#DelhiMoves Fitness

Fight gravity at this indoor gym in Delhi

A pair of climbing shoes, a bit of chalk to soak up the sweat off your hands and a dollop of grit is all you get

The award-winning National Geographic film Free Solo captures the heart of rock climbing without a harness, as a sport that tests the limits of human achievement and courage. The haunting sound of calculated breaths taken at deadly heights is hard to shake off. Bouldering is a form of rock-climbing: “It’s a sub-set; you scale shorter walls or boulders without the use of safety equipment,” says Vrinda Bhageria, who with Yadu Bhageria (both climbers) have built Boulder Box in Vasant Kunj (boulderbox.in).

A pair of climbing shoes, a bit of chalk to soak up the sweat off your hands and a dollop of grit is all you get. Down to its bare essentials, the sport offers a glimpse of the risks primitive man took to survive. Bouldering keeps the brain sharp and builds its problem-solving ability. It requires the climber to think of the safest and the quickest route possible. “A climber uses a foam mattress called a crash pad to break one’s fall onto the ground,” says Vrinda.

Meet other climbers
  • Women’s Social: Wednesday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., for women over 18
  • Boulder Buddy: Friday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., for mixed groups
  • Sunday Socials: 10 a.m. to 12 noon, for those looking to meet new climbers

At the indoor centre, the boulders aren’t very high, so the risk of serious injury is lower compared to it you were doing it in the open. Since the climbing focusses primarily on movement, technique and strength, it’s advisable to have some fitness level before you begin.

Inside a gym, plastic ‘holds’ are screwed into vertical or semi-vertical walls. These are colour-coded and tagged to signify level of difficulty. A climber chooses a colour and a difficulty level: this is called the ‘problem’. All that remains is to navigate the ‘problem’. In keeping with the problem-solving view, the position of the holds is changed from time to time. Boredom is hard to find.

Unlike rock or wall climbing, bouldering involves climbing heights of about 15 feet. Falling technique is taught so that you can fall in a controlled way that minimizes the risk of broken bones or sprained joints. The thrill of the climb attracts adults and children alike. You’ll discover and train the dormant muscles in your body. The instinct of self-preservation kicks in. It will make you more alert. At a stretch it’s akin to moving-meditation, because you need to be in the moment. “It is not an activity that you do for an hour and head home. We created a space with a café and library so climbers can engage with each other on breaks. It’s a place where you can spend your whole day,” says Yadu.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 6:16:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/fight-gravity-at-this-indoor-gym-in-delhi/article28503858.ece

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