Totally this^

I hate running and don’t really like the gym but I play a reasonably regular couple of five a side games each week and that does wonders for me.

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Echoing the tips of find something you like and it’s going to suck at first.

I personally don’t enjoy the gym (more social anxiety I think) or cycling, but love running and swimming. Running is good for my schedule as I work from home so if I feel the sudden need to get out, I can just get up and go for a run. I also like planning runs to see parts of Newcastle or places I am visiting. However, some find it super boring and I found myself injuring myself a lot at the start before I figured out warm ups and things.

Just going for long walks is also nice, hiking away from the stress of life is mentally uplifting too.

Edit: but yeah, think of things you might to do - do you like solo exercise? Running may be good! Does group motivation help? Yoga classes or other similar sessions are great to get you in and figure out how to do the exercises well.


Didn’t do anything at all for years. Started trying to get back into football, so started running to build fitness, got into that too, then got into cycling three years ago. Now play football 3 or 4 times a week, run loads in the winter and cycle a lot in the summer. Struggle to sleep if I’ve not either done exercise or had a drink now, which is pretty bad really.


Yeah definitely this, although it’s good how much exercise can suppress the desire for booze


Yeah, really rarely have a drink in the week now


Climbing is a strange sport in that we try and impose a scale of objective ‘difficulty’ rather than fastest / highest / heaviest etc. So something akin to gymnastics or diving, except with more complexity because, where a 10 metre diving board is always a 10 metre diving board, individual climbs vary wildly in their nature.

Of course, you have to calibrate in some way and, to your point, historically men have had far more opportunity to push these kinds of boundaries and so the scale is basically calibrated for men who are 5’10 with man-sized hands.

Physiological differences play into all sporting standards. An interesting element with climbing is that one of the ways in which a climb gets harder is by making the holds smaller. As holds get smaller, having smaller fingers to hold them becomes an advantage because of how leverage works. What we’re increasingly seeing is young women cruising up exceptionally ‘hard’ climbs but unable to get anywhere near ‘easier’ climbs which require a wide arm-span and large hands for holds which rely more on generating as much friction as possible.

Similarly, top female climbers can all do full splits and so will be set competition problems which rely on that ability. The world’s ‘best’ climbers (i.e. males) couldn’t do those climbs but climb ‘harder’ than all of those women.

There’s a feedback loop from the entire system. Everyone gets graded on a male-oriented scale and that plays into things like sponsorship money and exposure.

There are bright spots - Shauna Coxsey is far and away the best known climber in the UK and the world comp scene is good at treating both genders equally in terms of coverage.

But on a global level, the climbers earning megabucks are all male (e.g. Adam Ondra, Chris Sharma) because the hardest climbs are by definition the hardest than men can climb. Which is bullshit in a sport in which male/female physiological differences (a broad categorisation which needs a much longer post to unpack!) don’t impact in the same way as, say, sprinting the fastest or hitting a tennis ball the hardest.


Oh FFS :frowning:

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Your love for cycling makes me vicariously happy


Yeah, this is exactly the issue. Ondra is literally setting the difficulty scale right now. If he set a climb which shut down a bunch of folks who normally climb 9a+, we’d happily call it 9b or above.

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This is really interesting but I guess what I was getting at was more the levels of sacrifice and hardship that the likes of Honnold and Caldwell have been willing to put themselves through to achieve their goals and I was wondering:

  • do women not have the same drive/determination/fanaticism to pursue something like that
  • or is it that women are inherently much less likely to take risks
  • or is it they’ve just never had the privilege/luxury of time to dedicate themselves to such an endeavour
  • or is it just that boys are a bit silly :slightly_smiling_face:
  • or is it all of the above?

Was just using climbing as an example really rather than thinking about the specifics of the sport

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This is now the climbing thread, I guess.

One of the things that really irks me is route setting that plays to this “male difficulty”. So, making a climb a harder grade is just done by making the holds smaller and/or further away. It’s boring and it’s the reason I don’t climb at the depot any more. I can get stronger, I can improve my technique, but I can’t get taller.

At the Unit in Derby, the difficulty is more commonly added by tricky body positions or needing loads of balance and tension. The holds are all reachable, but you have to figure out how you’re going to do it. My flexibility, body tension and route-reading has already improved from climbing there.

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Yep, I did get that :slight_smile:

My point was more that some women are doing this, but the entire grading system is set up in a way which means it’s not recognised as being an endeavour of note. And that restricts more women from doing the same because money gets funneled towards men.

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Considering I have no interest in climbing I find it all quite fascinating


Keep complaining to the depot because they never employ female routesetters.


Oh they have one in Nottingham :+1:

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