HOW TO DO EVERYTHING BETTER
SCALE A MASSIVE
Bouldering—climbing large rocks
without ropes—can help build muscle
and conquer your fears. Round up a
buddy or two and follow these steps
for an intense, thrilling workout.
ASSEMBLE YOUR GEAR
You don’t need ropes and harnesses
for bouldering. Just find a large, thick
crash pad, like the Metolius Sketch Pad
($115, metoliusclimbing.com), and thin,
sturdy climbing shoes, such as the Five
Ten Blacks ( fiveten.com, $160). You’ll
also want a basic chalk bag, like evolv’s
Roundtangular bag ($19, rei.com).
RESCUE A WOMAN
FROM A PARTY BORE
She’s been cornered by some blowhard. Your mission: Save her! Here’s how, according to UCLA psychologist
Gerald Goodman, Ph.D., author of The Talk Book: The Intimate Science of Communicating in Close Relationships.
DO SOME RECONNAISSANCE
k Make sure she actually wants
to be rescued. Are her arms
crossed? Is she checking her
phone a lot? Has she locked eyes
with you across the room? Is she
mouthing the word “help” every
time he turns away? Yep, those are
pretty unmistakable signal flares.
BE THE BORE ANTIDOTE
k Do the exact opposite of what
he’s doing; she doesn’t need two
gasbags to deal with. You’ll come
across as the more appealing guy.
Analyze his movements. Is he
talking her ear off and obnoxiously
laughing at his own jokes? Then
avoid cheap humor and let her
lead the conversation. Is he hitting
on her yet staring at every pair of
breasts that pass by? Then it’s
your job to keep your gaze on her.
weren’t here?”) Keep your eyes
solely on her, and follow up on her
responses. This helps transition
the three-way chat into something
a bit more exclusive. If he tries to
steal the spotlight, shift your body
so you’re facing only her. Then proceed with your conversation.
SCOPE OU T YOUR ROCK
Hit up rockclimbing.com to find great
boulders near you, or scout your own.
Your wall should be 10 to 16 feet high
with a flat area for your crash pad and
handholds or cracks you can follow,
says Chris Potts, co-owner of the Seattle
Bouldering Project. Chalk marks from
previous climbers signal preapproval.
CREATE A DIVERSION
k When you sense a lull in their
“conversation,” casually approach
and introduce yourself to both of
them. Find the common ground.
Go with something like, “So, how
do you two know our host?” Or ask
if they’ve tried the killer martinis.
Once you’re in, focus more on him.
When you show him respect, he
feels less threatened by you.
SHIFT YOUR INTEREST
k Once his guard is down—he’s
talking more slowly, his shoulders
are relaxed—switch your focus to
her. Ask questions that prompt
thoughtful responses. (“What else
would you be doing tonight if you
SPIRIT HER AWAY
k At the next lull, say it’s been
a pleasure and tell him you’ll see
him around. Mention to her that
you’re off to grab another drink
and casually invite her along. By
doing this, you’re not only bypassing confrontation but also making
it clear to the schmo that he’s
uninvited. Plus, if she follows, it
reassures you that she was interested in you in the first place.
PLAN YOUR ROU TE
Set up a challenge—reaching the top,
traversing a face, or going all the way
around the boulder, says Patrick Oden-beck of montanabouldering.com. Have
your buddy spot you, moving the crash
pad as you move. His goal shouldn’t
be to catch you but instead to prevent
you from falling on your back or neck.
Make a Muscle Cramp Vanish
Stop your wincing with this simple trick from top physical therapist Bill Hartman, C. S. C. S., P. T.
DON’T STRETCH Cramps are caused by your muscles contracting uncontrollably, and your natural
reaction when a cramp sets in is to try to stretch your way out of it. Resist the urge to elongate the muscle.
Stretching only puts your muscle through more strain, which could lead to more pain.
FLEX INSTEAD Leverage the intelligent approach: reciprocal inhibition (RI). This is a nervous-system
phenomenon that you can activate yourself. When you contract the muscle on one side of a joint hard
enough, the opposing muscle—the one cramping, in this case—will stop firing, easing the cramp. The
following cramps are the most common. The next time one strikes, put RI into action with these moves.
1. Bottom of your foot
Lift your toes toward your shin.
Bend your ankle, bringing your foot toward your shin.
Sitting or standing, fully extend your lower leg.
KEEP YOUR MOMENTUM
Rookies tend to stand on the middle of
their feet when climbing, placing their
feet parallel to the boulder, which saps
power from their legs. Instead, stand on
your toes. This helps you engage your
calves, aiding balance and letting you
power up the rock, says Potts. Your legs
should absorb most of your weight.