Bouldering Bonanza!

Life Experiences, stories

Sometimes we all have to do something that makes our muscles cry.

All togged up and ready to climb! (Credit: Georgina Pearce)

When I moved to Trier for my Erasmus, I met new friends and we enjoyed many fun days out and activities together. One day, a girl suggested something that I had never heard of before – to go bouldering. Bouldering? I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about! I soon found out that ‘bouldering’ was indoor rock-climbing! I had no experience whatsoever when it came to that, but sometimes you just have to try something new in your life!

The first day that we travelled to the bouldering centre in Trier, it was pouring rain from the heavens, I remember it very well! We were able to register at the desk, (speaking in very poor German) and were shown the special shoes to wear when climbing up the walls. Once we were ready, the four of us stepped out into the climbing area.

Elina, a friend from Finland, probably had the most experience, having done bouldering back home. She explained to us the easiest grips to start off with and only to move up in the difficulty levels when we were ready. I gripped the yellow wall grips (beginner’s level), and forced myself to push my body upwards. My hands were flailing at first, to grab the next one above me. Elina encouraged us to keep going , if we struggled. I was finding it hard but soon, I was able to reach the very top of the wall. My arms are aching but to look down and see how far I’d climbed, made me feel really good. Of course, there was the next problem of how to get down, but at least the ground wasn’t solid hard!

Myself and Gina making a start up the walls. (Credit: Elina Luukkanen)
Myself, Gina and Elina smiling after making our marks on bouldering. (Credit: Eidhne Gallagher)

When I woke up the next morning after that session, I think it took me an hour to get out of bed. My arms and legs were stiff as a board and every time I moved, it was agony. I’ve heard that we’ve all had to suffer to be good, but this was taking it a bit too far! The more that we went bouldering, the more that we got used to the pain. I began to grow better at climbing and reached the intermediate level of the grips by the time I returned home to Ireland for good.

That being said, it wouldn’t be the last time that I would experience bouldering. When I travelled to Carlisle for my friend Emily’s wedding, myself, Elina and my friend Gina found another bouldering site not far from the hotel where we were staying. And to have a chance to climb back up walls again? Of course, we had to go for it!

It was so much fun to change into our tracksuits and shove our feet into those uncomfortable shoes, to rub our hands with chalk and climb the walls again. I didn’t struggle as much as when I first started off, but I know that I’ll never be as good as Elina with her skills!
Sometimes, we have to do something that makes our muscles cry. For me, bouldering was that. Still, it was certainly worth the pain to climb up walls. Maybe I’ll be the next Spider-Woman some day!

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