Ambassador Spotlight | Brynn Keenan

Brynn Kennan Butora ambassador

Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina

Q: What’s your climbing style?
A: Bouldering

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment in climbing, and outside of climbing?
A: Doing The Amendment in the middle of winter. It felt like a pretty epic accomplishment – I spent a lot of time alone scrubbing snow off the top of that boulder, dropped all of my crash pads into Boulder Falls trying to hike to it after a big storm, and finally sent it on the one weekend day above freezing in January. It was equal parts physically and mentally challenging.

Outside of climbing I really love my job (quality manager for Left Hand brewing), enjoy running long distance, mountain biking, and recently built out a van. I take a lot of pride in progressing in climbing while balancing those other elements of life!

Q: What advice would you give to your first year climbing self?
A: If something hurts, STOP! It took me years to accept that when a muscle or tendon isn’t feeling quite right, climbing through it will put you further back in the long run.

Also, past Brynn, those cargo shorts were not cool. Seriously, wear literally anything else.

Q: Who do you take advice from and why?
A: I’m happy listen to advice from anyone willing to give it. Everyone’s perspective is valuable when you weigh it with your own experience and intuition.

Q: How has your training for climbing changed in the last year?
A: I’ve diversified my training quite a bit this year – running to stay fit, doing less weighted exercises and more ergonomic training. I’ve been focusing more on steady progression that feels natural, and less on high intensity weighted stuff.

Q: How has climbing affected the people you choose to surround yourself with?
A:Climbing is such an amazing community of people, and has ultimately shaped the group I surround myself with. It’s such a way of life that it really connects people all around the world who’d otherwise have never met.

Rock Climber Brynn Keenan

Q: What have you done to give back to the climbing community?
A: I’ve coached youth teams and lead trips to help get folks into the sport, but I think the biggest way I’ve given back is being open and helpful to newer climbers. Especially in Boulder climbing can be pretty intimidating, and a friendly face at the gym goes a long way.

Q: What have you learned from failure?
A: There’s always another angle, and you just have to get creative to find it. Failure is powerful when it’s turned into motivation.

Q: Who are the climbers that inspire you the most, and why?
A: I really admire climbers who are dedicated to climbing at a high level, but maintain a sense of humility. It really connects with what makes the climbing community so special.

Q: What is your favorite climbing location, and why?
A: Anywhere in the South East – The New River Gorge, Rocktown, and LRC to name a few. It just doesn’t get better than bullet sandstone and southern hospitality.

Q: Why Butora Climbing?
A: Butora is a great company, that produces amazing shoes, and gives back to the community. I’ve been climbing for 15 years, and have owned a laundry list of climbing shoes. It’s been 2 years with the Acro now, and I think it’s the perfect hybrid of performance and comfortability.

Rock Climber Brynn Keenan

Q: What are your favorite before and after climbing meals?
A: Favorite meal: Pizza for all of the occasions, but what I actually eat is a lot of stir-fry with brown rice, veggies, and protein.

Favorite during climbing: I like anything as long as it’s real food, but what I actually eat is whatever energy bar I find in my climbing pack because I forgot my food.

Q: What is your spirit animal?
A: Narwhalicorn 🦄

 

Questions from the Internet

These are questions our visitors have asked.

 

Q: What differences have you found in climbing Narsha versus climbing in Acro?
A: I find that the Acro is a good balance between aggressive and flexible – it translates really well from steeps to face climbing and everything in between. The Narsha is a bit stiffer and pulls through during those time when you need a pretty aggressive downturned shoe.

Q: What are some tips you would give to new outdoor climbers about crag etiquette?
A: Chalk your hands before touching the holds, It keep the holds from getting as greasy.

Maybe this is just me, but I also think it’s nice to say hi to everyone when you roll up to a boulder that other people are working on. On the other side when you leave it’s polite to ask if anyone wants one more burn before pulling your pads out of the pile.

Rock Climber Brynn Keenan

Q: Tips you would give to someone who is stuck on their project? How do you stay motivated when you are stuck?
A: Try bringing new people out to mix it up, maybe they’ll come up with beta that you didn’t see and bring new psyche. For low percentage moves, work that one move, then move outwards – once you get it, keep adding one more move beforehand until it’s linked from the beginning. If you just can’t seem to do the move, try taking a break and training for it.

Q: How have you overcome fear in climbing (fear of falling, fear of failure, etc.)?
A: I broke my back in Bishop when I was 22, and couldn’t climb for a year. When I came back I was pretty paralyzed with fear for a long time, and all I can say is try to find the balance between healthy and unhealthy fear. For me, that means evaluating all of the potential risks, what the consequences are, and eventually deciding if it’s worth it. If you aren’t afraid to say no, the fear will take care of itself when you decide that it’s something that you really want.

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