I admit it: I’m a little afraid of heights.  It’s relatively new, related to nothing in particular.

So, I decided to go indoor rock climbing.

Why?  You only go around once.  And, I believe that there is something to confronting your fears, whatever they are, from silly to serious.

Fear Factor - 1

Brooklyn Boulders was founded by 3 guys who were frat brothers at Babson.  Their gym is a huge, brightly-lit industrial space (22,000 square feet) a few blocks away from the new Barclay’s Center (the guys were here 3+ years before Jay-Z made the Atlantic-Pacific stop cool, just fyi).  They also offer slacklining (you know, it looks like you’re balancing on a tightrope) and yoga.

Fear Factor - 2

I sign my life away, with a few clicks on an iPad.  And, start off bouldering, which is essentially climbing without a harness or ropes, usually a shorter climb over a blue mat called a “crash pad.”  Awesome.

Fear Factor - 3

Fear Factor - 4

The level of difficulty in bouldering is rated using the V Scale (V0-V14)–each level marked with a particular color, becoming more challenging as the numbers increase.  I start on V0, marked with bright green tape.

Fear Factor - 5

Touching the top of the wall means that you’ve successfully completed the climb (technically, with both hands…).

Fear Factor - 6

Next, on to an incline wall, this one is 30%.  MUCH harder than the first.  My fingers start to feel a little numb.

Fear Factor - 7

It requires much more thought and calculation, trying to keep my grip on the last hold while reaching for the next.

And, then, once I’ve got that down, my climbing pro instructor Pieter tells me that it’s time to get the harness on and chalk up for the ropes course on the other side of the gym.

Fear Factor - 9

Fear Factor - 10

Um, I start to sweat.

Brooklyn Boulders: 575 Degraw Street / brooklynboulders.com

Tank: New Balance (similar here).  Leggings: Adidas by Stella McCartney.

Images by Shante Carlan Photography.

6 thoughts on “Fear Factor {Part I}

  • March 21, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    Oh, dear…this makes me anxious just reading about it!!

  • March 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Who knew you were afraid of heights! I’ve seen you do the CATCH on a trapeze for those who dont know!!! You make the rest of us landlubbers look like sissies hehe!!!!xxx

    • March 26, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      It’s true, you were there! Haven’t been back since, need to add to our list of fun things to do when you’re in NYC next. xo

  • March 26, 2013 at 6:19 AM

    Good job! I can think of a middle school gym teacher who would be quite impressed :)!

    • March 26, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      Yes, live and learn!

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