Overcoming my Fears: Rock Over Climbing*

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When was the last time you can truly say you tried something new fitness related? And I don't just mean a new class at the gym, or started following a new workout guide. I mean when did you actually go and do something that you've never done before. Something that you've never even thought of doing before, or something that you never regarded as 'fitness'? That's exactly what I did a few weeks ago when I tried Rock Climbing - and you better believe it was one of the best shoulder and core workouts I've ever had.

Let me start with a story: I have always been terrified of open heights. I don't really know why, it's a completely irrational fear as at no point in my life have I ever been in a life threatening situation as a result of being somewhere high and/or open. But there we go... maybe it's just one of those things. I remember, when I was 11 and had just started high school, we went on a 'bonding' weekend away to a place called Bewerly Park. It was essentially three days of team building activities intended to help us all settle into school and make friends. But for me and my anxiety it was a complete and utter nightmare. Firstly, I used to hate being away from home (even staying at a friends house for a night would cause me to feel so anxious that I often ended up being sick), and the activities involved in the trip didn't make the experience any better - three days of sports, rock climbing, bouldering, cave walking and other height-related activities that I was petrified to take part in. I remember shaking like a leaf in an attempt to climb a totem pole, and having to be guided back down a gorge walk when my fear of heights got too much. This fear was something that I just accepted I would have to live with: I could comfortably go through my life without ever needing to address it, so I shoved the feeling to the back of my mind and forgot about it. It wasn't until me, Ant and a group of bloggers were invited down to Rock Over Climbing in Manchester by Skoti from Wearefera that the thought of conquering this fear ever entered my mind again, and as I stood at the bottom of the first rock climbing wall I was going to attempt, all of those horrible irrational anxious feelings I had as an 11 year old girl on that school trip flooded back into my head. I was petrified. Physically shaking, and on the verge of tears, I turned to Ant and said 'I can't do this'. He looked straight at me and said 'Amy, you can'. And I did. And guess what? Once I'd done it once I loved it. I felt so empowered that I had finally defeated something that attempted to hold me back. 


I rocked up to the venue the classic image of all the gear and no idea. Kitted out in my snazzy gymshark leggings and fly knit trainers (little did I know these would soon be substituted for the most toe-crushing uncomfortable shoes ever known to man), but hey, if you haven't got a clue what you're doing, you've got to at least look remotely like you do right?! But the team at Rock Over Climbing, and Skoti, were all immensely helpful and has us all feeling like pros in no time. During the two hour rock climbing session got to try numerous different activities from bouldering to climbing on an incline, and attempting to climb without using our hands at all!

After the climbing, we then enjoyed an hour long movement session with Skoti, (read more about his training here), a class that really does humble you and take you back to the basics of human and animal movement... One of the reasons I enjoy the Fera classes so much is that they promote something that very few gyms offer: function.

The whole day was finished off with vegan chilli and gluten free brownies (basically taking the event from a 10/10 to a clear 11/10, because as you know, anything involving gluten free, sugar free treats is a winner in my eyes!)... and as I drove myself and Anthony home, munching away on our brownies, we spent the whole 40 minute journey talking about what a fantastic day we had both had. I was unbelievably proud of myself for combatting something I never thought I would, and that is just one of the many reasons I absolutely love my blog, as without the invite, I would probably never have conquered that fear. I learnt many things that Saturday, but if there's one thing I want you all to take away from this post it's to try something new. Push yourself outside your comfort zone, and truly test both your mental and physical strength. You won't regret it, I promise.

The venue is located just outside of central Manchester, a short walk from Victoria Station, or is super easy to find by car, with a cheap car park available directly opposite. Prices start from £35 for a 6 week course, so it really is fantastic value for money if it's a skill you wish to learn,  and their 'Climb Fit' class with Skoti is just £7 a session!