“Come on, you can do it! You got this!”
The chorus of encouragement came from a group of awesome women sitting on the bouldering mats at BKB Somerville.
Their shouts pushed me to make the move that I might have bailed on, saying “I can’t,” if I had been bouldering by myself.
It’s always an extra boost to have people cheering you on while you climb, but this was something special.
This is the power of Climb Like a Girl.
Ever since I started climbing, I’ve been thrilled to find many female climbing communities online, from Flash Foxy to Crux Crush, plus plenty of fantastic female climbers (hey, Kathy Karlo, Irene Yee, and Katie Boué, I’m looking at you) to provide inspiration.
But the Climb Like a Girl class at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville was the first time I felt the power of female climbing camaraderie in person.
I’ve spent most of my life surrounded by men.
Women on the technical side of TV production, especially in sports, are few and far between. And I’m used to it. I can be one of the guys.
So when I started climbing, it didn’t feel like a boys club to me. In fact, there were more women around than I’m normally used to.
Still, when I heard about the Climb Like a Girl class, I was immediately compelled to sign up. Sure, my friends were joining, too, but it was more than that.
I knew there would be something special about bringing together a group of strong women to kick ass in what has been a traditionally testosterone-heavy environment. And I couldn’t have been more right.
It was amazing to watch other women try hard, improve, and just kill it on the wall. It was wonderful to have a chorus of cheers carry you to send a problem. And it was important to have a group of girls carve out our own space at the gym, and say, hey, we belong here.
I love climbing with anyone else who shares the passion for pulling themselves up rock (or plastic). Guys have been excellent teachers, belay partners, and cheerleaders for me.
But no matter who I climb with, I will always climb like a girl. And that is something to celebrate.