I was born in Johannesburg and am the youngest of three children. When I was ten years old my parents moved to Hermanus, a small sleepy town (back then). I was a good all-rounder in athletics and held the school record for high-jump. I also played a little Cricket and rugby although I was a little small for it. It was only once I was in grade 10 that my one class mate brought all his climbing gear to school for a presentation. He explained how all the gear worked and gave an abseiling demonstration in the school hall. He got his tie stuck in the figure of 8 and almost hung himself. I got excited to go with him climbing and see how it all worked in reality. Maartin became my best friend and the rest is history.