Are there any other rock climbing parents out there?
I've climbed a bit on and off over the past decade (mostly off since I had my daughter), but recently had a wonderful idea. My daughter Denali (age 5) loves to rock climb, and so do I...why not do it together and get us both some awesome winter exercise?
My daughter has been enjoying rock climbing since she was about 3.5 years old. We'd go to the local rock gym occasionally and let her boulder around a bit (climbing without a harness: staying close to the ground and going from side to side rather than up and down). As most kids seem to, she took to it right away and had a wonderful time.
This year I got us a family membership to the climbing gym. We've become hooked on bouldering together!
Denali and I have started going 3 times a week. She climbs while I spot her, and then I climb while she sits on the bench near my route. Then it's her turn again. We climb, alternating turns, for about an hour, or until she gets bored (which is seldom before the hour is up). We go in the morning when the gym is almost empty so that we get our choice of all the routes that are best for her. So far it is working out great!
My rules for her are: no running in the gym, no yelling, no intentionally jumping off a route from more than three feet up (those crash pads are way too tempting!), she may not climb or walk directly underneath anyone on the wall, and she must sit on a bench or the floor near by when I am on the wall (for her safety).
It is super exercise for me, really gives my legs, arms, and core a wonderful workout. If feel stronger, more energetic, and have lost a lot of back pain and tension.
Denali gets to exercise, too, and gets to burn off a lot of that little kid energy while using her whole body and her brain. Its the perfect routine for the winter, when the weather outside is to wet, cold, and nasty for going to the playground.
If there are any other climbing mamas or papas I would love to here your experiences, if you climb with your kids or if you climb solo, and any stories you'd like to share.