Why do I write an article about a sport? The answer is very simple: if I had not come to this Country, it would have never thought about going to a gym and climb a wall.
Me climbing a wall as a beginner.
It was a weekend on Sunday evening, I heard my housemates in Oakhouse Kichijoji 2 talking about “bouldering”. It was actually the first time hearing this word… Eventually one of them asked me if I want to try. I said yes right after.
When I went to the gym, I expected the walls to be much higher, and I assumed that there’s a rope like rock climbing, but I was wrong. There was no rope. But it is fine even if you fall because there were big soft crash mattresses on the ground. I tell you these mattresses saved my life many times that day.
The rule of bouldering is simple. You just need to get to the top of the wall and touch the goal stone with both hands. While doing that, you’re supposed to follow the certain path. There are more than one way to get to the goal and that’s the fun of it.
If you climb in the right way (with good weight balance and everything), you don’t get tired so quickly. The point is to use your muscle in your thigh to climb up, which makes it easy because thigh muscle is much bigger than the arm muscle.
The idea is simple but the reality is not. After the first try, my hands and my wrists began to stop responding to my will. I had to stop after an hour or so. The cold water and ice come in handy!
A pro-level wall.
So much effort was worth it though. I had a lot of fun: every rock in your hands (or feet!) is a victory that spurs you to put your hand on the next rock and, in the end, the result is invigorating for the body and relaxing for the spirit.
I add that the girl who runs the bouldering gym is very kind, because as soon as she saw my roommates, who regularly attend at the gym, welcomed them saying “Okaeri” with a smile on her face. This is the traditional word that the Japanese use to welcome those returning home.
Living these months in Japan is not only just a way to learn a new language, but it is proving (as bouldering) rich new experience in a different environment and under different circumstances.
Written by Laura Magni