We have had an awesome week here at Boulder Hut, packed full of activities celebrating international women's week.
Women's setting workshop
We started the week with a women's route setting workshop. The fabulous Ami, (being one of our most experienced setters(, led the workshop, for women who wanted to try route setting, whether as a one-off or to make it a regular thing.
I took some time to talk to the group, and found they all enjoyed the workshop.
Leslie, a regular climber with us said;
"It was inspiring and informative. I did it because I wanted to learn the process of how to build a problem, so I can know how to climb them before hand.
The technical aspect was great, being able to actually see and feel the holds before they went on the wall. I was suprised at how heavy they are. It was nice to get up close and personal, I think there should be more workshops like this in the future."
All women set
Tuesday is our usual setting day. So it only made sense to have an all-women set that day. We were lucky enough to have guest setter Alice Thompson from Substation Manchester with us. As well as Ami, and another awesome team member of ours, Lizzie Handley.
I managed to catch them while they were eating lunch. I wanted to know how they got into setting, why they decided to take on setting and what they would advise future women who feel like giving it a try,
I was the token woman at the time. I wanted to learn, so I asked James Williams (our chief setter at the time) to teach me. So he did, and here I am now. I've been setting for 3 years now, and I'm always learning something new.
I've been setting for around 2 years. I was asked if I wanted to try, I wanted to and relaised i liked doing it so I kept setting. The more you learn, the more you realise you don't know anything. I love that about setting.
And Lizzie added;
I was in work and I was asked if I wanted to try setting. I had always been curious, I thought it was just holds on a wall. It's learning art, and seeing your art being thought about, and climbed is fantastic. So yeah, I was asked to set. I really enjoy it now.
We carried on chatting afterwards about women in general, and how to go about starting. We all came to the realisation that a lot of us women are put off by the boys! We agreed that if you want to give setting a try that you should just do it. Don't be intimidated and don't overthink it. Just get some holds on the wall.
Michaela's nutrition workshop proved successful on Thursday. Michaela' degree is in sport and exercise nutrition. She is all about ditching the fad diets, and caring for ourselves in the best and most sustainable way.
Her presentation was thorough, informative and entertaining.
To summarise the presentation for those who couldn't attend. Energy requirement is the basis for good performance in any sport. If you're not getting enough calories, it doesn't really matter if your meal composition is perfect all the time - your body can't perform at its best or recover efficiently without adequate energy levels. I'd suggest prioritising getting this right, especially if you find that you're tired a lot.
Understanding macronutrients and how they impact performance can be game-changing if it's not something you have ever considered before, too! Figuring these two things out before implementing anything else, such as ergogenic aids or supplements, is my advice.
As women, we're often taught to choose the low calorie option or stick to a calorie restrictive diet, but this message contradicts the foundation of proper sport nutrition - we have to give our bodies enough energy to perform at our best and be strong if we want to achieve our goals.
Our very own Sam attended and said;
"I could've sat there for hours listening to the questions and answers. It was so good and Michaela really knew her stuff! It was great!"
Coaching, Pizza & Social
We finished the week off with a coaching session, complete with pizza! The session was a success, with some familiar faces attending from the other activities held during the week.
We are conscious that climbing is still a male dominated sport, but we are keen to change that. We have worked with Active Cheshire and Sport England in recent months running a course for women who want to get fit and have fun.
We hope we can have more events like International Womens Week, because we seek to inspire more women to get into climbing! We have an awesome team at our centre and we are all like-minded when it comes to providing equal opportunities.
So keep your eyes and ears peeled because you never know what's around the corner!