SAN ANTONIO — Remember how much fun you had climbing trees as a kid? You can get the same adrenaline rush at Armadillo Boulders.
The locally-owned indoor bouldering gym is in downtown San Antonio. It has more than 100 boulder problems, which are like puzzles for your mind and body to solve.
Army veteran Joseph Wright picked up climbing in 2015.
“Once you find your rhythm, it’s a lot of fun,” Wright said. “I like to say that everybody starts at the bottom, literally and figuratively.”
With effort and patience, you learn quickly. Wright enjoys sharing the experience with his friends who are new to climbing.
“They just started and they're already doing routes that are comparable to some of the ones that I've just been working on,” Wright said.
MJ Rodriguez is the director of social media at Armadillo Boulders. She said they offer challenges for every skill level, from beginners to more experienced climbers. Children have their own bouldering wall as well.
“Bouldering is graded on a V scale, so it's going to be the letter V and then a number,” Rodriguez said. “The lower the number, the easier the route is going to be. It starts at zero and at this gym we go up to eight.”
Rodriguez said climbing is a full-body workout. She compared it to climbing a ladder nonstop.
“You’re really working your finger strength, your forearms, especially working your core and your leg tension,” Rodriguez said. “And so you start to really develop a lot of these small muscle groups that you wouldn't normally like just doing squats or running on a treadmill.”
There are no ropes or harnesses at Armadillo Boulders. All you need is a pair of climbing shoes, which you can rent there. MJ said they give newcomers a safety orientation.
“We give you a tour of the gym and show you how to climb and how to fall,” Rodriguez said.
There’s a “crash pad” underneath the wall to protect you. While the experience may scare you, Rodriguez said there’s a lot to gain from the thrill.
“Any form of rock climbing is a sport that teaches you how to balance humility and also confidence,” Rodriguez said. “We’re falling constantly, but we're also confident enough to give it another shot. You know what I mean? To try to get to the top, you really have to trust your body and your skills to keep pushing.”
You can become a member or buy a day pass at Armadillo Boulders for $17. Armadillo Boulders also has a yoga studio and gym with cardio, free weights and bodyweight training equipment.
To learn more, click here.