Community Spotlight: David Tuffy

Mar 22, 2017Brooklyn Boulders


Who are you and how did you get to Brooklyn? I’m a Brooklyn Boulders Gowanus regular who sometimes climbs at Queensbridge, and Somerville when visiting family. I went to school here in New York and then moved away for about 14 years.  I decided to move back to New York a few years ago while suffering from food poisoning while traveling.  Being sick when you’re far from home makes you long for the people you’ve left behind.  For me, those people were in Brooklyn.

Home is all about where your people are. How did you start climbing?

In college, my friends brought me to this little top-rope wall near Lincoln Center called Harmony Atrium. Climbing wasn’t as popular then, and none of us knew what we were doing. I loved it, but didn’t really have room for it in my life, so it was a once or twice every few years kind of thing. My best friend Casey joined BKB shortly after it opened in 2009, and I started to climb with him while vacationing in the city.

How has climbing changed your life?

Moving back to New York was tough. We all know how stressful this city can be. While I was job hunting (never a fun time), I came into BKB to blow off some steam.  Cash was a little tight after the move so I was only going to climb one day, but I discovered that I had an unexpired 10-pack. That was pretty much what got me through the next few weeks. I’ve been a member ever since.

Climbing has been a way for me to shake off the work day, stay in shape and, most importantly, spend some quality time with my best friend.

What are your current biggest projects, on and off the wall? On the wall, I’m perpetually stuck at the v4/v5 plateau. Every time I start to improve, I get hit with an injury or other set-back, but I don’t mind that much.  My goal is to just stay healthy enough to keep on climbing for as long as I can, and to try to improve a little bit each time.

Off the wall, I’m trying to get more involved in giving back to the community, which is why I’m fundraising for 826NYC. They’re a non-profit dedicated to supporting students ages 6 – 18 with their writing skills, and they also help teachers inspire their students to write. Check out their Superhero Supply Co. on 5th Ave between 5th and 6th.

On April 19, 826NYC is hosting a “trivia night for cheaters”, where participants to help them raise funding to support their programs.  If you’re able to support this great cause, I’d really appreciate the help.  Here’s the link to my fundraising page; the more my trivia team raises, the more we are allowed to “cheat” on trivia night.  I suck at trivia.  I need the extra help!

Who or what inspires you? I see a lot of people here in New York really putting themselves out there and making things happen. They’re starting their own companies, creating art, getting politically active, and giving back to the community. It seems to me like people in this city are more apt to be engaged and involved, and it’s a major reason I moved back.

Maybe it’s the crowds and diversity that inspires us to come together, maybe it’s that only-in-New-York feeling that there’s always an amazing secret to be discovered just around the corner, but there’s something about this place that brings out the best in us.

Please support David’s fundraising efforts here and say hi to him next time you’re at Brooklyn Boulders in Gowanus!

If you’re interested in being featured on our blog, email us at stories@brooklynboulders.com.


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