For once, it isn't me that's taken up a new hobby - it's A. So yesterday morning, I headed to Reading Climbing Wall with him to see what all the fuss is about.
I stuck to bouldering - this is climbing without ropes and harnesses. Apparently it is kind of harder than rope climbing because you can't rest and take the weight off your arms, but I'm not quite ready for being suspended by a rope and travelling high up a climbing wall. The highest I climbed was with my feet about 5' off the ground.
I hired some shoes, stuck my handbag in a locker and A gave me some basic instruction.
To say I was rubbish is maybe a little harsh, however it definitely doesn't come naturally to me. You are supposed to hang and make your legs do the pushing - I ended up pulling with my arms way more than I was meant to. And I have poor upper body strength (something I need to work on before summer surfing); climbing is a good workout for the arms :)
Did I enjoy it? Yes, more than I expected to.
Did it hurt? Totally - arm muscles slightly wrecked and small blisters forming on hands. I think I lasted half an hour, and I was attempting to club for less than half of the time.
Will I do it again? Yes, although I'm not taking it up as another serous hobby - just something to do occasionally.
What next? I guess I might have to try proper climbing and take a lesson or two. I'm really not a fan of hanging by a rope though - it's not a feeling I enjoy...