How did you start climbing?
My friend Brian (who is a very unfair 6’ 5”) convinced me to come with him to Brooklyn Boulders about four years ago. It wasn’t the first time I’d climbed — Tucson has a pretty active climbing scene, and my high school even had a climbing wall and a ropes course. I always liked the puzzle-solving aspect of it, but before I started coming to BKB I was never really strong enough to enjoy it.
How has climbing changed your life?
When I started coming to BKB, I couldn’t do a single push-up, let alone a pull-up. Thanks to climbing, I’m the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been in my life.
I’ve quit every other gym and fitness activity I’ve tried, but climbing keeps me motivated. I think it’s the combination of physical and mental challenge that keeps it fun.
My current climbing goal is to move up a grade in bouldering — I feel like I plateaued at V3 a while ago, and I’d really love to be finishing V4s consistently. Off the wall, I’m always trying to balance my film work with more awesome projects like the one I did at BKB Queensbridge. I’m just trying to find new walls to paint and new public art projects to get involved with. The life of a freelance artist can be stressful, but it’s also super exciting, because you never know what’s coming next.
What inspires you?
I love coming to the gym and watching people struggle and struggle and struggle on bouldering projects, and then succeed. I’m inspired by everyone I see at BKB. Of course I love to watch Ashima climb — she is amazing and her focus, drive, and positive attitude at such a young age is endlessly inspiring. But really, I’m inspired by anyone who is driven to try hard things, and to keep trying after they fall.
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