We're two weeks into an annual membership at a local indoor gym, and this is what I've learned from my first six climbing sessions:
#1 Pedicures are a thing of the past ... at least while I'm actively pursuing this hobby. I'm a frugal-ish person, but blinged out painted toes are an indulgance--an indulgence that makes no sense when I'm cramming my bare feet into tight climbing shoes several times a week. That's right, I said "bare." Most climbers choose to forego socks. Socks add an unwanted layer of slipperiness inside the shoe and take away sensitivity as climbers search for footholds. Shoes tend to run a size smaller as well; your toes should extend to the very tip of the shoe, and actually curl slightly. It hurts. There will be chafing and possibly blood the first few climbs. And--if you happen to have purple sparkly nail polish on your toes--it will be sanded off by the end of the day and be uncomfortable grit in your shoe. Word to the wise ;o)
#2 Your junk and everybody else's is on display. The good news? Nobody cares. You look around the gym and you see folks focused on ropes and belaying and safety, on getting to the top and having a good time. Nobody's checking out your butt. Well, much anyways.
#3 It's good to have a theme song for motivation. Hubby has had to endure my off-key humming of "It's a Long Way to the Top If You Want to Rock and Roll" for an hour or three on several occasions.
#4 It's okay to fall. It feels wrong, so very wrong, the moment you feel your fingers slipping and you know you're about to lose it. But it's okay. You're safe. You're secured to your partner, and it's just part of the process. Take a moment, give those strained forearms a rest, then get a new grip on that sucker and keep on trying.
#5 It feels dang good to reach your goal. It's perhaps the second best thing next to the communication and camaraderie you'll share with your partner.