Hi! My name is Aquila. I'm 31 and am concurrently a student in and working in forestry.
How did you start climbing?
Back in 2018, I had just moved back to the US and was in full self-destruct mode. A (now ex) friend took me to the bouldering gym and I instantly fell in love. It was all I wanted to do.
Three months later, we went on a climbing trek to Utah. I got my first ever sport climb and my first ever lead climb all in the same day. I spent the week getting so scratched up and bruised that bathing and sleeping hurt. It was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had.
What impact has climbing had on your life?
Climbing has helped me pull out of negative cycles. I've introduced some of the most important people in my life to it (my sister and my niece, for instance), and my favorite moments are watching them get stronger and better.
Climbing is my happy place. It helps me focus when my brain is a tangle of static. Even though I don't get to do it nearly as much as I want, it's still one of the most important parts of my life.
What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?
White water kayaking and weightlifting are two other important aspects of my life. I collect carnivorous plants and love sharing them with people. When I have time for it, I enjoy woodworking and playing with cement. I also have a habit of taking in stray animals.
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
It's better to be honest, with yourself and others, than let resentment fester. Even if honesty is more terrifying in the moment.
Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?
Leslie is my favorite thing about Dynamite Startfish. All the artwork she puts out and how much encouragement and love she shares with the climbing community is just wonderful. I use at least one of the DS products every single day, and the art never fails to make me smile. The labor of love really shines through.
Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.
My sarracenia bog has grown so much, I'm about to start a massive rhizome divide. It makes me want to start a carnivorous plant nursery. So, that's a silly little pseudo-goal I currently have going on.
Want to get to know more of the climbers in the amazing Dynamite Starfish community? Check out our archive of Climber Stories 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.