November 01, 2020 6 min read
Heyyyy Dynamite Starfish fam! Today we are absolutely THRILLED to share this interview with you. Adam is someone we came across through Instagram some time ago, and we just thought he had some of the biggest, brightest energy we've ever seen. So we asked him for his story, and he was generous enough to oblige. Read on for more!
To start, what are a few ways you identify yourself? (some examples: name, age, pronouns, type of work you do.) But really, anything you believe is important.
Hi! My name is Adam Kovacevich (31). I live and work in Atlanta, Georgia and most weekends you can find me out chuffing and sometimes crushing... all around the Southeast. I was born in Seoul, South Korea and was adopted by a loving American family from Southwest Michigan. I grew up in rural Southwest Michigan before moving to South Florida for about 7 years in my early twenties. I have since moved to Georgia and have been living here for the last 4 years.
How did you start climbing?
It makes me smile thinking that I was brought into this amazing sport due to some family members and very close family friends; who are all climbers. My uncle and cousin first got me into climbing when I was about 12-13 years old. Uncle Pete is an old-school climber who got his start into the sport out in California back in the 80s. Climbing all over SOCAL & Yosemite with 2 of his best friends Mark & Eric. Mark and Eric both lived near the same hometown in Michigan that I grew up in. So when my Uncle and Cousin were not in-town visiting, I would get to climb with those two old-school crushers at our local gym Climb Kalamazoo.
Throughout the rest of Middle School & High School, I would climb off-and-on. However, I did not start getting immersed into the sport until early College. Moving out of my parent's house while attending Western Michigan University, allowed me to live much closer to the climbing gym. I found myself hanging out there ALOT more as it was a great way to escape a full-time class schedule + flight school.
Fast forward a few years and I transferred to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University down in Florida. Hence, my move to arguably the furthest state away from any real outdoor climbing. My passion for the sport was washed away by the white sand beaches and warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Sarasota, Florida. At this point in life, I was too far away from a climbing gym to motivate me to climb and I sadly, fell out of the sport for about 4 years. At the time, I did not realize it, but this had a rather damning effect on my physique and mental well-being. I needed a change and it was not until a change in my career path led me back to sport that I missed so dearly, yet was not aware that I was missing it.
After 4.5 years living in Sarasota, Florida - my job had me relocate even further south, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was my primary objective when moving there to make a point to live as close to a climbing gym as I could. As luck would have it, there was a small climbing gym called Coral Cliffs, that was < 5 minutes away from my office at the airport and about 10 min from my apartment. This was it, I thought to myself. This is my chance to get back into a passion and sport that I held so close. I spent the next 3 years going to this gym 6 days a week from 5pm-10pm. I met an amazing group of people that I am stoked to call some of my best climber friends.
Life is a funny thing and after my 3 year stint in South Florida, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia. It is here that I discovered how much this sport truly means to me. I was able to start climbing and training with my cousin, Joseph. Joseph (Uncle Pete's son), is not only a super crusher of all things climbing. But, he and I grew up together and is pretty much my brother. The shenanigans we got into as infants, toddlers, kids, teenagers and now young adults could create a movie or book that would have the world laughing in tears and amazed that neither of us are maimed, dead or in jail. haha. Joseph opened the doors to the obscure, "hard-man" crags around the Southeast at places like Denny Cove, TN. Little River Canyon, AL. and The Obed Wild & Scenic, TN... Just to name a few.
In short / TLDR: Family. Family, is what got me started into the amazing world, lifestyle and all around badassery that Rock Climbing is.
What impact has climbing had on your life?
Friends TO Family. I have met so many amazing people from all walks of life, thanks to climbing. Faces at the gym, turn into acquaintances which turn into climbing partners / friends and eventually; we become as close as family. People I meet at a crag turn into "regulars", which turn into friends and then turn into climbing Fam.
On a intrapersonal aspect: Climbing has helped me physically and mentally beyond any other sport, activity or hobby ever has. The first 4.5 years I spent in South Florida started giving me a "Dad Beach Bod". I was not happy about this. Thankfully, climbing and training for climbing melted all the beach bum flab away and turned me into lean mean crushing machine. Also note- I probably do more chuffing than crushing. But you get the point. haha.
What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?
There are other things besides climbing?
Actually, I think its important to have many hobbies so one does not get burnt out on their primary passion(s) in life. I really enjoy cooking & eating, drinking great craft beer, playing guitar, hiking, bass fishing, target shooting, flying, pc gaming, driving, spending quality time with my family and friends.
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
There may not be a perfect 10 in the "Beer-Can Smoosh Game". Yet, that does not mean one should stop trying to achieve it....
Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.
Obtaining a perfect 10 in the Beer-Can Smoosh Game.
Back Story: Joseph and I have been playing this game for years... and it's gained some attention from climbers around the South and Southeast. I have even received random texts from climber friends, who are hundreds of miles away at different crags; asking for a third-party judgement of their Can Smoosh.
Beer Can Smoosh Game Rules & Judging:
1: Must be a beer can.
2: Beer can must be empty and upright, prior to smoosh attempt.
3: The smoosh must be achieved by using a single foot.
4: Points are awarded on a 1-10 scale basis. (1 being poor, 10 being perfect)
Points are subjectively awarded upon the following criteria:
A: Concentricity of the can smoosh. The more concentric the circle, the higher the grade.
B: Re-Sealability. The tab seal of the can must be 100% closed to obtain the highest grade. IF there is a slight gap in seal or if it is up and past the seal's original edge, less points are awarded.
C: If using a 16oz can or Larger. Add a 1.5% multiplier to your smoosh.
5: Points are subjected to approval / judging by your climbing partner(s). EX: If you think your Can Smoosh was a "9.5" but your partner counters via their opinion on the Concentricity or Seal, and they say its an "8.0". You must either meet in the middle to agree that it is awarded an "8.75". Or defend your original judgement using said smooshed can as your evidence.
Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?
The awesome art-work! Leslie's commitment to the climber community and if you do not know this already... Dynamite Starfish shirts are supremely comfy. Like, wear them every damn day comfy. :)
You can find Adam on Instagram at @kovaceva11
Want to get to know more of the climbers in the amazing Dynamite Starfish community? Check out our archive of Climber Interviews here.
We hope you have enjoyed these sneak peeks into climbers' lives. We're on a mission to share diverse stories about rock climbing. Let's push the boundaries of who we know as climbers. Let's use our energy and passion for the outdoors to love our environment and inspire one another.
Have someone you think we should feature? Send us a message and let us know!
Until next time!
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