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I am a climber, most of my friends are climbers! It was cool growing up in the climbing community and meeting people at competitions across the country. I still keep in touch with the friends I grew up with from the Earth Treks Climbing team. We all worked towards the same goals, made the same sacrifices, and went through a lot together as a team, and became very close. Also I've converted some of my non-climbing friends to the wonderful world of climbing.
Self-confidence and time management are the two things that climbing has taught me that help me manage my everyday life. Balancing work, school, 8 hours of sleep, and training is a lot, but I'm pretty good at making schedules and planning out how to get everything done. Along the same lines, I've learned to be confident in who I am, which makes it a little bit easier to sacrifice some things in my life in order to work towards my goals.
Competitive climbing has also been a tremendous benefit to my life. It's really awesome to see all your hard work and training pay off. It's always thrilling to hear the crowd and all your friends cheering for you when you're trying really hard and doing well on a climb. Unfortunately this doesn't always happen, but my failures have always left me psyched to work even harder toward my goals, and of course I love to see all my friends and climb the competition routes.
After finishing my competitive climbing career I feel fortunate to have found a new community with the UNC Climbing Club and the climbing team at Triangle Rock Club, where I am currently a coach. Through coaching the team kids at Triangle Rock Club, I also find inspiration. I love it! I'm constantly inspired by how strong the kids are, and how much work they put into training. Although, I'd say coaching a championship event is just as much work and just as much stress as actually competing in one. I know how much it means to all those kids to do their best, so now I stress about multiple peoples' climbing instead of just my own.
As far as my own climbing, I prefer outdoor sport climbing to indoor climbing because to me, nothing beats 80 plus feet of climbing on real rock with beautiful views, but that doesn't mean I don't love to climb in gyms as well. Gym routes can have funky moves on weird volumes that are always really fun to play around on, and they're also a lot more efficient for training.
My favorite part of climbing is the internal mental fight we have to maintain to stay on the rock. My old coach, Will Anglin, first introduced me to this idea of seeing a "ghost" version of yourself successfully completing a move right before you actually do it. It sounds kind of silly, but if you don't actually believe you can do the next move, you fail before you even try. In rope climbing, the majority of the time you know you can do every move, you just have to link them together when you're really pumped. This means that it's super important to be mentally present. I love getting into that zone and fighting all the way to the chains.
My current favorite climb:
Gene Wilder (12d/13a) at the Red River gorge
Angry Birds (13c)
The Pod (13b)
Table of Colors Direct (13b)
Dial 9-1-1 (13a)
Paradise Lost (13a)
Quinsana Plus (13a)
5th at 2012 ABS nationals
2nd at Pan American Championship in Santiago, Chile for sport and bouldering (2012)
2nd at ABS nationals 2014
4th at Pan Ams in Mexico City for bouldering (2014)
Member of the 2014 North Face Rookie team
If you would like to find out further about what I am up to you can check me out
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