Rock climbing is a perishable skill. Thankfully, each time we find ourselves in too pathetic a state, we have the Phoenix Rock Gym to help with the necessary repairs. The two bouldering areas, including an upstairs room with sharply overhanging walls, are perfect for muscle-building and fingertip-hardening. Once we get back in shape, we usually can then find a partner who'll be willing to belay us on the 30-foot faces of the gym's main walls. Despite its friendly ambiance, the Valley's oldest rock gym has a hard side — we've ripped skin there, tweaked a limb on the lead wall, and worked our forearms until our hands could barely close. But it's all good. For inspiration, we look to the teens and tweens of Team Thrashers, the competitive climbing outfit that trains at the PRG under the tutelage of coach Jeremy Cox. Nothing motivates us to work out harder than watching a kid do 30 pull-ups without breaking a sweat.