(Photo by Craig Hoffman)
Flying into LA this past Tuesday I had no idea what to expect. I had never spent time in LA, and I’d never been to Bishop. Whenever I told people in Boulder I was going to LA, they would mostly all cringe while replying, “why?” Honestly, I was a bit nervous because it was totally new for me. First time ever presenting and teaching my own clinic, being introduced to the Mad Rock HQ, and bouldering in Bishop for the Women’s Climbing Festival.
The first full day in LA we went to the Mad Rock HQ!!! I was so psyched to see this place, and it far exceeded all my expectations. I think this was when I truly started to feel at home among everyone. Every single person that works at Mad Rock is special to me. They are some of the best people. Kenny got me set up with tons of shoes and goodies, and Jeremy did a clinic with me to make sure I knew everything about the product. Not only was it informative, but it just enlarged even more the love I have for Mad Rock. I also got to take over the Mad Rock Instagram and post about my adventures all weekend. Check out this video of Jeremy showing me stickiness of Mad Rock rubber (which I guess sparked some people to feel the need to reply with their own video hahaha)…
I’ve stated on numerous occasions my need to be true to myself and follow my heart in climbing. Not everyone understands this all the time. Be it scary trad or whatever it may be, I just want to express myself and climb what I feel drawn to climb. I can honestly say that being around the people of Mad Rock I felt that deep support. Not only do I absolutely love Mad Rock’s products, as they fit me well and perform so well for me, but the company just oozes with love and support for my visions and me as a person. This is so important for me to feel this from my sponsors. I feel at home with Mad Rock. It makes me emotional just thinking about how grateful I am for the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful team.
The rest of the day Kenny got to see my wild, moosey side with some driving around blasting Taylor Swift & Selena Gomez and singing (screaming) along. We went shopping at numerous places and it was a very girly day!
The next day we woke up for a shoe demo at Gear Coop! Again, I was blown away by the kindness and openness of the staff at this amazing company. I love meeting new climber friends that are just purely psyched. I found out that a few days prior, staff member Nolan (@nalondp) had redpointed his first 5.11 traditional route! What an achievement! It was totally awesome to be in the midst of someone glowing from accomplishing something that meant so much to them. I went back and read his post, which stated that he got emotional at the top of the route. I got chills reading it! I also shared a lot of laughs with V (Victor) and proceeded to send him hilarious (hilarimoose) moose jokes the rest of the weekend. Look out for a blog I will be doing with Gear Coop in the next month! 🙂
Later that day was my presentation/clinic at Aesthetic Climbing Gym – Wow. Just wow. This community is amazing! They listened intently to my presentation, each taking something away for their own use. It meant the world to me to share my own story, including what I have learned about the mental approach to climbing, and see others taking it in and adapting it to their own journeys. Like I said in my presentation, I am just a student of climbing still, and for that brief period of time I got to be a teacher, but every teacher should ALWAYS admit that they still learn more and more everyday. No teacher should EVER tell you how to experience your own journey. They should merely be a good influence for you to take from what you can and wish to.
I also got to do a clinic with all of them – we explored exercises I have found to be quite helpful. Each of these people were so hard working and happy to be there. I especially want to give a shout out to Jessica, the cutest little crusher that has one of the kindest dispositions paired with a heart full of determination. I left the clinic feeling as though everyone learned a lot. But I also personally felt inspired by what a great community Aesthetic Climbing Gym holds. I want to thank them a million times for not only giving me the opportunity to share with them, but for them sharing with me. Each and every one of the people there inspired me. I am seriously grateful. The feedback I received also melted my heart! Maybe I will do more clinics in the near future… 🙂
Also, my opinion is that I love LA! The climbing community here is way more open and fun than people made it out to be. I honestly would come back anytime to visit. I love it! Maybe Boulderites need to reevaluate who they are talking about…
The following day Kenny, Pickles, and I made the drive to Bishop!!! With lots of T Swizzle dancing. I have to say we were all extremely tired that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. BUT that did not stop me from enjoying my first time in Bishop at all! I am not at all a boulderer by trade, and I will admit that readily. However, I am always open to exploring new areas, and the people that I met honestly made me so incredibly joyful to be around. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard from someone just being themselves as I did while hanging out with Manny!!! And Pickles shot some amazing photos while always being the goofy, fun loving guy that we all care for so much. I also think Kenny realized pretty quickly that I have a 5 year old’s sense of humor as I sung the Mike Meyers theme song all weekend to him. I EVEN SHOWED HIM A NEW MOOSE DANCE 🙂
We had a seriously fun weekend with crispy conditions, birthday celebrations, yodeling, and lots of laughs. I can’t thank Thomas Lim (the birthday boy!) enough for allowing me to stay at the mansion-like house that he rented out. I flailed on boulder problems (as I generally do) but to me that did not matter at all. I had the time of my life with everyone I met, being in such a beautiful place, and feeling in touch with myself. I have always believed that the most important things to be learned and experienced are on these kind of climbing trips… I always walk away with new appreciation for everything and more psych than ever. I can’t thank Kenny and everyone at Mad Rock for this amazing experience. Although I am very sick right now, I feel more determined than ever to make more memories like this. I can’t wait to visit again! I will hold this trip in my heart as I continue my journey on my own path to…. INDIAN CREEK!
Look out for a new blog I am creating for Pamela Shanti Pack and I to divulge our most fun, most terrifying, and most AMOOSING experiences as we head to Indian Creek! We have First Ascent goals in mind and want to share our journey with you all! Follow the hashtag, #BallNutsandBigBros for our adventures.
Again, I want to acknowledge everyone for making this trip so meaningful to me. Kenny is probably one of the kindest, smartest (and also most willing to go along with my silliness) people I have met. I am so lucky and honored to be a part of Mad Rock. I love you all!