Bouldering, rock climbing's weird cousin who only wears sleeveless shirts, condenses the challenge of scaling a wall by contorting the vertical plane into strange shapes, inversions, convexes, and concaves. Every route becomes a problem, an intense, Escheresque puzzle of grit and physical stamina that builds endurance, spatial-thinking skills, and body awareness. The introductory classes will impart the basics of navigating these challenging routes.
Blaine Eastcott's love of the outdoors is rooted in fond childhood memories of family camping trips. On one such trip, Blaine's teenage self impulsively climbed a 100-foot rock only to soon find himself struck by panic high up on the rock face. He was paralyzed by fear, until a surge of adrenaline gave him the courage needed to scramble the final 10 feet up. This ordeal spurred him to take rock-climbing classes—and eventually led to his current position as the president of Rockreation. His three adrenaline-inducing arenas challenge climbers of all skill levels with more than 28,500 total square feet of climbing terrain, composed of jagged cliffs, bouldering nooks, and craggy archways. The faux-mountain range mimics the conditions of real rocks with indentions, overhangs, and eagle's nests.
The gyms devote one-third of their space to a bouldering area, which blends into a top-rope course fraught with varying angles, and a large lead area with an overhanging arch. Across these angles, passionate instructors with extensive outdoors experience—and a background in conversational mountain goat—guide students through the Fight Gravity program. The three-class series focuses on belaying basics, and progresses through technique instruction and bouldering. They also lead seasonal kids' camps where tiny humans can explore the routes, or plunge on a big swing and zipline. The gyms also have a separate area with machines, traditional weights, and cardio equipment for members who want to not only climb rocks, but also lift heavy ones above their heads.
The second annual LA Prostate Cancer 5K enlists pavement pounders to help raise money for new therapies and better screening tools in the attempt to show prostate cancer who’s boss. Hosted by the USC Institute of Urology, the 5K opens its campus-side route to all levels of runners, walkers and electric boogalooers, divvying up participants into age-specific categories. Dr. Inderbir Gill kicks off the spirited event with a welcoming speech, and recognition of survivors, pre-run warm-ups and the National Anthem dispense the daily recommended dose of motivation. Beginning at the Tommy Trojan statue–unmistakable for his bronze sword and noble stance—marathoners whiz through University Park and the grounds of Exposition Park. Following the race, an award ceremony recognizes top performers and invites every participant to bask in the synchronized huffs and puffs of accomplishment.
BOLDFITNESS owner Jeff Archibald offers functional fitness regimens such as weightlifting, core training and body-weight exercises. Jeff helps clients of all ages and abilities get in shape, reach their full athletic potential, recover from injuries, or train for sporting events. With scenic workouts along the Santa Monica Mountains, Jeff may take clients walking, hiking, running, and mountain or road biking. Shorter workouts may take clients to unconventional locales such as the 4th Street Stairs in Santa Monica, an ideal setting for full-body conditioning. But Jeff doesn't eschew traditional fitness facilities entirely—he regularly works with individuals in homes, at a health club, and at an indoor rock climbing venue. But at some point between reps, he'll likely suggest a trip outdoors for cardio training.
At We Rock The Spectrum Kid's Gym-Northridge, kids can curl up inside a hammock cocoon, spin on a tire swing, or jump on the trampoline. They can zoom along a low-hanging zipline, pedal a colorful kid-sized stationary bike, or cook an imaginary meal in a tiny kitchen. They can paint, play with beads, or weave lanyards. Whether they are there for Break Time childcare or open play, kids can take advantage of the whole gym and its colorful array of activities.