I always say….My life, my journey. I run into all kinds of cool things and people in all of my adventures, I not only feel lucky, but have sheer gratitude, which is why I even take the time to keep up this blog, it is one of many ways I can give back.
Anyhow, in my journey I have made connections with all kinds of outdoors and amazing individuals. In that include famous folks, and pro-climbers. Many feel comfortable with me because I take them for full value of who they are. A human being. With that, I crossed paths with Paul Robinson, Alex Kahn and Matt “Boz” Bosley while wrapping up my season at Rumney. This year has been tough getting over a finger injury. I have had many ups and downs. Struggling on climbs that I on sighted just last year. With goals for next season in mind, I got my happy butt to my favorite quiet Waimea and tested a fairly easy climb (for Waimea) on TR to rehearse the couple moves I knew would challenge my finger and what did I get? Lots of encouragement from Paul. He encouraged my friend on his attempt to a red point and gave him “money beta”. He gave “money beta” to another climber on a pretty hard 5.14 to the left of us. He let us use his draws and just asked if we cleaned them. Do you get my drift? Paul is a great climber who has achieved quite a bit in grade as well as extensive exposure to tons of crags around the world. Yet he was very much engaged a few weekends ago wanting to see us normal climbers successful. He is what I call an elite athlete, without elitist attitude. Very humble, very nice, very caring, I see him as another friend I made at the crag that I will keep in touch with. Paul is a true inspiration for all of us.
So, given time was short, and we were all having fun climbing and chatting up great conversations, a short interview with an inspiring Paul Robinson went something like this……
Tell us a little about Paul. I began climbing at the age of 11 while still living in Southern, NJ. Soon after I fell in love with the sport and quit all other team sports I was involved in at the time so that I could put all of my effort into climbing. Fortunately my parents were extremely kind and supported my passion of the sport. This meant taking me to competitions, taking me climbing outside, and not forcing me to get a summer job so that I could travel over the summers and climb as much as possible. I don’t think it would have been possible to be where I am today without my parent’s support. I went on to college and graduated with a BFA from the University of Coloardo at Boulder and traveled/ climbed on every continent except for Antarctica.
As of recently I am switching up my time between bouldering and sport climbing. I enjoy doing both and I think that it will make me a better climber in the long run!
How did climbing find you? I was invited to a birthday party by a friend who lived up the street from me. Climbing did not find me, but rather it completely consumed me, in a good way that is!
How does climbing inspire you? I love the progression climbing offers! In the beginning it is so fast paced and exciting. Then it is my favorite type of profession, the kind that comes with hard work and determination. I have spent so many years climbing and it is the little things like doing a move on your project that you haven’t done before that now really inspire me.
Being a pro-athlete comes rewards and challenges. What is a big challenge you encountered and how did you overcome it? It is a tough world out there for pro climbers. The industry is not that big and making enough money to continue this life style is stressful. There will always be someone on your heals and making sure you continue to produce and send. This type of pressure is continuos, keeps you on your toes, which can get extremely stressful and challenging at times!
For all the climbers out there, any Paul words of wisdom? Everyone asks for training/diet tips. My take, I say just be happy. If you want to train, train. If you want to climb, climb. If you don’t want to do either, then trying to climb professionally, etc., just is not in the cards. The best way to get better at something is to do it as much as possible and enjoy every moment of it.
I want to give Paul a shout out of big big thanks for taking the time with this interview. He was in the middle of a lot of things and so ever sweet to give us all some of his climbing heart and share a few thoughts to inspire all of us.
All in all, biggest climbing and life lesson here is if you work hard, stay focused, keep determined and look for happiness and joy in what you do, it will not be short lived but long lasting as it has been for Paul. See below in the slide show, Paul gave Jaws II (15a) an awesome go, he fell at the very top, but his hard work paid off, he red pointed this very tough climb days later. Congrats Paul!
Paul Robinson is the kind of athlete and climber we all want to support. Make sure to check out his sponsors below!
- prAna – www.prana.com
- La Sportiva – www.sportiva.com
- Clif Bar – www.clifbar.com
- Asana – www.asanaclimbing.com
- Petzl – www.petzl.com/us