Climbing for my Sanity

When I was 20 I went through a very difficult time in my life. Sadly, this is mostly due to a boy. I went through a nasty breakup that left me scarred, hurt, untrusting, scared and with very low self-esteem. I was feeling sick and crummy for a long time and went to the doctor expecting he would tell me I had the flu or cancer. The diagnosis he gave me was shocking.


I knew I was having a hard time, but I still considered myself to be a generally happy person, after all, Hilarie does mean “cheerful”, and that’s the disposition I usually portray. Turns out you can appear mostly happy and still be depressed. He suggested medication and I said “No way Jose.” (Obviously I have nothing against medication now, but at the time I was terrified to take anything.) He said if I will not take anything, then I must promise to workout every day.

No problem!

So I did, and I did feel better. It’s true that working out makes you happier and less-stressed. Those endorphins do wonders, and even though it often feels like torture to get my butt to the gym I NEVER regret it once I’m there. Thankfully, my bout with depression was short-lived, but I still have my struggles with anxiety. Staying healthy and keeping active is a necessity. I need to be active in order to be sane.

I also need variety, which is why I do workout classes and physical activities all over this city. My most recent activity was rock climbing at Brooklyn Boulders. Husband and I used to rock climb fairly often in Tennessee. We rock climbed outdoors and indoors, and loved every minute of it. However, it’s been about 3 years since we’ve climbed. We were pumped to get to finally get to a rock-climbing gym here!

brooklynboulders climbers


To belay each other we had to get belay certified. This means one of the employees of Brooklyn Boulders had to watch us tie knots, belay one another and basically know how to rock climb safely. I was really nervous since it’s been so long, but luckily we both passed with flying colors. Whew…



If you cannot belay, the gym offers staff members who hangout and belay people AND they have automatic belay machines! I didn’t even know these existed! They literally belay you and allow you repel down. I must say, I was scared to try it.



I wore myself out VERY quickly, but we managed to stay for over 4 hours!



The gym offered a lot more than rock climbing too. They had weights, bouldering (at which I suck), rings, ping-pong, and a slack-line! We all tried the slack-line numerous times. Every time was unsuccessful and embarrassing, but still fun.

meslackline slackline


After our hard-work, we treated ourselves to Ethiopian food for dinner and fancy chocolate for dessert. We got home at 1am, absolutely exhausted. I may have woken up sore the next day, but I felt stronger and less-stressed. Climbing walls and falling off a tight-rope can do that to you! Can’t wait to get back to Tennessee for some more climbing.


5 Replies to “Climbing for my Sanity”

  1. Misti Sanchez says: Reply

    I love feeling sore! It makes me feel like I’ve worked really hard.

  2. I’ve been wanting to get a slack line “for the girls” (i.e. momma wants to play). 😉
    So, it was pretty tough, huh?? Looks like so much fun & a good workout!

    I love moving to keep the stress level low & depression at bay, but you’re right…getting there is the hardest part. Friends & husbands, as you know, make it a little easier.

    New climbing place in Mboro, The Acent… looks pretty cool! May have to give it a try!

    1. Kelly, you should def invest in one! I’m sure your girls would love it. It will be hard, and everyone will fall a lot, but so fun! Also, I’m sure with practice everyone (including you) will get the hang of it. If you try the new place in the Boro let me know how it is. I’ve been to Climb Nashville quite a few times and I really love it there!

  3. mark zimbicki says: Reply

    The gym looks awesome.

    1. I love it Mark! Youll have to try it during one of your visits.

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