Climber Story: Jen Nemenzo

September 20, 2023 4 min read

Climber Story: Jen Nemenzo - Dynamite Starfish

To start, tell us a little bit about yourself

Hi I'm Jen, but I'm known in my group of climbing friends as "Mom". I'm a 43 year old actual mom of two (24 & 15 year olds). I work in accounting which means I'm sitting at my desk all day.

My mind is constantly running 24/7 whether it be planning outings/events or waking up every morning and trying to figure out dinner — climbing gives me that mental getaway. I'm a big celebrator of all special moments big and small for my loved ones, so there's always something going on in my world.

How did you start climbing?

I actually didn't start climbing until I was 34!

My boyfriend and one of his best friends decided to go climbing one month in the fall of 2014 which I couldn't partake in since I had a shoulder injury. I joined them a month later and the rest was history.

My boyfriend and I were regular gym goers prior to climbing. We had just starting bike riding in the spring of 2014 and had actually done a 50 mile bike ride on the Santa Ana River Trail. Once we started climbing, everything else didn't matter anymore. We would have climbed every day if we could, but I believe we started climbing almost every other day.

I was going to the gym and riding bike with not much weight loss, but climbing was different. I lost 10 lbs in the first 3 months and could do 4 unassisted pull ups within 6 months!

When you're climbing and trying to figure out the beta, you're not thinking of what muscles in your body you're working out, but damn you do feel it. It's not repetitive and you don't feel like you're trying to "work out", your body just acclimates to the changes. What's a better work out than not realizing you're not working out?

What impact has climbing had on your life?

Climbing...it's become not only my physical therapy, but my emotional therapy, mental therapy, and social therapy. Hell, it was probably my personality the first few years after I started.

Honestly, when we started climbing, I was just thinking about how much I loved it because it was mentally and physically challenging. Plus, it sure beats doing reps at the gym. Little did I know I would find an entire family in the climbing community!

I can say that I've made the most wonderful connections with my fellow climbers and truly do consider a lot of them my to be family. Even if it's a high gravity day, I get to see my friends on a regular basis and chit chat. We are on a regular climbing schedule of at least 3 times a week. It's also something my boyfriend and I love to do together which makes it even better!

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

I love spending time with my family and pup, Sophie. I love to cook and try new recipes when I have the time. Reading is a favorite past time of mine as well, but that comes in spurts. Mostly spending time with friends and family make my heart whole.  

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

Life is short. Try climbing once, jump out of a plane, travel to Spain, swim with the sharks, take a chance on your crush, help someone out that needs a little kindness. Do what makes your heart happy because at the end of the day, you are living your life for yourself.

People will always come and go in your life, but if you are true to who you are, you will never have to pretend to be someone you aren't. Always be kind and don't be afraid to tell your loved ones how much you love them. I lost my sister 12 years ago at the age of 26 unexpectedly, and I'm glad we always said "I love you" to one another. Now I say it to all my friends and family whenever I can.  

Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?

I love that Dynamite Starfish is geared toward the every day climber, the cute products (Keep Climbing Taped Hands tank is my fav) and being inclusive of everyone.  

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

I'm just working on trying to keep myself from injuries the older I get. Recovery isn't as fast as it used to be and my bones are feeling it. Grades and climbing projects are not high on my "to-do" list. I'm just currently enjoying the ride of life, time with friends and enjoying the sends I do get :)

 


You can find Jen on Instagram at @jenjennyo13.

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.

Have someone you think we should feature? Send us a message and let us know!

Dynamite Starfish
Dynamite Starfish

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