When a friend recommended that I try bouldering, my reaction was lukewarm to say the least. As a person who has never been to a gym, my first fear was that of embarrassment. On being pushed a lil bit I gave it a try. Right from the first session it was really enjoyable! While there are many things I enjoy about bouldering, I never expected it to be this enjoyable, playful and fun. It doesn’t feel like exercise to me at all.
In reality, it feels more like a combination of a sport and a video game. The fact that it has different levels and problems and routes that have to be solved makes it quite addictive. It also provides some sort of an instant gratification when you finish a climb. I know I am really enjoying something when I start getting dreams about it. There were weeks when I used to regularly dream about climbing routes where I was failing often.
It was easy to learn, I felt. One doesn’t need to have gone to the gym before or have strong biceps or anything. If one just keeps practicing and going through the levels then the strength in forearms, shoulders, fingers and legs all develop. Another way of looking at bouldering is that you try and solve problems by using the mind and body together. Often you have to push your mind to not give up and sometimes your body to stretch a lil bit more or to take the pain for just a second longer. Most sessions end with feeling really good that I have accomplished something, some end with bitter disappointment that I have failed at something, but either way I always look forward to the next session!
I also enjoy that you can get small scraps and wounds while climbing. It feels nice to get small wounds. Reminds me of good old school days when hands and knees were filled with bruises. Another great thing about climbing is that you dont really need a huge group of people to practice with. One can climb alone, and those sessions for me tend to be more intense and challenging. Just having another person to go with is super motivating as well. From what I have noticed, climbers, as people, tend to be more laid back and open as well. Pursuing hobbies is probably the best way to meet people and make friends in Sweden, and climbing has already helped me meet a lot of new people!
This is the inside view of the place where I go to climb. They have two centers in Stockholm. Here is a list of all indoor climbing facilities in Sweden. I have never tried bouldering outdoors, but if that’s your thing, then here is a map with all bouldering locations in Stockholm (and oh, there are plenty!)
If you are still uncertain and dont know how to start, there are also climbing meetup groups that are quite active! Now go scale those walls, and who knows before soon this could be you!
or at least this (gahaha!!)
Cover Image source: Screenshot from Mission Impossible 2