The day after the presidential election, on November 5, I felt like all of my thoughts were lost in a cloud. My mind felt like it was stuck in a maze and I couldn’t concentrate. I could not understand how Donald Trump, who I thought of as a villain, could win. There was some hole in my gut where my confidence in humanity should be.
What upset me as much was the fact that 37 percent of millennials voted for Trump. I’m a part of that group, and I’m shocked. How could this have happened?
When I openly endorsed the Democratic Party this last election I received numerous comments like, “crawl under a rock,” “stay out of politics,” and “focus on climbing, sweetie.” I felt like these comments were particular jabs at my awareness of the world beyond rock climbing and evidence of the misogyny that exists in our country. Receiving remarks that imply that my sole purpose in life is to scale cliffs. It’s not.
Tags: election, millenial, trump
GoPro has an annual Athlete Summit in which they fly the entire team out to an incredible location to bond while being active outdoors, sharing our sports like surfing, mountain biking, kayaking, climbing, diving… Etc. This year GoPro has chosen the Gold Coast in Australia.
While it is an incredibly short time period to fly so far for, the experience sounded worth it.
So, on Friday I handed in the last academic assignment of my undergraduate career as a Columbia University Student. Then, Saturday, I flew out to Denver for the American Alpine Club event with Adidas. I went to Earth Treks in Golden afterwards, and then made my way back to the airport to continue my journey to Australia.
Growing up, my parents always advocated the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. They were supporters of academic and physical achievements – from encouraging me, and my brother, to succeed in the classroom and on our playing fields. I liken my mom to having the spirit of a truck driver. After school my mom would pick my brother and I up and drive Charlie (my brother) to hockey practice and me to the climbing gym. She learned to belay (manage the other end of the rope) while I climbed so that I could maximize my workout and time efficiency while there. During weekends, she would drive or fly with me to wherever it was in the world that I needed to be. For instance, when I wanted to break on to the international competitive scene when I was 12, she sought out the most experienced climbing coach in the country at the time: Vadim Vinokur, and she would drive me up to New York City every other weekend from DC, and back, sometimes leaving at 4am in the morning and returning at 2am the next day, just so that I could have the opportunity to be the best that I could be at my sport.
We all have our own role models and people that we look up to for unique reasons. I look up to my mom for her independence, her intellect, her strength, and her dedication. Thank you, mom, for encouraging me to be comfortable with who I am and for teaching me to create my own path.
Tags: mom, mothers day, role model
Debate is healthy and really there are valid points to both sides. One side of the debate argues that the inclusion of “female” as a qualifier for why an ascent may be significant has negative implications on women in that it deems women as inferior to men. This side argues for “first female ascents” to be eradicated and for all ascents to be the same. The other side of the debate argues that men and women are biologically different and that there is no reason to eradicate gender in sports. Female and Male climbers have the potential to achieve equally, but there is no reason to eliminate the celebration of female firsts in climbing in that women are historically the minority in climbing and reinforcement of progression is a powerful tool in encouraging female achievements. What is important to recognize is that as climbing fills a more macro level space, we consider the role that it can have on issues like gender politics and the need for women’s empowerment still at hand today.
While I recognize and fully engage with the fact that women and men are capable of climbing equal difficulty, it is important to still reiterate the first ascents done by women. In my opinion, the actual flagging of Female highlights this notion of empowerment. While yes, the name of a female achieving something could theoretically be a sign enough, the fact is that the world is not yet at that point to not still need extra reinforcement of female achievement.
I receive letters from young girls often thanking me for inspiring them. This is something that fuels my motivation. I want to serve as an example that anyone no matter what gender, size, or demographic you represent can pursue his or her dreams.
Following my initial blog I spoke with Lynn Hill about this topic. She read my blog and texted me,
“I agree that women should support women and that it’s important to have female role models. Back in the early days, women were left out of books such as, “The Vertical World of Yosemite” by Galen Rowell. In his intro to the 90’s, he didn’t put a single photo of a woman climber in the book because he said that there were no significant first ascents done by a women during the formative years of climbing in Yosemite. I felt that it was important to show what women WERE doing rather than ignore them because of what they weren’t doing!”
Valentine’s Day has arrived, so in the spirit of this Hallmark Holiday, I have put together a little survey for any climbing[er] enthusiasts out there looking to find your perfect match within the scene! Personally, I love Valentine’s Day whether I have a Valentine or not. It is a time to express your love to someone you care about, an excuse of a day to eat a box of chocolates while watching a RomCom with your friends, or just a negligible holiday that you forget about but that makes other people happy, so why not like it? I know that Valentine’s Day has its sappiness to it, though, so why not add to the fun with the simple question…
Which Professional Climber’s Valentine do you think that you can be? To help you find out, I popped the question…;)
Tags: valentines day