing shoes…) He then hurt his wrist or something a day or two before said date & asked to reschedule & I never heard from him again. BUT THEN once my climbing friends found out I had purchased climbing shoes & was bailed on – they all were SO VERY GRACIOUS & showered me with climbing gym guest passes, knot tying tutorials, & one even suggested that I hop on their gym pass as a “couples” membership (because it’s cheaper than a singles & you know I love a deal!!).