Climber Interview : Brittany Leavitt•
Posted on March 09 2020
As you all probably know, yesterday was March 8, International Women's Day. In honor of womxn boldly making waves, we chose this interview to share with on this particular day. We think the work she is doing both in the climbing space and otherwise is so important.
Here's Brittany Leavitt!
Photo by Janelle Paciencia: @janelle_takesphotos
Q1: 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.
A1: Brittany Leavitt 30, she/hers. Early Educator. Outdoor Instructor/Advocate/Speaker
Q2: How did you start climbing?
A2: I was lucky enough to be surrounded by Friends who were already into the climbing. I did not fully start climbing until 2014. I started climbing outdoors and indoors at the same time. I remember my first outdoor climb was in an area called Safe Harbor, PA ( Susquehanna ). I made it half way up and started to freak out a little. It took me a few tries to get comfortable and confident in climbing outside. I figured this would be a causal sport I could get into. I did not realize how much of an impact and that it would have on me over time.
Photo from Brittany's Instagram: @bleavitt8
Q3: What impact has climbing had on your life?
A3: Climbing has helped me see understand my body. Its pushed me to limits that I would have never thought I would do. I am an athletic person in general. Climbing brought out a different side. It help slow down the idea of everything has to be a competition. It has taught me to be honest with myself, that sure I do have personal goals but I can take my time doing so. I never realized that climbing would also bring out my voice in the way I help advocate of others. I have spent the last 3 years helping to amplify self-identifying womxn color in the climbing community with Brown Girls Climb. I have been grateful to be able to help work on the climbing festival Color the Crag. These spaces are important. I personally have been able to take it a step further, with the idea of its not just about me, watching our community grow and support each other. Within the last few years, It has been amazing to see the representation in underrepresented communities, breaking down doors, creating pathways. We HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A PART OF THE CLIMBING COMMUNITY. Climbing also has taught me more about how to care for our environment and understanding the American Landscape. How much Black, Indigenous, POC history has so much connection to our landscape.
Photo by @thervproject
Q4: What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?
A4: Career Wise: When I am not instructing or speaking. I work at the Smithsonian as an Early Educator. Fostering the great minds of 2 and 3 years old. Personal time: So many things. I love the arts: Music, photographer, and the Theater. I tend to go concerts and show (especially musicals) often. When I am not climbing, you can find me doing long distance day hikes or weekend backpacking trips. I am currently in training mode for a big climb.
Q5: If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
A5: That it is always important to take the time to understand how everyone connects and experiences the outdoors. We all do it differently. We should take the time to learn about how we all can continue to support each other in the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQIA+, Adaptive community and more.
Photo from Brittany's Instagram: @bleavitt8
Her ongoing work can also be found at:
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.
Until next week!
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