Hi, I’m Liv! I’m 25 (26 in December) and I’m in accounting. Usually when people hear “accounting” they don’t ask any further. I promise we’re not all number-crunching, boring nerds!
When I’m not working, I’m snuggling my dog, Rex, climbing, or cycling. I also love to bake. We had a ladies climbing night, and I baked a cheesecake for dessert. The next day at the gym someone came up to me and said “I don’t remember catching your name but you’re the cheesecake lady right?” Long story short, it was a huge hit.
I started climbing because my (new at the time) boyfriend was a climber. I met him right at the beginning of outdoor bouldering season, and my first time ever bouldering was outside at Rumbling Bald. Suffice it to say, I didn’t set the world on fire.
I think I touched the rocks maybe one time that day? But once I started climbing in the gym, I was hooked! I loved it. Outside trips became more engaging as I felt more and more comfortable on the rocks.
I'm still a "newer" climber, but climbing has already impacted my life in a couple of significant ways.
1. Friendships and community.
Growing up, my family moved when I was in elementary school. We moved from a bustling suburban neighborhood in Maryland, to a very rural corner of NC. It was pretty isolating. From then on, I’d always had small groups of friends, but outside of high school sports, I never really had a large community I felt a part of. Climbing has allowed me to meet so many incredible individuals and I’ve made so many close friendships so far. I want to shoutout @muchbeta specifically for accepting me into their group. I love having a group of strong ladies to look up to in the gym, at the crag, and make memories with personally.
2. Physical, emotional, & mental health.
Since the age of 13, I have fought an eating disorder, and in turn, anxiety and depression. Exercise had been a method of weight loss for me, nothing more, nothing less. I had a tortured relationship with food and physical activity. Recovery is hard, but climbing has ignited a passion in me. Climbing is one of the few physical activities, exercises if you will, that I can do with a healthy mindset. Climbing requires strength, building strength requires fuel. Climbing has helped me mend my relationship with food by allowing me to see food as fuel. Fueling my body correctly will allow me to climb harder and have the energy to take on the next project. It has shown me that physical activity is meant to be enjoyed, not used as a punishment. I am so thankful for this sport and my climbing community for helping me become the best version of myself that I ever have been. I’m stronger, healthier, and most importantly, happier, and I can attribute a lot of this to climbing.
There’s a funny pipeline in my climbing friend group where everyone also ends up riding bikes, whether it be racing road bikes, adventuring on mountain bikes, or simple Sunday coffee rides.
My entire family rides. I basically was born on a bicycle, but I never truly got into it until this past summer. Some of my friends call climbing their winter sport and cycling their summer sport. Long story short, a road bike and some clips will change your entire outlook on cycling. It’s a blast!
Life is so much more than what you look like, who you impress, and what other people think about you. Find activities, hobbies, and adventures that fuel your fire. Don’t put yourself in a box trying to fit what you think society, your family, or anybody else tells you to be. I’m a perfectionist and I was always afraid to try something I wasn’t going to be inherently good at. All I’ll say is that climbing is definitely challenging that perspective!
I love the work Dynamite Starfish is doing to include the climbing community personally on their page! It’s a great reminder that we’re all just out there doing the best we can, climbing rocks, & conquering our fears!
I shouted out @muchbeta earlier for being a wonderful group of climbers but I can’t praise them enough. We’re working on hosting meetups to encourage and support the climbing community. Check them out!
You can find Liv on Instagram at @livbretts.
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!
Until next time!
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