On Sunday morning, the fella and I got up at a ridiculously early hour to go stand in a line at Brooklyn Boulders (BKB) for a membership deal. When our last membership deal ended at the beginning of the summer (a regular membership just wasn’t in the budget), we decided to take the summer off, hoping that in the Fall or Winter they might offer another deal. So, when the new “Back to School” deal popped up on Saturday, that the first 20 people in line on Sunday morning at 8am would get a 3-month membership for $125, there was no question where we would be. We were 14th and 15th in line.
So there we were on Monday night, back at BKB, and I was squeezing my feet back into my climbing shoes. I love my sassy silver climbing shoes – they are tight but not crazy painful like all of the great climbers will tell you they need to be. I am not nearly good enough at climbing to need technical shoes like that! The rental shoes are fine but really, you need your own pair if you fall in love with climbing. The good shoes really do make a difference. I didn’t think twice about getting that deal – really as soon as I saw it, I was giddy about the idea of going back, though, I admit that I was worried. When we climb at BKB we always “boulder” – which basically means you are just climbing the wall without a rope harness to attach you to the wall and to a partner spotting you from the ground. By the time we left in the beginning of June, I was up to climbing V4’s (in bouldering, a climbing grade is assigned to a route that describes the difficulty and danger of climbing the route; they start at V0 and go up from there) and working on harder and harder problems. I was worried that I wouldn’t remember a damn thing and would never be able to get up the wall at all, that I would just be stuck clinging on for dear life, desperately trying not to fall off. I was rusty, easier problems were hard and I was slower than before, but I did remember the basics and scampered up the wall a few times. Climbing really is a little bit like riding a bike. Your body remembers even if your mind is having a little “oh hell no” moment. It is funny though, that first night of climbing reminded me of one of the craziest parts about climbing: hours will pass without you even realizing it!
I work out a lot, at a lot of different places that I love, but really, Brooklyn Boulders is special. They have built an amazing, supportive, and fun community – filled with interesting and smart people who love to climb and will shout out encouragement while you are on the wall. I have had some amazing conversations there, not just an amazingly fun workout. The music is eclectic and fun, the problems hard and motivating, but really, it is the BKB-ers that make it such an amazing spot in the world!