It's all about the climb

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   Outdoor rock climbing is something I've always been drawn to. It's the idea of an adventure  in the great outdoors, becoming closer with mother nature and all her elements. It's the thrill of the climb to  reach the top of a mountain and take in a view of a life time.  I've always wanted  to learn to climb and today I finally did it, starting with indoor rock climbing.

    I went to Strong Hold Climbing Gym  located in  Los Angeles and was guided by Brian Spiegel, an expert rock climber. The building where the gym is located is pretty special-- it was designated a Los Angeles Historical  Cultural Monument in 1988. Once a steam power plant in 1904, the building was designed by John Parkinson (the architect also responsible for many of LA iconic structures from that era, including City Hall, and Union Station). There Brian taught me the fundamentals of indoor rock climbing.

    I learned everything from the gear I would need (harness, and shoes), to how to safely tie myself in the harness with the top rope and how to check that it would withstand. I learned that climbs are ranked from 5.0 to 5.15. I started on the 5.5 which was allot of fun! Eventually moving to the 5.8 climb, I learned a few more  techniques that become useful, from pivoting your feet to rotating your hips into the wall and pushing your way up with your legs rather then pulling yourself up with your hands. Climbing requires stabilization and neuromuscular coordination. It's a great sources of exercise, building muscle endurance  and flexibility. It does require you to be in good shape. So make sure you asses a few health risk factors before trying something new. Build your way up to climbing working on stabilization of the core, flexibility and correct posture moving into muscular endurance, improving overall work capacity to ensure you can get to the top safely. I can't wait to keep climbing and learning with the end goal to take it outdoors and go on an adventure of a lifetime!

I hope you'll come with me!

-Ashiko