Short story: This is really hard!
Long story: I'm enjoying myself but worried that I may be falling behind the class. I've said it before and I'm saying it again: this girl is not naturally athletic and definitely not naturally coordinated. Having either one of those things in place would probably help. Being at the bottom of the class I've been going twice a week between classes to practice. Practicing alone usually means bouldering (ie climbing routes that go across or up only a bit because you are not harnessed in) which I never thought I would like and found out that I very much like. I tend to go late in the evenings at about 930 or 10 and climb until it closes at 11pm. This is because I hate crowds and I hate people watching me climb. Oh, and the endless birthday parties are worth avoiding as well.
The way climbing works is that you can just jump on the wall and climb however you want OR you can climb a pre-set route. The benefit of these ready-made routes usually marked by tape is that most require the use of at least one technique (often 2+) in order to complete it without cheating and these can help you get a lot better. One of my go-to warm-up routes is a bouldering route called "Backstepper's Walz". It is funny how you can show up one week nail a route or a "problem" (a very short route requiring a specific technique) and then go back a few days later and have to start all over again. Bouldering can also be fun because the climbing community is generally full of friendly people who will offer tips and suggestions of what foot hold to try or what maneuver to use. Last night I ended up out for pizza and beer (well....sprite for me) after finishing at 11pm with some MEC workers getting tips on the effective use of bear spray.
But this means I haven't been practicing top-roping (climbing UP the wall with the harness and ropes) because I need a partner to do that. Perhaps as I get to know more people at the gym this won't be such an obstacle.
Also, as fun as it is, climbing has an unfortunate effect on my knees and makes wearing knee length skirts to work less appealing.