I Spent An Afternoon Doing This Amazing Activity With The Kids- You Can Too! | Lifestyle | KenyaBuzz

I Spent An Afternoon Doing This Amazing Activity With The Kids- You Can Too!

05 Sep 2016 | By Damaris Agweyu

My muscles are aching, but not in the worrying I might have pulled something kind of way. Nope the aches are the good I must have done something beneficial for my body kind. Truth be told, I feel rather upbeat in spite of the aches and it’s all thanks to my eight year old daughter and her fabulous suggestions.

She comes up with lots of suggestions that one. Yesterday was no exception. It started out as a simple playdate with her cousin where I anticipated a lot of running around, the mantling and dismantling of Legos and just enough high volume conversations to drive me round the bend- in other words, it would be the typical playdate for these two.

My daughter however, had other plans. Moments into her cousin’s arrival, she comes running up to me- all doe eyes and cute voice- we both know it’s an act but I always fall for it.

“Mummy, since Sam is here, can we go rock climbing at Bluesky, pleeeease?”, she says.

“What is rock climbing at Bluesky?” Sam asks, apparently he was not consulted about any of this beforehand.

My daughter proceeds to give the whole ‘you mean you don’t know what rock climbing at Bluesky is’, performance effectively managing to make her cousin feel like he is the outsider who has been living under a rock for the past 9 years of his life. She explains to him how, on a playdate with her best friend, they were taken to Climb Bluesky- two weekends in a row!

“Mummy hasn’t been either”, little miss smarty pants concludes successfully narrowing my chances of giving a convincing ‘no’ from five to zero in one fell swoop. There is still a chance for me to shut down the plan with an excuse but from the excitement she has now spread over to Sam; this will make for a very happy afternoon for the kids- giving them anything less will just make me a ‘bad mom’.

I have some organizing to do that afternoon but since I would rather be in the company of two very happy children than figure out what goes where in my house, I ditch my plans with zero guilt.

I have never participated in this activity, because my initial perception was it’s more suited for kids than grown women. I know a lot of their advertising says otherwise but in my head, the first message that stuck was that this is a place for kids to go and have fun.

“You’re gonna love it mum, I promise”, my little one says after we agree that this is how we will spend our Sunday afternoon. I take her words with a pinch of salt. Her cousin can’t get there fast enough.

Climb Bluesky is located in one of my least favourite malls, in this city- and that is another reason I have never really had the motivation to go. I don’t like the traffic going there, I don’t like the fact that the entire mall feels claustrophobic and disorganised and I certainly don’t like driving round and round in circles in search of parking – a nightmare, that’s what Diamond plaza is for me. But for the sake of my daughter and nephew, I put on my ‘keep calm and carry on’ face and do just that- keep calm and carry on. This will be one of the days I just have to roll with the punches and inevitably, the punches come at me in their droves:  there is colossal traffic at the junction just before Nakumatt Highridge, a lot of drivers beeping their horns for no apparent reason, an appalling regard for traffic rules (even for Kenya) and a claustrophobic, disorganised mall. Oh, and I don’t get parking.

The traffic and noise pollution are bearable, the claustrophobia, disorganization and lack of parking -not so. A random guard who seems to sense my level of sacrifice and irritation materialises at my window. He guides me into a seedy little corner where I can park- I would never have been able to it navigate if I hadn’t been driving in this town as long as I have. He gives me the authorization to block at least three cars on condition I leave him with my keys so he can move my car if need be. By all means! I thank him and make a mental note to give him some ‘chai’ on my way out.

Having overcome my worst fears about this place, I am now ready to face anything. We take the stairs to the 6th floor because my daughter warns us that the elevators, may or may not get stuck. Spending a Sunday afternoon in an elevator at Diamond plaza is not top on my list of things I need to do so we don’t take any chances, the stairs it is.

As we enter Climb Bluesky, I immediately feel a sense of calm wash over me. The room is large, airy and exudes a sense of impending fun. We check in at the counter and a very likeable young lady welcomes us, immediately recognizing my daughter. Apparently my little one is something of a celebrity around here. My nephew and I are the sidekicks, what we call the watus in Swahili, we have to fill in forms and stuff.

After the niceties, I proceed to pay 800 shillings per person for the entire day and 400 shillings to rent shoes for my nephew- his flip flops won’t quite cut it for climbing. Earlier on, my daughter had advised that we wear sneakers so both her and I are set.  I look around and notice some other kids with their parents and a group of what look like tourists. There is a guy doing crazy push- ups on one of the mats and I think to myself, “Jeez is it ever that serious”.

The nice lady at the reception gives us some harnesses, introduces us to two of her colleagues who will be with us for the day and we're ready to rock n roll.

We are led to the ‘practice wall’ where we are walked through the basic skills in less than five minutes. Piece of cake.

My daughter (show off) is the first to make the proper ascent and the way she goes up- my goodness, like a little monkey, she makes it all look so easy. So easy that I wonder again if this is really an activity for grownups. Boy am I going to find out the hard way.

My nephew is next and let’s just say, he is struggling, understandably so. For starters it’s his first time and secondly he doesn’t have that innate sense of fearlessness that my daughter has. He is generally a cautious individual and going up that wall makes him a little nervous.

The fact that my daughter went the extra mile to show off her crazy antics makes him even more tense, like he now has a point to prove. I tell him, in kidspeak, that he doesn’t. He appears to draw some reassurance from this.

When my turn comes, I am less cautious, if my eight year old can do it (and there are one or two other younger kids doing it), how can I not?

Well, I do not.

I mean I do. But it takes time. This activity is actually tougher than my daughter had me believe. It takes a lot of arm and leg strength to get myself up there.

“Push mum push with your legs”, my daughter keeps yelling much to my irritation. She is also very encouraging, “You can do it mum, I know you can”. She’s so sweet…

“How was it mum”, she asks after I finish my first ascent and she is now going for her third.

“Great”, I lie. Yes, we are still at that stage where she is yet to start seeing though my white lies and it’s acceptable to both of us.

“See I told you you’d love it!” she screams with glee “Come on! let’s go for another one!”

“Oh boy”, I don’t say. Instead, I dive straight in, another climb it is.

“Come on mum, another one”, she says after I finish my second. For some reason, she has chosen to pick on me and spare her cousin who still hasn’t managed to finish his first climb.

“It’s his first time mum, he will need to take his time”, my daughter says when I mention we should probably wait for Sam to finish (an excuse for me to take a break).

I am not subjected to the same rigorous rules as Sam. It’s like I am doing some kind of exam, an exam to see if I am a fit mum or not (pun intended).

 “It’s my first time too, you know”, I remind her.

For that comment, I am rebuked “Muuuum, don’t be lazy”.

What is this, military camp?

Laziness is not something I am ready to be accused of, not by an 8 year old and certainly not in public. Onward!

 I complete four different climbs, all of varying degrees of challenge, before taking an official break- my daughter, probably six, my nephew- let’s not go there.

It’s after the break (I take a coke to energise myself) that I  finally get the hang of it. Its actually a skill this indoor rock climbing business and what a fun skill to learn! What an awesome place this is, I say to no one in particular.

My daughter responds, “I told you mum.”

My nephew eventually discovers one particular challenge that is right up his alley. Instead of facing the gargantuan task of going all the way up and then having to bring himself back down, this newfound challenge of his is shorter. What's more, he can easily stop halfway and when he does, he grabs onto the rope and freefalls downwards swaying from side to side until he eventually lands on a thick soft mattress. It’s a tough one because to get to the top, you eventually need to walk upside down like one of those Hollywood superheros. He never makes it all the way up on this challenge but then neither do I, heck even my daughter can’t do it. But Sam has a fun time challenging himself to keep going further and further up every time, with the flexibility of letting go whenever he wants so he can then swing about like Tarzan and thud! land on the soft cushion like a tiny bear- it’s a riot!

The general environment here is mellow yet exciting. The crowd has a great vibe, there is fantastic music playing in the background and from time to time we just sing along or even do a jig or two. We are having an amazing time.

As we prepare to leave (4- 5 hours later) my daughter asks, “So would you come back?” I am guessing this question is more for her benefit than mine, still my answer is the honest truth.

“Absolutely”, I say.

I would definitely go back to Climb Bluesky, certainly with the kids but also with friends. It’s just a great place to bond and have fun at the same time. It’s also a great place for you or your kids to make some new friends. The fact that it also doubles up as a workout session is definitely an added plus.

The traffic getting there, the claustrophobia and disorganisation of the mall and the lack of parking are small things in comparison to the value you get from Climb Bluesky. When I think of all the useless things I have spent 800 bob on, I can conclusively say that this place gave me a real bang for my buck. So if you haven’t already done so, you absolutely need to get to Climb Bluesky.  

Some quick facts about Climb Bluesky indoor rock climbing gym:

I Parking is an issue so if you can take a cab or have a driver drop you, please do

I They hire out shoes for 400 shillings but if you choose to wear your own, carry an old pair of sneakers, don’t take your latest, most expensive Nikes, this activity can damage them

I Wear something comfortable, shorts or a tracksuit and a tee will work fine- again, Not your latest designer labels because they may get damaged

I The cost for climbing is 800 shillings per person for the full day (4pm to 9pm on weekdays; 12pm to 9pm on Saturdays and 10am-6pm on Sundays) and you can do as many climbs as you want within those time frames

I They have some special offers such as ladies nights and mummy and me days (that cost even less). They also offer discounted packages if you sign up for the longterm

I They provide plenty of refreshments that are an affordable 100 shillings each

I It’s not a great idea to stuff your face with food before going, this is actually an adventure sport

I They accept kids from five years and above

For more information, ot to get in touch with them directly, check out their website here

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