Climber Story: Liz Soto

August 03, 2022 3 min read

Climber Story: Liz Soto - Dynamite Starfish

To start, tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Liz and I’m about to turn 40 (!!!) in less than a month. I work for Sessions Climbing + Fitness in El Paso, TX.

How did you start climbing?

I was living in LA and started a new job in Culver City. My friend said, “you’re so close to Cliffs of Id!” I said, “What’s that?” I checked it out on my lunch break and was introduced to my first climbing gym. I immediately signed up for a membership. I didn’t even have to climb to know I'd love it!

What impact has climbing had on your life?

It has completely changed my life. I didn’t play sports as a kid, and aside from working out at the gym or playing ultimate frisbee with my friends (both only in my 30’s) I never had a sport that I loved… until I found climbing.

Not only did I fall in love with the sport, but I also fell in love with the community. I had never encountered such a warm and welcoming group of strangers who were willing to teach me and help me get better. I had never made so many new friends so quickly. My love of climbing and the community has helped me realize my ideal lifestyle.

Over the last five years, I've gone from living in the hustle and bustle and working a corporate job in downtown LA to moving back to my peaceful hometown of El Paso and working for my good friend as he opens up our city’s first proper climbing gym. I’m elated to help bring this wonderful sport to our community.

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

I love teaching people how to climb. I also love playing board games. My friends and I have a weekly game night that’s been going strong for a couple of years. I also love my weekly online trivia nights with my LA friends (shoutout to Galaxy Trivia!) that’s also been going strong since the pandemic started. Basically, any quality time I get to spend with my family and friends is deeply cherished.

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

The journey to knowing, healing and accepting your truest self is the most difficult, yet most rewarding journey one can ever take.

Favorite thing about Dynamite Starfish?

I love that we get to know different climbers who are normal people just like us from all over the world.

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

I’m working on not being afraid to fall (and fail) in bouldering. As I’m getting older, my body takes longer to recover and I’m becoming more intimidated by the power and risk that bouldering requires of me. I get so scared at the tops of climbs and all I can think of is how I might hurt myself if I fall. I’m more afraid now than I was when I first started climbing.

I recently fell from the top of a climb and hyperextended my knee a little. A part of me is saying, “See?? You’re going to get hurt!” However, I’m determined to keep bouldering now more than ever. I don’t ever want fear to overshadow something that I love doing. It’s a work in progress and even though I sometimes feel like I’m learning how to boulder for the first time again, that’s okay. Just keep swimming, right?

You can find Liz on Instagram at @lizzysoto.

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!

Dynamite Starfish
Dynamite Starfish

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