PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Creativity has been key to getting through this era of social distancing since many of the activities that we love have been off-limits for months. But as they say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way” or should we say, “if there’s a wall, there’s a way.”
CBS3 went inside Eyewitness News photographer Kyle Hall’s office-turned-climbing gym. Avid climbers, like Kyle, are taking DIY to all new heights.
Quarantine have you feeling like climbing the walls? Some Delaware Valley climbers are taking matters into their own hands. Story at 6:30am on @CBSPhilly. This is just an average day at work with Kyle Hall! pic.twitter.com/dc00br0nSA
— Jan Carabeo (@JanCarabeoCBS3) May 15, 2020
Climbers are putting their hands to work in a different way these days. Unable to visit their local climbing gyms amid the coronavirus pandemic, many are making their own climbing walls.
“A lot of people are building right now. Backyard builds, any spot they can find to put up a sheet of plywood,” David Bruce, of Philadelphia Rock Gyms, said.
David Bruce is here to help. He’s the director of the climbing school for Philadelphia Rock Gyms. He posted his build to Instagram recently, inspiring avid climbers across the Delaware Valley.
“It’s about 12 by 8 feet. You want enough room to be able to make more than a handful of moves. And outdoor people being crammed into a small space, it isn’t always the easiest thing to do,” Bruce said
Being stuck at home has left many feeling like climbing the walls. Social media is full of their antics involving bookcases, countertops and terraces.
So, naturally, a legitimate climbing wall is the proper next step for people who want to take their quaran-training to the next level.
“Climbing the outside of my house wasn’t as effective or fun,” Doug Campbell, of Havertown, said.
Doug Campbell used to head to the climbing gym three times a week. Now, he just walks to his garage.
“It’s not like we have to go far to go to the gym these days,” Campbell said.
It’s a simple set-up: a wall not even eight feet tall at a 30-degree angle.
But for Campbell, a paramedic in the Philadelphia area, and his wife, a nurse, time on the wall isn’t just about the physical. It also provides a mental reset after a stressful day.
“Mentally, it is one of the most centering things that I’ve even been able to do,” Campbell said. “It keeps our minds safe and healthy and happy to go back in the next day and do it again.”
As for those thinking about undertaking a build of their own, the experts have a bit of advice.
“Reach out to people who have built in the past,” Bruce said. “Just find the thing you love and figure out a way to keep doing it.”
Grips can be a bit hard to find right now. Some gyms are now selling old ones. But Kyle’s neighbor Brian actually made grips for him using a 3-D printer.
Neighbor helping neighbor. Everyone making it work while we’re stuck in this together.