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I am from Dallas, and growing up in Dallas meant that the majority of my climbing was done inside of a gym, mostly climbing for Team Texas. The closest outdoor crag was about 4 hours away, and it was nowhere near world class. You could say that I am a gym rat, but I consider all of my time in a gym preparation for either my next competition, or my next outdoor excursion.
Growing up on a large, competitive team, I was taught a few things at a fairly young age that have transferred over to my everyday life. One of those things is dealing with high pressure situations. Some athletes feel pressure before a competition that can negatively affect their performance, and I think that the ability to channel nervous feelings into self-assured power on the wall is an extremely useful tool in and out of climbing. I found that I have developed ways to take control of a situation instead of letting it control me. Another thing I learned from competitive team climbing is how to deal with failure. Countless times I have disappointed myself over and over in competitions, yet I was always forced to get it together and move on. My motto now is just to let it go, and there will always be another problem, competition, chance, etc.
To me the climbing community is unique to other sports, because although everyone works hard to achieve their own goals, everyone is 100% supportive of each other. The connections two team mates share is unique and will last forever, and it's something I cherish from my time on team Texas. Recently my sites have been set outdoors. In my eyes, outdoor climbing is a unique and interesting challenge that is different from indoor climbing in several ways. Not only is it more challenging on the hands, but more mentally stimulating. Unlike a problem set in a gym, an outdoor boulder has an unlimited number of options, and you must find the one that is perfect for you. The art of finding that perfect way for each individual, on different boulders, is what keeps me venturing out more and more lately.
Getting outside has also rejuvenated my psych! All climbers at some point in their career will experience a plateau, a period of no acceleration, and low psych. Maybe you have been climbing for years and you feel like there is nothing left for you, or you have only been climbing for a little while and you wonder if it is worth is to continue. I have felt these pressures before, yet I maintain my psych by thinking of my many memories climbing outside with friends, or climbing a really fun comp route and I think of how much I love the sport. The feeling of topping out a boulder, and finishing a route is not only personally motivating to every individual climber, but it is usually surrounded by friends, foreign countries, aesthetically beautiful scenes, camping, team mates and different cultures. Why not go climbing?
If you are interested in finding out more about what I am up to, check me out on Instagram @marisaromeroo
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