How I discovered my passion for rock climbing

When I first moved to London, all the way back in 2011, I did what everyone else around me was doing. I put the hours into my career, I went out drinking with friends, I got a gym membership. Three years and a failed relationship later, I knew something had to change.

This city can suck you into its relentless rhythm and make you give up your hobbies and passions in favour of a gruelling daily commute, boozy corporate events, and aimless weekends trying to sleep off the hangover and exhaustion.

At first, it is exhilarating. Then it becomes draining. And then everything starts to fall apart and you just want out.

This is how I got into climbing.

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Ten reasons girls should try rock climbing

So you are bored out of your mind of your usual gym routine. Every time you step on a treadmill you feel like a hamster running around in a wheel. The classes are more fun, but you keep missing them because of work/ plans with friends/ laziness.

You are not motivated, so you aren’t getting strong, like you planned to when you made your New Year’s resolutions, and it is just so frustrating!

Sound familiar? Then it is time to try rock climbing!

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How I won a free month at Virgin Active

“OK, if we don’t find this Virgin Active gym in the next five minutes, I’m going home!” I said with frustration, as my hands froze to my umbrella. “I bet you will absolutely love it within five minutes of walking in!”, my friend Ali consoled me. Naturally, he was 100% right.

It was a typical London Saturday in February – wet, windy, and all the tube lines near me were “suspended due to engineering works”, so it took me forever to get to Paddington.

I had been invited to participate in a circuit-based workout organised by Virgin Active in its swanky new gym in Merchant Square as part of the #MyWorkoutFor series. This one was all about getting fit for the slopes and was devised by the gym’s instructors in collaboration with well-known blogger Jack Edwards.

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Frankenjura: Hardcore German climbing worth training for

Indoor climbing in Germany is really hard work, and now I know why. The last time I went to a bouldering gym in Germany – Boulder Habitat in Bonn – I was in pain for days. It felt like I had never climbed before, despite training three times a week for over a year. But after climbing in Frankenjura, in northern Bavaria, I now realise why…If that is what they have to train for, no wonder all the indoor routes are overhanging and pumpy!

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London’s best climbing gyms

Many people have asked me where I go climbing in London and are surprised to know just how many climbing gyms there are in this city.

Considering I have been to most of London’s best climbing gyms, I decided to put together a list of all the options for beginners, or climbers moving to London from elsewhere. If this encourages even one extra person to give this wonderful sport a go, I’ll be very happy!

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