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Facing Fitness Fears at Brooklyn Boulders

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Propel. I was compensated and all opinions are 100% my own.

Did anyone else learn the phrase “face your fear and it will disappear” as a kid? No, just me?

The older I get, the more I realize this phrase is true. So often, we build up a fear in our head, and by the time we face it, it’s rarely ever as bad as we expect.

Speaking of my childhood again, I used to love rock climbing wall birthday parties. For this month’s Propel post, they wanted us to face our fitness fears. I haven’t climbed one of those walls since I was, oh, 12? I wasn’t sure if I had the upper body strength or the mental fortitude to scale these massive walls.

Since I hate telling myself no or making excuses, out to Brooklyn Boulders I went. (In some crazy act of luck, this was immediately following my 10-mile run that ended at the JackRabbit in Park Slope, so I only had to walk 10-15 minutes to get there.)

Another fitness fear I didn’t even realize I had was climbing a rock wall with a camera man in tow. Propel sent out a cameraman to film this adventure.

I got a quick intro from one of the instructors, and off and climbing I went! 

BRB, just signing my life away.

There’s three options at Brooklyn Boulders:

•Bouldering: you’re climbing smaller walls with no belay/harness (See: yellow/green wall.) 

•Auto-belay: you’re clipped into a harness, and a machine belays you

•Human belay: a human belays you. (Groundbreaking, I know.) You need to be with someone who’s certified to belay, though. Or find someone. We found a guy to belay me for a few rounds. (See: blue walls.)


I tried the bouldering, but quickly moved to the auto-belay area.

The idea of climbing without a harness wasn’t very appealing to me.


The instructor had me climb up a bit before trying out the auto-belay. I did NOT trust that machine at first, but I realized I sort of had to. I jumped and the safety net appeared, and all of that. 


You’re supposed to follow the tape to get to the top, if you’re wondering what the pink tape is. Looking up at the wall was really daunting, but I broke it into chunks: I first climbed about halfway up, to test the belay. No way was I climbing all the way to the top and then making sure that belay worked and I was comfortable with it. It just took me once testing it before I was ready to go up to the top. I got almost to the top, and they told me to go to the green rock all the way up top. Challenge accepted.



Between the fear and climbing pretty quickly, I got my heart rate up, and was dying for some cold Propel by the time I got down to rehydrate. (And, oh yeah, I ran 10 miles before.)  Luckily, there was a cooler of cold Propel waiting for me, in my favorite flavors, grape and strawberry.



This was much harder than the auto-belay wall, because there were 14 million different holds to grab on to. The instructors said they’d help if anyone got stuck figuring out which way to go, but my belayer was not a fan of me and not helpful. I got about 3/4 of the way up this wall, reached across weird, and tweaked a muscle in my shoulder and came down.


Verdict: I had a ridiculous amount of fun, and I would definitely go back. Also, I drank at least 4 Propels while there, no joke. Rock climbing is a legit workout, especially with a 10-mile warmup.


What’s your fitness fear? Have you faced any fitness fears that weren’t as bad as you thought?

NYC Running Route: Brooklyn Bridge

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Propel. I was compensated and all opinions are 100% my own.

My first few years in New York, I lived way downtown in the Financial District. While it wasn’t exactly the most happening place for a young, single girl, there was a certain peace about it. When I got off the subway at night to walk home, things were blissfully quiet compared to the craziness of my work ‘hood in Midtown.

And most importantly, I was just steps from the water. This is when I both started and fell in love with running. In less than 5 minutes, I could be on the waterside path and take my pick of running up the east or west sides of the city. OR I could run over the Brooklyn Bridge.

As a runner, you get to see layers of the city not everyone else sees. Most non-runner NYC residents probably think of the Brooklyn Bridge as another kinda cool but kinda touristy landmark that they generally want to stay away from. Me? I think it’s a beautiful pathway and challenging workout.


And for some reason, it’s even better in the fog. It forces you to take things one step at a time and not get ahead of yourself. And then, all of a sudden, the skyline pops up in your face and you fall in love all over again.

If you’re training for anything (life included), it’s always good to challenge yourself with some hills, and the Brooklyn Bridge provides that.


It’s the perfect length for a hilly tempo.

Warm-up/cooldown: I liked to start at Battery Park (because it was close to my apartment) and run up Broadway to the bridge’s entrance. It was about a mile, so it was the perfect warm-up and cooldown.

You might get caught at a light waiting to cross (don’t jaywalk here! It’s a sort of blind intersection), so here’s a great place to sneak in a little Propel before you start the real workout. I’m usually all for the bottle after/during a class or training session, the squirt drop Liquid Enhancers at work, and the Propel Powder powdered mix-ins for a run, because I can just add them to my handheld on the go.

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From the very beginning of the bridge to the end of the path in Brooklyn, it’s about 1.5 miles. Run as fast as you can uphill. You’ll hit a plateau for the middle third and be tempted to slow down. Don’t! (You’ll probably want to guzzle some Propel here, though.) Push through – there’s a sweet downhill coming up. Ride that baby downhill, and turn around and do it all over again. Drink up at the end!

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Make sure you do it early in the morning, before it’s swarming with tourists. This will also keep you from running hills in the heat of the midday sun. Also, STAY IN THE PEDESTRIAN LANE! (That will be the right side Brooklyn-bound, and the left side Manhattan-bound.) You know, unless you want to get run over by a cyclist.

No matter when you run, don’t forget your Propel!