Age: 20 (I turn 21 in about three weeks)
Location: Dallas, Texas
Types of climbing you do: Bouldering is my main focus, but I also top rope every now and then. I will be moving into lead heavily after the winter. I’m making a trip to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch over Thanksgiving and another trip to Heuco Tanks for two weeks during winter break, so I’m focusing heavily on bouldering until then.
How often do you climb: I climb a minimum of three times a week in the gym for about 4-5 hours. I try to go about 4 times a week. Rest days are just as important as gym sessions. I’ve only climbed outdoors once and it was at Roger’s Park at Lake Belton in Texas.
Home crag(s): Within reasonable driving distance, there’s Roger’s Park, Eisenhower State Park, The Greenbelt in Austin, Reimer’s Ranch, Lake Travis and Lake Whiteney for deep water free soloing, and the nine hour drive to Hueco. There’s probably a million other spots in Texas, but those are the first that come to mind.
Favorite crag(s): Not enough experience to really say… I know I’m going to absolutely die when I touch the rock out in El Paso though.
Where you’d love to go rock climbing: Hueco Tanks, The Buttermilks, HP40, Bishop, HCR, RRG, THE ROCKLANDS, The Font, etc.
Home gym: Dallas Rocks (where I climb/train), Exposure (where Team Texas, ranked #1 in the country trains), Summit, and Canyons
Rating you climb at (V_, 5._): V6/V7, 5.11+/5.12- (probably stronger than that by now)
Hardest onsight (V_, 5._): V6, 5.11+ (really not sure. I haven’t rope climbed in a good long while)
Hardest send (V_, 5._): V7, 5.12-
Favorite route and where: Haven’t done any rope climbing outdoors.
Favorite problem and where: Favorite that I have climbed/worked on— “Zen” (V5) at Roger’s Park in Texas.
Got any projects? “Zen” V5 and “Zen and Tao” V6 at Roger’s Park
Shoes you wear: La Sportiva Solutions. I’d love to get my feet in some Miura VS’s, Testarossas, Futuras, as well as some FiveTen Dragons. If only I had money… hahaha
Favorite gear companies: Petzl, Arcteryx, meh… don’t really own much gear. I’d love to get some jumbo pads for bouldering though.
Favorite climbing clothes companies: Verve. I REALLY want some verve pants and/or knickers. For my 21st would be sweet.
Any sponsors? LOL. No.
Do you compete? I compete in the collegiate series for my school UT Dallas.
Been to nationals? Nope.
Favorite comps: I climbed in a comp at UNT that was a ton of fun.
Favorite comp moment: Onsighting a really cool slab route.
Interesting experiences: Climbing with kids on the Southern Rocks team as well as Brian Antheunisse of Team Texas (now coach). They’re all so phenomenal and encouraging. Watching BA do his thing is a whole different world of climbing that I can only dream of being a part of. I’ve also run into Carlo Traversi and Alex Puccio while climbing at my home gym. Puccio’s younger brother trains and climbs on the team at my gym and her mother is the coach of the youth team.
Any bad climbing injuries: Sprained ankle. I rolled it after taking a bad fall onto the shitty mats at Dallas Rocks. Put me out of the game for about a month.
Perfect pre-climbing food: Still figuring this one out. Usually it helps if I’ve had a decent sized meal several hours before climbing and then if I take in some carbs for some quick burning energy before climbing.
Favorite jams to climb to: I don’t really climb to music all that often. I really enjoy it when my gym puts on Led Zeppelin though (half the reason I go there :P).
Do you train at all? I’ve recently started training. I ran a pyramid workout on Monday but only had time to do half of it. I also sometimes do 4X4s, 4X4s with lockoffs, Trisets, Ab routines, etc. Mainly I just climb though and project and push my limit. As of right now I’m breaking down the barrier between V6 and V7. Usually after 4 hours of climbing I’ll try to campus some low grade stuff before I go home. I’ve successfully campused V4. But usually I campus V0-V2.
Favorite climbing movies: Progression, Reel Rock Tour 2010 & 2011, King Lines, and the First Ascent series.
Anything else? Climbing is my absolute favorite hobby and pastime. Not only is it physically demanding, but it also requires creativity, body awareness, flexibility, and most importantly—a good mental game. Staying positive and always trying hard are the two most important things in climbing I would say and they translate to daily life quite well for me. Climbing is not only a sport or a hobby, but it really makes me feel like a better person. My day is always brightened up when I get to go climb and see what I can get my body to do. I feel like I’m always just one more hard attempt away from breaking new ground and that feels awesome. I know I have the strength to send V7 and I know I can develop the strength to get me all the way to sending double digits outdoors one day. Not only is it personally a great thing, but the climbing community is also one of the coolest I’ve found. Everyone is so relaxed and open with one another. People just want to hang out, talk, try some hard ass problems, and encourage each other to break through their projects. I love that climbing promotes a lifestyle outdoors and encourages travel. Just the whole package of a climber’s lifestyle appeals to me in every way. LET’S GO FIND ADVENTURE! :D
Beat to hell
I have spent six of the last seven days climbing hard in the gym. I need a rest day BADLY. Work hard, rest harder (: can’t wait to go in soon to send some more stuff. I also bought some webbing today to start doing some distal phalanx lifts (courtesy of finding-elysium) to improve my finger/tendon strength. I’m stoked!
There are five V6 projects I have now. One of them is a fucking marathon. Straight up 22 moves traversing the entire wall. It’s gonna go down though. I have all the moves, just gotta link it up when I’m fresh. I also have two V7 projects. I am literally one move away from my first V7 and I only got my first V6 days ago. The last move on it is super desperate though because it requires this shit toe-hook around an arete coming off of a good crimp rail. Basically the last move is a scary throw to the tape finish that either ends in some serious superman horizontal swing or in a sketchy fall. I’m cruising the rest of it though and that feels fucking good. There’s also this really slope-ey campus-ey V7 that I’ve got pretty dialed. Just working out the last couple moves. I really want to get the send in on these two things. Either way, I’m training hard and I’m definitely loving to see this progression.
On a side note, crossfit pull-ups may be efficient, but I still don’t like them at all. I’d rather do 40 straight pull-ups with locked out arms than 100 the crossfit way. Gotta get that power endurance!
Climbing for at least four hours tomorrow
Hopefully gonna send that V7 I love soo much. A really powerful V5 on the roof as well. Tomorrow is a day for sending. (:
First Outdoor Bouldering Experience
Just got back from being at the crag all day at Lake Belton. I climbed surprisingly better than I expected to for my first time outdoors. I worked a V4 called The Reach that was SUER fun and a V5 called Zen that was giving me some trouble. It was soo relaxing to be able to lay down under the leaves, illuminated by the sun, hear them rustle in the breeze, close my eyes and nap on a crash pad after working some really cool problems with some great friends. I saw some familiar faces from the gym I climb at while I was there. I also made two new friends, Dalan and Elizabeth who climb for Southern Rocks along with Addison. They were so warm and inviting and it was great to be able to share the day with them (: I can’t wait to go back next weekend and send some problems and climb in the Austin comp. It’s going to be fantastic!
I’ve recently been having extremely violent and or sexually-charged dreams in which I’m witnessing and/or committing some heinous crime. It’s really distressing because I feel very attached to the dreams I have (and the only reason I make that distinction is because I’ve talked to many people who tell me they don’t dream much or just don’t remember them). Well I’ve focused and worked a little bit to get to a point where my dreams generally mean something and have a very different vibe each time. I sometimes wake up with a new insight about my life, and that feels really refreshing when I start my day. However, a couple times this week I’ve just had these awful nightmares that are kind of throwing off my groove and it’s odd. I’m surprised I’m having them especially at a point where things are improving in my life. My ankle is well on it’s way to healing, I’m rock climbing again, I got approved for an awesome apartment last for June, and school is going really well too. So I’m at a loss when trying to figure out why I’ve been kept in these gross dreams. Perhaps it’s something I need to improve in my daily habits, or maybe it’s something I will work out subconsciously while sleeping. I think it may be the latter, but I guess I’ll figure out in the nights to come.
On a nicer note, I rock climbed again yesterday and bouldered for the first time in seven weeks. It felt AWESOME to be back in the game! I mean, my ankle is still really weak and I can’t toe hard into very many holds, but I was working V5/V6 moves and making good progress on them. My contact strength has actually gone up during my injury. I believe it has to do with climbing rope and having my feet cut all the damn time because I was only using beta that accommodated my one good foot. So knowing that my strength is near what it was before my injury is very reassuring. I’m just gonna keep pushing and treat my ankle well. My lockoffs are much stronger now and I can really just crank up on them and static to the next hold. There’s this really crimpy V6 that I want to send, and a V5 and V6 on the really overhung wall that are both really core&footwork oriented. There’s also another wall with a V5&V6 as well that are both bunch of slopers and pinches. All of these really excite me and I hope to make progress on them. (:
Haven’t Posted In Awhile
So on tuesday two things happened. First, the good: I finished mounting and setting up my Metolius hangboard. So now I have started finger strength training and lockoffs. I’m stoked about that. Unfortunately that night when I went bouldering at Dallas Rocks, I popped off of the top of 1st Sister wall and roll right over my ankle and sprained the ever-living-fuck out of it. I was climbing at my strongest I have so far. I was finishing a V6 I had just started working on which felt amazing and I came two moves away from sending a new V7 they just put up. I also sent two more V5s which felt great. All was going well. So I took a break and decided to climb a lower rating. I was just enjoying the climb, not paying any particular attention to my footwork as I should have, when I’m on the final hold (a really tiny crimp) and my feet popped me off of the wall. Normally I just hit the crash pads and it’s all good, but this time my entire body weight rolled over my right ankle. I saw it go sideways, heard and felt a loud pop and then proceeded to yell out curse words for all of the young Southern Rocks team to hear. My friend Addison Kim, who is going to Colorado for nationals in a week, needed to continue training because he wants to kill this year. He offered to drive me immediately to hospital, but I told him, “No man, you’re going to nationals! Train hard! I’ll just ice and rest and enjoy watching you guys climb. We’ll go when you’re done.” So and hour and a half pass by and my ankle swelled up to the size of a softball. I wound up at The Medical Center of Plano where I got an X-Ray. It was possibly the best hospital experience I’ve had so far. My mother called ahead for me and turns out her friend Holly was waayyy up there in the hierarchy of things, so she sent me a gift basket while I was waiting on the xray results. Turns out my best friend’s dad is also a surgeon’s first assistant at that hospital, so he helped me pick up my meds and drove me home to my apartment. The night couldn’t have gone better for such a disappointing injury.
I was just sooo bummed about it because I have really been seeing strides in my strength recently (not to mention I was getting much more flexible from my yoga class and my stretching, alignment and conditioning class). All of my friends are all bouldering on the sick new problems that were just put up, they’re buildering, and lead climbing. ALL OF IT WITHOUT ME. AHHH it’s soo depressing. I’m a busy body and not meant to be hobbling all over the place asking for rides and for people to get me shit because I can’t walk practically. Luckily though, I have my hangboard so I can continue getting stronger and I can do my core workouts on my own without further injuring my ankle.
Getting to class has been made significantly harder. Campus seems soo much begger when you’re on crutches. hahaha in all honesty, I wish my ankle had just made a clean break because that would have been a faster heal time. Not to mention, a sprain like this can take awhile to recover from and it’s much more likely to be a recurring injury. Super bummed. Anyways, once I can put weight on my boot, I’m going to just top rope a lot with one foot and campus stuff. We’ll see how it all goes. I’m praying it only takes another three weeks to heal.
Bleck. I’ll post a picture of my ankle in a minute.