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Climber Interview: Kimmie Tu

Written by Dynamite Starfish

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Posted on January 31 2021

To start, what are a few ways you identify yourself? (some examples: name, age, type of work you do.) But really, anything you believe is important.

Kimmie Tu

How did you start climbing?

I started climbing because I had a major crush on a cute climber 😉. We met at Burning Man 2014, and his rock climbing stories captivated me. The cutie informed me that anyone could climb indoors at a gym and outdoors on real rocks. This information blew my mind. I thought climbing was only done by extreme people. I had no idea that rock climbing was accessible.

After the guy realized that I was into him (he was slow to notice I had a crush on him, lol), I took him on a date to Joshua Tree National Park. On our date, we went night hiking and scrambled up the stack of boulders. I had so much fun doing super-easy "climbing" that I joined a rock climbing gym shortly after, without telling my guy. I had a secret plan to train to be an excellent climber to impress him and join him on his adventures.

I took courses on top rope belaying and watched many YouTube videos on climbing techniques. I trained hard by climbing 4-5 times a week. Confident in my climbing ability, I invited my guy out to the gym to "teach me how to climb." After I sent a V3 in front of him, he realized I must've been training because my technique was on point and said the surprise was the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for him!

Unfortunately, the relationship didn't last, but we are still friends. Even though we are no longer dating, I haven't stopped climbing as this is now my life.

Kimmie Tu

Image of Kimmie Tu by Kimmie Tu

 

What impact has climbing had on your life?

Climbing is my therapy for my ADHD! Because my mind and body is so active, climbing is a great outlet for me to release energy and train my mind to focus.

What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?

I really love creating content that makes people laugh and smile.

Kimmie Tu

Image of Kimmie Tu by Lucy J. Quick

 

If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?

Have a positive attitude and good things will come your way!

Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?

I love that the artist, Leslie Kim, is the face of the brand. It's nice to know who designs everything and there is a fun story behind everything.

 

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Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.

I'm going to Physical Therapy this year for my reoccurring shoulder subluxation. I haven't done this before because of significant life events, lack of time, motivation, and I didn't want to take a break away from climbing. Because I didn't go to PT for two years, my right shoulder has partially dislocated too many times and is now hindering everyday activities. It's also holding me back from climbing well and hard.

I know this probably isn't the answer you're looking for. Most people want to hear that I'm going to climb something hard or vow to bring social change in the community, but I feel that talking about injuries is essential. As climbers, it's hard to slow down and take breaks sometimes. It's challenging to step away from the thing you love the most and to watch your peers send hard or go on amazing adventures. But if we don't rest and take care of our injuries, it'll not be easy to keep climbing in the future.

So if you have any injuries like knee, fingers, elbow, shoulder, or hip issues, take it easy and seek proper medical care. Your body will thank you!


 You can find Kimmie on Instagram at @kimmie.tu

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!

 

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