|Place of residence:||Gypsum, CO|
|With EDELRID since:||I became EDELRID North America’s first outside Sales Representative at the end of 2018. My territory is the Rockies: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico. I am just now (April 2020) becoming an EDELRID team member. Yee-hah!|
|Sponsors:||EDELRID, Sportiva, Cilogear, Atomik, Rhinoskin, and Chalk Cartel.|
I feel fortunate to live in Eagle County, CO. We have excellent access to very good rock climbing all year long: summer crags and winter crags. I also really enjoy winter climbing, which works well here as we live 30 minutes from East Vail and 20 minutes from the Glenwood Canyon ice.
As for visiting different favorite places.. There are too many to mention. A road trip is always fun, but as time goes on, I find that enjoying what is close to me has become more important.
I am the person who began the belay glasses craze in the US when I began importing the original belay glasses, The CU Belay Glasses, from Germany.
I am an All-arounder. I regularly participate in all of the above mentioned as well as winter climbing and its' disciplines: ice, mixed, and alpine. For me, each type provides different types of problem solving, satisfaction and joy. The fact that I have always enjoyed winter plays well into being able to climb outside year round.
I began rock climbing in the fall of 1988 while living in Boulder, for college. I learned to climb in Eldorado and Boulder Canyon by following traditional routes and then leading them, grade by grade.
I would have to say the mental aspect of climbing is what sets it apart from all other sports or physical activities I have done. This is what has kept my interest, my fascination and my love for climbing intact for this long. There is so much potential for thoughtfulness and focus while climbing. Being able to have these moments while also being in such a physical state creates a unique combination for me. Movement, imagination, climbing feeds my Soul.
I am not sure about the childhood hero. Probably my Grandfather. He was always kind to people, no matter who it was. He took care of his family.
I do consider myself a role model. Both of my children grew up playing soccer, lacrosse, and climbing. I coached them in all three of these sports and I still coach the older, competitive kids in our area. I feel strongly that these kids did not meet me just so that I can coach them. Succeeding in life will help one to become a better climber more than being a good climber will help one to succeed in life. Climbing is a bit selfish, and certainly, life success is more important. These kids need to know this earlier than later.
I recently turned 50 and am stronger and climbing as hard as I ever have. I suppose it is good for aging people to see this. It is not necessary to keep getting stronger, but I do think it is important, very important, to keep moving and to continue to overcome challenges as we age.
In life... My most important milestones were the birth of my children. Schuyler (Sky), my son, is 25. Marlee, my daughter, is almost 22. I immediately recognized the importance of these two, and I put effort in every day to make sure that they know they are loved.
In climbing... Realizing that with good footwork, one can get climbing shoes to stick almost anywhere, well placed gear in good rock or good ice, will hold falls, and that belayers should be more than just ballast are a few important milestones. These were recognized quite quickly.
Failures and setbacks.. I have had plenty in life and in climbing. Learning to find proper motivation to try again and then again and again if need be, has been paramount for me to keep pushing for so long. I feel strongly that if I am to succeed with my climbing, I must succeed in my life. They are connected.
In April of 2004, my left mid-foot was crushed in a mixed climbing accident in East Vail. 7 bones in my mid foot were broken or crushed. For almost 5 months, I was in an external fixator and was not allowed to place my foot on the ground. Once the bones healed, I still needed crutches for 2 months, then a cane for a month, then a limp. 18 months later, I was cleared for all activities. Even then, it took me a couple of years to drop the irrational fears that accompanied such a horrible accident. My love for climbing is what got me through this period. Slowly, as my body healed, so did my Spirit for climbing.
Too many to say. Probably why climbing means so much to me... Each day of climbing has the potential to be such a good day, a day that I will remember, a day where I become more content.
I have a training schedule but it is not too strict. After so many years of climbing and so many climbing related injuries, I am much better at knowing when I need to step back, ease up, and or, even stop climbing / training.
Since I enjoy winter climbing so much, to some degree, my training changes with the seasons. Inevitably, my fingers get a break during the winter months as I train my larger muscle groups more and when the ice begins to melt, it is again time to start my finger training.
Tailor your training to your climbing interests / needs. There is so much information on the web.
Be honest with self-assessment and embrace your weaknesses'.
Honor the days when you feel strong and motivated, and train with focus and intensity.
Honor the days when you feel tired and not ready, and move easily or rest even.
Regularly mix up your routines in order to stay psyched and in order to continuously shock the system.
Take care to strengthen the smaller muscle groups along the way, i.e. the rotator cuff muscles and wrist extensors.
Rest more often.
I think gyms are a good place to learn the basics. They also allow folks to climb who would not otherwise have access to such a potentially, life changing activity like climbing. Gyms certainly allow for focused training and for a quick climbing fix as well. While I would prefer to climb outside, gym climbing can be fun and productive. I have built out the garage so that we have access to a small gym.
One arm.. No. Almost. Someday perhaps.
I can do a few pull-ups from my two middle fingers assuming the pockets are good ones.
In this current era of so much over-hyped Social Media, many "pro" climbers are perhaps a bit better than average at climbing, but are quite skilled at posting, obtaining followers and getting likes. Before SM became so popular, one's climbing achievements were the most important stat to follow. Real skill was more apparent, easier to see. Since SM seems to be part of the deal now, most "pro" climbers have built up more of a synthetic side to their climbing presence to keep their value, to stay popular, and to help sell products.
I am a true believer of the fact that for every well-known climber who is "very good", there is a much lesser known climber who is just as good, and maybe even better. I would venture to say that without SM worries / constraints, these peoples' motivations are more pure and thereby more sustainable.
I think most people could pull off either of the above, mentioned goals if they set their minds to it and if their motivations are proper. Such is the strength of the mind.
Goals are paramount to forward progress, to growth, and to success: in life or climbing. To obtain an objective, one must determine a plan and then execute said plan. Goals give me something to focus my energy on.
I would like to boulder V10 and to climb 14a. I would also like to travel a bit more in order to do some bigger, longer routes.
I would like to grow my business in such a way so that I can help my children, so that I can support myself, and so that I might create a life where I do have the time to train and to climb as I wish.
I would like those around me, especially my inner circle people, to see that I am working with diligence and intent to grow. To grow my life, and to grow my climbing.
I would like to find a balance between my life and my climbing.
If something is extremely difficult, I know straight away that patience and persistence will be key to figuring out said problem. It is the same way with life problems. With patience, comes calm. With calm, comes clear thought and access to our power. Clear thought and flowing power usually bring success. If not, try again.
Frustration will surely arise. Accept it. Breathe. Try again.
I find it easier to not lose motivation if my motivation is pure – my own, and not related to some external factor like who did what or Social Media. My love for climbing is so strong that while it is difficult to be motivated at times, I know my source of motivation is healthy and that it will fuel me onward to success.
I would prefer that Social Media was not so prevalent and pertinent in the climbing world. I feel that SM has led to an increase in how all of our egos' are now involved in climbing. This increase in ego-ness, has certainly led to an increase in unsustainable motivators and an increase in the dark side of competition. Too many folks drinking too much of their own over sweetened, Kool-aid. It would benefit all climbers if we could focus a bit more on having fun and climbing more for the sake of just climbing and not in order to get pictures and or likes.
Climbing, both inside and outside, will continue to grow in popularity and in its' number of participants.
Competitions will become more popular, and cutting-edge routes will become more difficult.
I look forward to watching these changes.
I will do what I have been doing for over 32 years now, I will continue to push my own climbing while being supportive of those other climbers around me.
We should all be grateful and feel fortunate if climbing is part of our lives. It is a truly special endeavor.