This Saturday, I got the opportunity to go to the annual Rock and Rave in Atlanta, GA. It’s an indoor rock climbing event with competitions, vendors, climbing and bouldering. Oh, and raving with a dj and strobe lights, confetti cannons, blacklight climbing and bubbles. It was an amazing event, and all of the proceeds go to preserving bouldering spots around Atlanta.
I haven’t rock climbed since I was 7, but it was so easy to jump back in. I found myself relating the movements to Crossfit and weightlifting, and it was a surreal experience using those movements outside of the gym and in real life. Bouldering was my favorite, which is climbing without any ropes or harnesses. It was the most challenging, yet the most fulfilling once I reached the top of the wall.
But being able to do pullups, tighten my core, and explode out of a squat were the most beneficial skills I used. Oh, and mimicking climbing up a rope. Pull ups are obvious movements, but rope climbing taught me to hold on with my hands and push up with my legs.
A tight core is what kept me on the wall when climbing horizontally, and yes, some parts of the wall were horizontal instead of vertical, which was the coolest experience to climb upside down. But all of the GHDs paid off, and I see a point in doing them beside having visible abs. It’s one thing to look strong, but it’s another thing to be strong.
Exploding out of a squat was the most helpful skill though. I used it in bouldering, when I would have to swing my body up to the next hold, and launch myself up. All of those pause squats and seated box jumps paid off, and it was amazing to see them used in other scenarios. Bouldering takes body positioning and calisthenics, and Crossfit helped prepare me for body awareness and bodyweight work.
Overall, I think Crossfit and rock climbing complement each other, and Crossfitters should try rock climbing and bouldering at least once. It shows how we can use those skills and strength outside of the gym, and use those same muscles in different scenarios. Bouldering gave me a new appreciation for the skills I learn in the box, and how important they are more the life I want to live, always learning and always exploring.