Hi! I'm Josh, I'm 28 years old, and I currently work for a company that does social media moderation. I recently decided to take a year off from my studies to be a physical therapist's assistant so I can focus on work.
How did you start climbing?
One of my old friends from high school needed a spot for his project and asked me to come along. I had never stepped foot in a climbing gym and didn't even really know what he meant when he asked me to spot him. After a few tries on this burly V8 roof climb, he asked if I wanted to try a couple of moves on an easier route beside it. I slipped on my buddies sweaty aggressively downturned shoes, dipped my hands in his chalk bucket, and pulled on. I was only able to make three or four moves but I was instantly in love with the challenge.
What impact has climbing had on your life?
Climbing has given me more self-confidence, the ability to express myself through movement, introduced me to a beautiful community, and an outlet to slow down and feel free from the daily grind of life. In short, it's touched and affected almost every aspect of my life and I'm not quite sure I'd be the same person without it.
What are some other things you do that you find most fulfilling?
Apart from climbing, I love snowboarding and spending time with family and friends. Slack lining is another hobby of mine that gives me a great excuse to spend more time outdoors. I also just love learning about new things in general, which is part of the reason why I chose to go back to school and continue my academic career.
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
Find more reasons to go play and have fun. There's something about being outside, playing on rocks, and goofing off that reminds you of the simplicity of being a kid again.
Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?
I love the quotes Dynamite Starfish posts on their instagram. It seems like if I'm having a hard day I can look at something they've posted and it reminds me of this amazing community I have found myself becoming part of. They also make some pretty bangin' T-shirts if I may say so myself!
Is there something you're working on that you'd like to tell our community about? We love a good story.
If I could tell you any story about my personal journey in climbing it would be the recovery from breaking my arm.
I was 22 and still fairly rowdy at the time. I went to a metal concert and in the midst of the mosh pit ended up walking away from it with a broken arm. When the X-rays came back it showed that my ulna had a complete break with a couple of pieces that had splintered off. I had really just started to find my passion in climbing when I was faced with the decision of having surgery to fix the break or run the risk of losing mobility in my wrist, which seemed detrimental to progressing in my newfound love of climbing. It took me all of 60 seconds to agree to the surgery.
The day of the surgery I was incredibly nervous as I had never needed any internal hardware to fix a broken bone before. They gave me a nerve block in my shoulder, and soon I couldn't feel or move my left arm at all. They took me off to surgery and all went smoothly. I left the hospital that day with a plate, six screws, and a fear that my climbing would be affected. My recovery took about 2-3 months. I spent most of time watching bouldering videos, slipping on my climbing shoes dreaming of the day I could get back to my sport, and doing range of motion exercises as soon as the doctor would let me.
The first few sessions were the hardest, learning to trust making left handed moves was the biggest challenge as I was terrified of somehow re-injuring myself.
But here we are, 6 years post injury and I climb the hardest I ever have despite still having some additional hardware in my forearm. The fall of 2021 was the start of an incredible climbing season for me. I sent my first outdoor V6 and then then two more over the next two weekends. That winter I continued going out, setting new goals, and trying boulders at or above my current limit. I was determined to push myself and it finally started to pay off. Before the season ended, I had added a V7 and a V8 to my tick-list along with a handful of other climbs!
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.