What are your climbing goals?
Learn to lead outside. For now I just boulder or clean after a friend leads the way to the top outdoors. Also I wouldn’t mind getting better at sloper holds indoors. I think I’ve gotten used to the pinch and the pockets which were my last set of goals, and I’ve mastered past vertical climbing which was my initial goal upon starting to climb a little over three years ago. The goals never stop, just pit stops for sweeter and sicker routes!
Most memorable climbing experience?
My first NC3 competition on the Portland State University (PSU) Climbing Team, which was actually hosted at Oregon State University. It was electric to feel the vibe of climbers of all backgrounds and levels come together to do what they love. Moreso, it was my first experience of camaraderie across the board, while different school teams would actually root you on even if you were scoring higher than them, because it was literally awe-some to see some people successfully do some of the climbs they set.
What do you like most about MyClimb?
I love that there’s an actual app just for climbing, and it doesn’t discriminate against your preference of climbing discipline. Besides all the exercise apps and track your burned calorie apps out there, this is specific! Clearly made by climbers for climbers because it takes into account everything: whether at popular outdoor wall faces or indoors at specific gyms with different rating styles (minus/plus vs. A-D) MyClimb takes care of it all. Because of this, MyClimb is my favorite source for keeping a personal climbing diary. I can keep track of my frequency, accuracy, stamina, and even attempts of specific climbs with plenty of spots to make notes in case I’m really stuck on a problem. Besides just keeping the log for my own use, the fact I score “climb points” per session and can link to other climbers locally and globally that’s just a cool bonus.
What do you enjoy most about climbing?
I love the sensation of being aware of every inch of my body. It’s a full body workout in a way where you feel your finger tips hanging on, your tip toes digging deep, your abdominal muscles contracting tight, your center of gravity shift, and the whole while you utilize and build up your shoulder and hip flexibility. When you’re on a wall and exhale before you make that next move, you are connecting every single set of muscles and tendons on command like an army preparing for a unified march—a coordinated move to the next hold. I truly crave climbing especially on hectic days because I know that’s when I feel the most disconnected. Climbing makes me feel connected and rooted.
How did you start climbing?
Funny story… It was Christmas 2012 and I had just recently had foot surgery for ripping a tendon during a half marathon. I was in the sad part of recovery where I “itched” for exercise. While at my husband’s holiday family reunion, all the active people also got the itch for something fun and lively to do. Being Christmas time, there were limited choices of places to go or things to do. It just so happened there was a climbing gym open, with auto-belays, conveniently for a bunch of newbies to give climbing a whirl. I went along to be “part of the team” but of course I couldn’t climb so I became “the guardian of winter coats and purses” while the family climbed. I looked on longingly and wished I could remember that feeling of what climbing was about because I couldn’t even recall if I liked it or not at the time. I had only climbed indoors twice before when I was an undergrad at UGA which felt like forever ago. I decided it was active, and they all looked like they were having fun, so when I recovered I’d have to try it again. Valentine’s 2013, when I was finally healed, my husband surprised me with a one month membership to our local climbing gym so I could experience what I missed out on. After two weeks, I was hooked and we immediately upgraded our membership to the annual one. My podiatrist didn’t love the fact that I was jamming my freshly healed foot into small climbing shoes in the “power position” at the time, but three years later and so far so good—I just love climbing way to much!!!
Favorite Climbing Discipline?
Top Rope. It might be where most people start and not so fancy after a while, but I still feel like it’s the best place to learn. I love bouldering too, but when you’re still trying to master a 5.12 you need that rope to take breaks and try things out. If it was a V6 (clearly these are my “impossible levels” but however hard your hardest problem is), you’d make two moves, fall over and over and get exhausted before you could even figure out the third move. It takes so much longer to get past each hold because you don’t have that luxury of the rope; plus when you get tired bouldering your technique gets sloppier but if you’re trying to learn a new beta on a rope, it’s more forgiving so you can actually clean up your technique.