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From the locker room

posted on Monday, 1st June 2009 | find under 

This month we embarked on a climbing adventure. Having never been sky diving or bungee jumping, this was the first sport I have ever done where I was presented with a form to acknowledge that our actions may result in death. It was at this point, along with Helen and Michelle’s visible concern for their phobia of heights, that we realized we were not feeling as relaxed as normal about trying a new sport. After the ’death’ form came the ’harnesses’. With our safety prioritized our vanity was compromised. All in our Supplex, where there were three bottoms there were now six (to save embarrassment, woven fabric as worn by everyone else is definitely recommended).

We all view ourselves as relatively fit so the challenge of climbing was not the main concern. According to your ability level you are given a colour to follow which is your mapped out route to the top. It feels more natural to want to climb by pulling up with your arms rather than what you should do which is push with your legs. It is only when you stop and look around that you realize how high you are and that is when for those scared of heights, their fear can literally freeze them. Helen got stuck 3/4 of the way up but then found it in her to spur to the top. Her ordeal definitely effected Michelle and despite being focused found herself stranded as soon as she looked down. Worse than Helen she also did not trust the harness to fall back into for her descent. From the ground we felt so helpless watching them both each with their own individual struggles. The sheer emotion of what they had overcome overwhelmed us all.

It is amazing how powerful our head can be over our physical capabilities. You know it is safe, there are people all around you children even, going up and down as if on their stairs at home. Yet two intelligent, rational women fell completely vulnerable to their fear. As an experience it really brought us closer together and there was no question where the next stop was, 3 mojitos extra strong please.

Thank-you to the Westway Centre for this truly adrenalin pumping experience (and workout). I would like to mention at this point that this centre is founded by a trust. The West London community pulled together and got funding to develop wasteland and create this fantastic sports facility which is open to everyone. Fitness and the feel good factor it generates are more important now than ever. It is in this time of recession and job insecurity that access to sport and a healthy lifestyle is key. This should not have to be sacrificed due to gym fees and studio membership.

Tamara, Founder

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