I'm Jen, lover of all things weird, nerdy, and adorable. I used to be a physicist/tech worker, but now I'm a writer! It took me a while to realize that I was going in the wrong direction, but now it's full speed ahead. The only problem is, writing is a very lonely profession, and I don't interact with people as much as I used to! So if there are any DS fans in San Francisco who'd like to hang out, let me know!
How did you start climbing?
I first started climbing back in 2017 because I was lonely and wanted to find a hobby for myself. There was a tiny climbing gym near my workplace in Pittsburgh, PA, and a Groupon available, so I tried it out. As soon as I did my first boulder problem, I knew I'd be a climber for life. I went back as often as possible until I injured myself and learned that going all the time is probably not a great idea. But after finding my rhythm and dragging my husband into it, we bonded more closely with friends of ours who climb outdoors a lot, and they took us out to Yosemite and Lake Tahoe and other beautiful climbing spots. I've been hooked ever since.
Climbing keeps me centered and healthy. It's incredible how much of a difference a climbing session can have on your mindset. Whenever I'm feeling tired, sad, or unsure of myself, I climb, and afterward, I always feel better. It's a reminder of how susceptible we are to our own chemistry, of how much endorphins and exercise can boost mood. Also, it's been a great way to make friends as an adult. Definitely healthier than going out to the bar all the time!
What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?
Connecting people together, romantic and otherwise. I love writing romance novels, but I love facilitating real-life romances, too. If you need any love or dating advice, DM me! I also enjoy collecting people's stories. I love learning what forges people into who they are, and getting them to tell me things they wouldn't normally divulge to strangers...
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
Don't die wondering. Whatever it is you've even vaguely considered doing--whether it's job, relationship, or hobby related--just go for it. You'll be surprised at how much love and support you'll encounter along the way. (I'll be cheering for you, at least!)
The gear is super cute, but the founder, Leslie, is such a positive force within the climbing community. It's so lovely of her to put in the extra work to bring climbers together and celebrate each other's accomplishments on and off the wall. She's also an inspiration for entrepreneurs and creators everywhere. Thanks, Leslie! <3
Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.
My first published book was a rock-climbing-themed romance novel called Crushing on You, about two Asian American Millennials who fall in love while dealing with the realities of adulthood. It's being turned into an audiobook as we speak! It comes out later this year, and as an indie author, I could not be more thrilled.
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.