Forgetting the familiar

GLAMOUR South Africa|April 2020

Forgetting the familiar
Because we know going to the gym isn’t for everyone, we reached out to fitness instructors who teach alternative, challenging and fun workouts that positively affect both body and mind, and – best of all – won’t ask you to do squats or lunges.


I started rock climbing about four years ago when I first moved to Cape Town and got a part-time job at CityROCK. Living in a new city felt lonely at first, but the climbing community quickly became my new family because they were so welcoming and friendly. That’s when the climbing bug bit.

Cape Town has so many amazing spots that are ideal for bouldering and sport climbing, and it’s been a real treat to take my climbing outdoors because I’ve always loved nature. Conquering your fears and your body is empowering, almost magical. There’s no better feeling than the rock underneath you and the wind in your face. I climbed Sands of Time, a 115m sport climb at Paarl Rock, with some colleagues. At one point, I had my hands pressed up against the rock, and I felt like I was a million miles above the ground. I was so freaking afraid but felt so alive at the same time. I looked at the incredible view, thrilled that I’d climbed so high, could see so far and felt so alive. I was afraid of heights when I was growing up, so to do something that big despite my fears was a big achievement.

Rock climbing has hardened my hands and taught me core strength and balance. The mental game is just as challenging because you have to focus, juggle excitement and fear, be fully present and breathe. I love climbing because there’s no room for negative self-talk, and your body and mind must work together. Treadmill running and spinning classes aren’t the only way to sweat, just as lifting weights isn’t the only way to build strength. Climbing helps you do both because it’s a full-body, physically challenging workout. But it’s also super-social, fun, can be done outdoors, increases your confidence and the fear factor takes you out of your comfort zone.

CityROCK is fantastic because it offers you all the indoor climbing you could wish for: bouldering, toproping, lead and crack climbing, a climbing-specific training area, and peg, campus and hang boards, you name it. We also offer a wide variety of training courses on everything from basic techniques to climbing on real rocks outdoors. Let’s face it: that’s the ultimate goal.

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I would attend dance-style fitness classes and always felt like something was missing from these workouts. Coming from an authentic, Indian background, dancing comes naturally to me, and I was fit. With this in mind, I decided to customise a class that balances the best of my dance and fitness abilities. After doing extensive research, I started teaching Bollywood fitness classes. Six years later, our team’s still going strong.


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April 2020