My name is Emma and I'm 29 years old. I am a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete of over 10 years, casual rock climber, strength training fanatic, Latin dance student, and food enthusiast. I am the sole owner of Beta Body LLC, a personal training business focused mainly on servicing climbers with marginalized gender identities that I started during the pandemic.
How did you start climbing?
Some of my closest friends that I met in the salsa dance community kept inviting me to come try climbing with them at our local gym. I remember at one dance social, they finally convinced me and I set a date in my calendar to take my intro and belay class. That was at least 4 years ago now and I've been climbing regularly with them ever since.
What impact has climbing had on your life?
Climbing first and foremost brought me closer to my friends than I could have ever imagined. While many of the people I climb with were my friends before I started climbing, now I feel a depth of camaraderie, trust, openness, and support with and from them that is unique and powerful. Beyond that, climbing challenged my mental fortitude and mind-body connection in a way that BJJ used to when I was newer many years ago.
Climbing rekindled my sense of physical fear, which has been a constant and ongoing learning process that, despite being overwhelming and heartbreaking much of the time, is also a profoundly insightful journey of self-discovery and building resiliency. When I look at the people climbing around me sometimes I feel like I've fallen so far behind, but I'm in this for the long haul and know that it is enough for me to just be here and keep showing up.
What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?
Training BJJ and other martial arts is something that I've been dedicated to for many years now. A combination of the pandemic and deeply harmful and disappointing cultural failings in the community drove me away from it for a while, but I'm slowly returning and am so happy to be doing so. I love introducing other women and femmes to BJJ and combat type training as well as to strength training. There is so much toxic pervasive misinformation about women and lifting heavy weights that I want to extinguish.
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
When you find the people you were meant to spend the rest of your life with, you'll know. Let them in, love them genuinely, don't take them for granted. My relationships with my people mean everything to me.
Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?
Gorgeous designs, beautiful colors, captures a lot of the essence of climbing in a really fun, heartwarming, and joyful way. I love my Climb + Pet All The Dogs crop tank. It is my favorite climbing top by far!
Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.
Right now I'm working to continue growing my personal training business and be able to provide my services to more and more people. I'm still open to take on new clients and am happy to hear from anyone who is interested in learning more about working with me. As someone who still feels very much like an amateur climber and knows how hard it can be to be in a community that is often very elitist, sometimes my lived experience vibes the best with newer climbers or people who have little to no experience in the weight room and are looking for a place to start. However, I'm happy to take on others outside that sphere if it seems like we'd be a good fit together!
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.