10 reasons why I'm in love with bouldering

4min read

Bouldering is a form of free climbing that is performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls without the use of ropes or harnesses.

I’ve recently fallen in love with the sport and I want to tell you why.

So here’s 10 (or so) reasons why I’m in love with bouldering.

Bouldering is a great physical (and mental) workout.

It forces you to use your entire body, including muscle groups you’ve only heard rumors about, to achieve incredible feats of physical prowess. It is the most physically draining activity I’ve ever experienced.

It forces you to use your brain. Each climb (called a problem) presents you with a bite-sized puzzle for you to solve. You need to analyze the problem by looking at the various holds you can grab onto combined with the shape and angle of the wall. Then, you need to use all that information to climb to the top of the problem.

The harder problem, the less obvious the solution (one of many) for reaching the top of it is going to be.

Bouldering is an incentive to get healthy, slim and fit.

It gives me another reason to care about working on my strength and to care about reducing my fat in a healthy and sustainable way because caring about my fitness will make me a better climber.

Bouldering is motivating me to get out of the house regularly.

These days, I work from home and so I spend a lot of time stuck inside. I don’t need to commute anymore which saves me a lot of time that I can invest into other parts of my life (like bouldering). But, it does means that I sometimes forget to go outside (because I have fewer reasons to than before).

Bouldering entices me to go outside regularly and that can’t be a bad thing.

Bouldering is social.

Everyone in a bouldering gym is solving the same problems. These problems have multiple solutions and require you to use your brain and, thus, they encourage everyone in the gym to collaborate with each other, and maybe make some friends along the way.

Bouldering is available all year round.

Living in Canada makes it harder for me to stay fit during its harsh cold winter months. Not being able to bike during the winter presents a challenge because:

  1. I can’t stay fit during the winter as easily (I don’t want to bike on a trainer, that’s boring).
  2. By the time summer rolls around, I haven’t been biking for months and getting back into the habit is much harder than it needs to be.

Thankfully, I won’t have that problem with bouldering because I can go to an indoor bouldering gym all year round.

Bouldering is a gamified form of exercise, designed to be fun.

It presents you with problems at your skill level and encourages you to overcome them. Once you’ve “levelled up” your climbing technique and overall strength, you’re presented with a new set of harder problems to solve.

These problems are changed frequently by experienced routesetters (who are essentially, level designers) tasked with taking problems in the gym that are old or awkward, and replacing them with new problems for you to solve.

Basically, it’s exercise for gamers.

If you’re like me and you’ve been using your fingers to smash buttons on a controller for as long as you can remember, then you should use that finger strength to get into bouldering. What’s stopping you?

Bouldering is convenient.

As long as the gym is open, I can boulder whenever I want. I have no good excuse to not go bouldering now that I’m aware of how fun it is.

Bouldering makes me feel like a god.

The feeling I get when I’m bouldering is hard to describe. I don’t think there’s such a thing as “boulderer’s high” but I feel amazing when I’m climbing. There’s nothing quite like it.

Applying tension to my body in just the right way, holding on for my life. Flinging myself through the air like a monkey. Pulling my entire body up and over a horizontal overhang in a way that I didn’t know was physically possible.

Bouldering allows me to express my individuality by providing problems that can be solved in a variety of ways. It’s a form of (mostly) vertical dancing (it’s all about controlling your center of gravity while moving gracefully from position to position). It’s fun as hell and I can’t believe I’ve spent so much of my life not bouldering.

If you’re interested in bouldering, go to a gym near you and try it out. Make sure to get a worker or someone you trust to give you a short primer on bouldering before you jump on the wall to avoid any injuries.

Most importantly, take it slow at first and make sure that you know how to fall (legs in front of you and roll on your back to redistribute the Gs across your body instead of just your knees).

Have fun and let me know how it goes!

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