We have been saying to each other for about a year now how much we wanted to go rock climbing but never managed to get something in the diary. To our delight we were offered an opportunity to have a session at The West 1 Climbing Wall located in The Seymour Leisure centre.
Close to Edgware Road tube station and very easy to find, we were surprised how big the leisure centre is. A huge variety of activities are on offer to all ages; swimming, volley ball, badminton, squash, table tennis, as well as the gym facilities, the list goes on.
The climbing wall at Seymour has a total of 152 square metres of climbing surface; a higher wall of 13m and a smaller wall of 7m. Across the walls are a number of different routes to suit all abilities which are changed on a regular basis to keep it fresh for all climbers. There is also a dedicated bouldering area offering approximately 100 square metres of climbing surface, with straight, steep or overhanging routes. Yes overhanging, see picture below!
It wasn’t until we arrived at the wall and taking in the actual enormity of the climbing space did I (Beca) suddenly freak out, 13m is bloody high! I started to really doubt if I was actually going to be able to do this.
Our session was led by Mike who has been with the company for a long time. After grabbing a pair of climbing shoes, which are particularly narrow and uncomfortable, especially for us bigger footed ladies, we walked down to the bottom of the 7m wall to begin. The first step was to be taught how to put on our harnesses correctly, then came the attachment of the ropes. To overcome fear I (Beca) volunteered to go first, definitely a big step for me but I knew the longer I waited the anxiety would kick in. Slowly buy surely I managed to get to the top and walk myself back down triumphantly. Yana on the other hand bossed it up confidently and without hesitation… superwoman! We moved onto the 13m wall, the task was to only use the blue marks to climb up, definitely a challenge for the both of us but we succeeded! The feeling walking down after climbing to the top is incredible, the sense of achievement oozes out of you. Then we moved on to the bouldering wall…terrifying walking in there seeing people climbing up and with no ropes! Once again we smashed this, just shows you don’t let fear stop you just because it looks scary. Lesson Learnt.
Mike was incredible; he was so encouraging and clearly knew his stuff, which made us feel instantly in safe hands! The amount of passion Mike has for climbing and also for the company was wonderful too be around. When either of us looked nervous or hesitant to continue climbing he would shout up quoting, ‘This girl can’, the tagline of nationwide campaign which aims to encourage all women and girls moving eliminating all judgement. His support and belief in us to succeed was truly amazing, thank you Mike!
The majority of people climbing were male. Climbing is quite a male dominated industry, but after sharing a few pics of our experience on social media we began receiving so many messages from women asking for more details and wanting to attend themselves. This response alone is exactly why we set up SeekNPlay.
There is no other sport that I (Beca) have felt so much achievement from doing. I really surprised myself with how well I did overcoming the initial fear of being off the ground and up a vertical wall. During the session neither of us realised how hard our bodies were working until after the class…wow! We felt every muscle tighten, muscles we didn’t know we had. That’s what we call a full body workout!
Anyone who suffers from confidence issues this would be a perfect sport to try out. You have to really trust and believe in yourself that you will make that next mark and be able to have the inner strength to pull yourself up. What’s stopping you? Try out the class with Mike immediately. If you have no one to go with, drop us a message and we would be happy to come along too! #thisgirlcan
For more details visit their website or call 0333 005 0416, option 4
Thank you for reading!
B & Y