The dialogue taking place in my head was an intense back and forth between my comfort zone and courage. 20 feet above the floor at EPIC Climbing and Fitness, my shaking body was telling me “there’s no shame in stopping here, just go back down. After all, it IS your first time.”
The decision I faced was whether or not to continue climbing when I came to a spot on the wall, or to reach for the next climbing hold that was just out of my reach, taunting me. It was agonizing to say the least. It mattered not that I was safely hooked into the equipment, nor that part of the IFM team was right below watching; it was me vs. the wall.
“F&$% FEAR,” I convinced myself (true story, I’ll never forget it) before I successfully stretched for the next hold.
I broke through a mental barrier and made it to the top. The feeling of conquering my mental limits was almost addicting, and absolutely empowering.
EPIC Climbing and Fitness
Epic Climbing and Fitness, located just southwest of Downtown Indianapolis, invited our team to come in for an indoor rock climbing session to show us just how good of a form of exercise it is. Rock climbing is an incredible full body workout that combines both cardio and strength training, without you even realizing how physically taxing it is. The pure adrenaline pump you experience as you climb totally outweighs the fact that you are recruiting almost every muscle in your body to get to the top.
Rock climbing strengthens and tones muscles, increases flexibility, and destroys comfort zones in a really fun way. Not everyone enjoys going to the gym for exercise; rock climbing can be a powerful substitute.
Assistant manager at EPIC, Christina Jordan, welcomed our team and walked us through the facility. This place is beautiful! I was quite surprised to see a full weight training area, yoga facility, and aerial yoga equipment. Following the tour, she thoroughly trained our team on proper technique and use of the equipment. We were ready to climb, and had a complete blast!
When asked what she loves most about climbing as a form of exercise, Jordan replied, “You don’t notice you are exercising, since you are trying to solve a problem to get to the top. You just want to get stronger to be able to climb more things, and solve more problems!”
When you visit EPIC, one thing that will surely stand out is the atmosphere in the building, which is one of encouragement and shared success. We saw this first hand. As IFM co-founder Ryan was half-way up what seemed like a 100 foot wall, it was apparent that he was ready to end his ascent.
Out of nowhere, we heard a powerful “STAND UP!!” directed to him. Reluctantly, after being coached up the wall by at least 5 others, he reached the top and was beaming with confidence and a swagger. (he’ll probably kill me for sharing this, but it is 100% accurate!)
Why in the world would a stranger, with no real vested interest in him climbing this wall help coach him to the top? It’s the general feeling of shared success that pervades the entire facility. Your overcoming a challenge is a win for me too! For such a daunting activity, this is a must!
Aika Yoshida is a USA Climbing National Champion in the female neuro-physical disability category, who often trains at EPIC. Years ago, this athlete who ran trail marathons, rock climbed, and mountain biked, suffered a broken neck in an accident and was initially paralyzed from the neck down. Through grit and determination, she has fought her way, and reclaimed her identity to become a champion.
If you’d like to learn more about her story, here is a video about just that.
The mental strength that comes from rock climbing is certainly one of the great benefits that come with it, and the community at EPIC Climbing and Fitness is a powerful motivator to help you surpass what your mind tells your body it is capable of.
“My favorite thing about EPIC is the community. You get to know everyone in the facility, and making friends is almost too easy,” says Christina Jordan.
Are you ready to give this form of exercise a shot? The team at EPIC Climbing and Fitness wants you to come and see for yourself just how fun and challenging this is. They have graciously offered to waive the gear fees for all IFM readers, cutting the normal $25 fee to just $17. Simply enter your info below. I guarantee you will love it.
I can't wait to go back!