July 13, 2011
So you want to give your pecs, arms, back, and legs a workout, huh? Few things give you a more natural workout than a good climb up a rock face. You work your muscles, feel the thrill of danger (controlled, hopefully, by a good harness and a trusty belay), and get the feeling of accomplishment of conquering a hard slab of nature.
But there's wind, rain, dust, blazing sun, heat, bugs, and other things that ruin a concentration-demanding climb. Plus, if you live in Lubbock, you have to drive to get into those Panhandle canyons.
What to do for a close-to-home climb where you can concentrate and avoid bugs and heat?
First of all, try the Texas Tech University Student Recreation Center, which has an impressive indoor climbing wall. While this indoor climbing is convenient for Texas Tech faculty, staff, and students due to its close proximity to everything else, including other exercise and athletic activities, it is less convenient for those who are not affiliated with the university. Non-Techies may use the rec center for an $8 guest fee per visit, so long as they arrive with a sponsoring adult.
If the university route doesn't work for getting your climb on, try Bodyworks, a chain of gyms with four Lubbock locations. These facilities offer indoor rock climbing, with the locations at 34th Street and Loop 289 and 82nd Street and Slide Road, both having pictures of artificial climbing walls posted on their respective websites. While these walls are less appealing compared to the big ones at Texas Tech, the multiple Bodyworks locations each offer more pampering amenities for membership compared to the no-frills Tech rec center.
Finally, a newcomer is a good third option. For those who don't want a Texas Tech or Bodyworks membership, consider the Defying Gravity Indoor Rock Climbing Gym. At its location at 205 E. 19th Street, for $9 a day a person can climb in a climbing-focused facility. Such a facility may be more rigorous and appealing to a true rock climber the small climbing walls of Bodyworks or the mid-level walls of Texas Tech's rec center. Unfortunately, the Defying Gravity Rock Climbing Gym is not open on Mondays and has much shorter operating hours than either the rec center or the 24-hours-a-day Bodyworks locations.
For the beginning climber, go with Bodyworks. For the mid-level climber, try the Tech rec center. For a more focused climber, hit up Defying Gravity Indoor Rock Climbing Gym. Good luck, and happy climbing!