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Being outside has always been a significant part of my life. Camping trips were a regular occurrence growing up in my family. I learned to appreciate nature and loved exploring it. Out of all the time I spent outside, I most enjoyed rock climbing. My dad’s big hobby is technical slot canyoneering. I was fascinated by all the rope and gear that he kept stashed in a special room, and was always excited when he would demonstrate how all this equipment worked. While I wasn’t able to go canyoneering when I was really young, my dad would take me out top roping a few times a year. Even when I wasn’t out climbing with my dad I still put on my lizard harness and would run around the neighborhood climbing on retaining walls, balconies, or anything I could get my hands on. When I turned 10 I was finally considered old enough to go on a canyoneering trip with my dad. I remember being in awe of the beautiful slot canyons with their curved walls, potholes, and incredible drop-offs. I continued to go on canyoneering trips as often as I could. With time, however, I started to think more about going up than rappelling down. As I was rappelling down, I would look at the canyon walls and dream about climbing up.
Around 15, a couple, Jason and Whitney, moved into our neighborhood. I found out Jason was a climber, and decided to ask if he’d teach me to really climb. I still remember the first day Jason took me bouldering up Little Cottonwood Canyon. I loved the powerful and challenging movements, and it felt great to be on the rock without pounds of gear hanging off of me. I was truly hooked. Jason later taught me to lead climb, but I always gravitated back to bouldering.
For the next few years climbing was always a part of my life, but it was more of a seasonal hobby. I loved to go out and climb whenever I could during the summer and spring, but always got distracted by other pursuits in the winter and would have to essentially start from square one again the next season. However, as I climbed more, my desire to get better continued to grow. About two years ago is when I really became committed to climbing. I couldn’t get enough of it. I climbed outside and indoors. I dreamed and day dreamed about climbing. I watched endless videos, and tried to learn as much as I could about the sport. I began to seriously train and try and push myself.
Climbing went from a favorite hobby to a lifestyle. I haven’t looked back since. I can’t imagine my life without climbing, and it has helped shape me into the person I am today. I find the physical moves exhilarating, and the mental aspect endlessly stimulating. I love the variety that climbing presents, and am fascinated by how a different problem can be uniquely solved by each individual. Recently, I’ve focused my energy on the creative aspect of climbing. I started setting routes and boulder problems over a year ago, and this opened my eyes to a whole new aspect of climbing. I still train in order to push my limits, and regularly look for problems to repeat and develop new skills on. However, I’m much more interested in finding new lines and discovering new areas. I enjoy the mental challenge of looking at a rock and finding a line and then trying to make that vision a reality. I constantly seek the exhilaration that comes after working a line, failing over and over, and then unlocking the problem and getting to the top. I’m very grateful for the lessons climbing has taught me, the friends it has introduced me to, and the places it has taken me. It will always be a part of who I am.
Non-climbing related stuff:
I grew up in Salt Lake City, and am the oldest of five kids. I am currently finishing up my last semester of undergraduate work at the University of Utah. I’ll graduate with a Biophysics major and chemistry minor. I hope to go to medical school in the future. I love learning new things, and have found an outlet for this in music. I play violin, viola, piano, guitar, organ, and mandolin, and love composing in my free time. I also spent two years in Hungary as part of a church service program, and learned Hungarian through that.
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