John has a new hobby.
Climbing walls have become the new challenging, strengthening, and inspiring activities out there. St. Louis now has five different places to go to try your hand at climbing. A visit includes equipment and training.
John has been so several different places to climb and has gotten so jazzed about the activity that I'm thinking about getting him his own climbing shoes for Christmas. (size 13!)
In case you are unfamiliar with the climbing wall facilities, Wikipedia describes them as:
A climbing wall is an artificially constructed wall with grips for hands and feet, usually used for indoor climbing, but sometimes located outdoors. Some are brick or wooden constructions, but on most modern walls, the material most often used is a thick multiplex board with holes drilled into it. Recently, manufactured steel and aluminum have also been used. The wall may have places to attach belay ropes, but may also be used to practice lead climbing or bouldering.
Each hole contains a specially formed t-nut to allow modular climbing holds to be screwed onto the wall. With manufactured steel or aluminum walls, an engineered industrial fastener is used to secure climbing holds. The face of the multiplex board climbing surface is covered with textured products including concrete and paint or polyurethane loaded with sand. In addition to the textured surface and hand holds, the wall may contain surface structures such as indentions (incuts) and protrusions (bulges), or take the form of an overhang, underhang or crack.
Some grips are formed to mimic the conditions of outdoor rock, including some that are oversized and can have other grips bolted onto them.
John is one of those kids who has tons of energy that needs to get used all through the day. We have a trampoline that gets a great deal of use, he has a new bike that he is using quite a bit (his timing for riding seems to coincide with high school buses dropping cute girls off in the neighborhood...), martial arts, weapons practice, and now he is jonsing for climbing wall time.
He has one friend who is quite timid and unsure. So when these two guys climb together there is a great deal of hanging, talking, planning... He has another friend who gets up there and really challenges himself. When these two boys get together there is alot more climbing than talking. But lots of smiling and enthusiasm.
John feels that he gets such a great all-body physical work out but he also enjoys the mental work out. While he is building up his fitness level for the climbing walls, he is enjoying a real boost in self-confidence from the accomplishment of a wall well-climbed.
Because this sport is so fun and so safe I look forward to taking John to the climbing walls at least twice a month. We would love to get him there more often but it's difficult to fit into our schedule, especially when he prefers to climb with a friend who also has a schedule.
In Brisbane we were aware of climbing clubs that met at Kangaroo Point on the bluffs by the Brisbane River. Had we stayed in Brisbane any longer he was going to link up with those guys. Several times he and I went down to Kangaroo Point to watch, talk, and learn more from the men and women who trained and played there.
One day I expect him to do some climbing with my sister Brenda!
|Climbing the boulder|
at Upper Limits
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