I never imagined I'd be where I'm at today. I can remember the incessant nagging from my father about how rock climbing was just a hobby and that I should focus on something that would actually benefit me. I tried working for him. I tried working at a restaurant, a lawyer's office, a retailer - none of them seemed to fit. I finally committed to climbing about three years ago when I made the emotional journey from where I grew up in Southern California to the welcoming arms of Boulder, Colorado. I didn't know what I was going to do, but I had faith that somehow it would all work out and I followed my gut.
I can't even count the many ways climbing has rewarded me for my dedication. Climbing has permeated practically every facet of my life. As I sit now, I'm on my way back from the UBC Seattle Bouldering Competition from this past weekend. I've made huge strides in my climbing over the past couple seasons, but haven't quite managed to express that on the competition circuit yet. I recognized a lot of people, a lot of them recognized me and I met a lot of new climbers. Some people that said that I "inspired" them; others said that I was their "favorite climber to watch". A few weeks ago, I got a similar response at a comp in Southern California. Several weeks before that, I got an email
SUBJECT: 'Would you like to write an article for Deadpoint Magazine?'
RE: Really?! Me?!
Possibilities I hadn't even conceived of back when I first began climbing are now starting to become reality. I get support from fantastic companies like Five Ten that allow me to follow my dreams. Contrasting the days of when I was told I "shouldn't" and I "couldn't" to what I am doing currently brings up a such a feeling of accomplishment that I can hardly describe it. My dad has recognized my recent achievements and even compliments me on them. He now encourages my climbing career and understands that this is my life and that I am happy. Coaching the kids on Team ABC is one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given. It's rewarding seeing them mature as climbers and respond to what I say and do. So much so that it's given me direction on what I want to do in school.
As I sat on the plane back from Rodellar typing away for Deadpoint, and as I sit now on the plane back from Seattle to DIA, everything just feels so surreal. I don't think I'll ever have everything fully figured out, but I don't really mind. I can't wait to see what the future holds.