BizLook: Blocworks

Written by By Maria Veres in the September 2020 Issue

Outlook September 2020 - Blocworks

Most of us will never stand on Everest. But now Edmond residents can enjoy the rewards of climbing without ever leaving town. Blocworks Climbing offers rock-wall adventures for climbers of all ability levels.

Rising to the Challenge

Blocworks focuses on bouldering, or ropes-free climbing. There’s no special equipment except climbing shoes, which can be rented. The rock walls have thick pads blow them to cushion any falls.

Climbing may seem intimidating, but almost anyone can learn the basics. Each Blocworks course is marked with a unique color-coding system according to difficulty. Courses change at least once a week, so the climbs never grow stale.

Bouldering is a great full-body workout. It also hones patience, problem-solving skills, and persistence. Climbers learn how to fail and how to handle fear. “I think the mental benefits are even greater than the physical benefits,” says Evan Small, who co-owns Blocworks with his wife Mariah.

Adventures for All Ages

Evan and Mariah have a special place in their hearts for young adults. Their goal is to make Blocworks not just a climbing gym, but a supportive community. The facilities include a spacious patio where people can socialize, sip a nonalcoholic beverage, or use the free wi-fi to work. For climbers who want to try bouldering outdoors, the Smalls will lead free community outings to prime bouldering sites around Oklahoma this fall.

For younger climbers, the gym is launching recreational youth programs with the goal of forming a competitive team. Through these programs, the Smalls hope to give children and teens a rewarding lifelong skill. The gym also offers “Little Blocs” sessions for the eight-and-under crowd.

Although Blocworks only opened in February—a month before the pandemic forced gyms to close—Evan and Mariah are already building the community they envision. On a typical evening, Evan loves to see climbers not only scaling walls, but also chatting on the pads or relaxing on the patio. “It’s a very unique atmosphere,” he says. “We feel blessed to provide that.”

Blocworks is located in Edmond at 104 South Broadway and online at climbblocworks.com.

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