Jul 21 2015

Climbing With Kids: Year One

There are things about big-wall climbing that you rarely read about in magazines. Climbing through sticky, urine-stained cracks. Avoiding the fly-ridden poop that is smeared on your foot hold. And being just so tired that you clip your helmet strap into the anchor to hold your head up while you try to get a few minutes of shut eye before the strap cuts off all circulation to your head, and it’s time to climb again.   Basically, I tell my partners to count on at least one meltdown per route. And when...

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Jul 09 2015

Baking for A Peanut Butter Addict: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I married a man who is addicted to peanut butter. I know a lot of people might think “yeah, I’m addicted to peanut butter too…” but seriously, I cannot believe how much peanut butter Randy ingests. At first I thought it was just a problem he picked up whilst being a starving college student or something. But as I became more acquainted with his family, I realized it’s genetic. His mother and his sister both suffer from the same addiction. When together as a family, they consume ridiculous amounts of...

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Jul 07 2015

Climbing With Kids: Anxieties in Motherhood

I've written a bit about my prolonged physical recovery from childbirth, but not as much about my battle with my many anxieties in the aftermath of Theo’s birth. Part of the reason for this avoidance is because I’m embarrassed about it all. The physical stuff—bouts of mastitis, a painful cystocele, weak joints, etc.—all seemed somehow to be out of my control. It just happened. But the mental stuff—well, shouldn’t I be strong enough, sane enough, capable enough, of controlling how I feel? I'm a professional climber, I should be in...

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Apr 08 2015

Climbing With Kids: Emily Harrington Interview – Decisions About Having Kids

Emily Harrington is one of my best friends. She also happens to be a total badass athlete and adventurer. Her profession has taken her around the world, and her resume includes big mountain ascents (Everest, Ama Dablam) and hard rock routes (first female ascents of 5.14's). As a professional climber myself, I was curious about her thoughts on starting a family with such a busy lifestyle. As a mother, I was equally curious about her thoughts on starting climbing/skiing as a kid. She was part of the generation that started...

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Mar 24 2015

Climbing with Kids: Susie Christensen Interview

breastfeeding issues, and the thought of doing the Nose in a day blew my mind. Susie was kind enough to do an amazing, informative, and humble interview. I hope you all are as inspired as I am!!!After I did my interview with Jim Herson, he mentioned that I should interview his friend Susie who had just done a lactating ascent of the Nose. I was still pretty early postpartum and dealing with   Tell me a little about yourself and your history with climbing.   Let me just start off with my favorite quote...

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Mar 10 2015

Climbing With Kids: Injuries and trips

As the Dawn Wall excitement exited the Valley, Theo and I got back into our quiet routine in Yosemite. California’s dry and warm weather unfortunately continued, allowing me to keep climbing and start ramping it up. My body slowly felt like it was getting back into my all too familiar climbing rhythm - albeit at a much more reduced level. I actually was able to climb with people during the “climbing” part of their day, not just the “warm up” part. It felt beyond incredible to feel like I was...

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Feb 27 2015

Climbing With Kids: The Dawn Wall, Yosemite’s Only Winter Storm

Once Theo was able to sit up by himself and commando crawl through the dirt and pine needles of Camp 4, it became a lot easier for me to take him bouldering and do my little slab circuit. He’d end each session covered in dirt, but pretty happy as well. I’ve been trying to heed Jim Herson’s sage wisdom that, “You can’t make kids like climbing. You can only make them NOT like climbing.”   Indeed. Climbing and Contentment. Two of our most basic, natural states as human beings. To not be...

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Feb 17 2015

Climbing with Kids: Breastfeeding

I’ve received so many questions about my breastfeeding issues that I thought it’d be worth talking about in a dedicated post. (Sorry, guys, this one probably isn’t for you!)   Breastfeeding certainly hasn't been an easy road for me, and I've learned that it isn't necessarily an easy road for every mom. Had I known that others struggle with this, I wouldn’t have been so hard on myself. I didn’t do a ton of research about breastfeeding, thinking this aspect of motherhood would just “flow” naturally, so to speak.   When I was first...

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Feb 09 2015

Climbing With Kids: Going It Alone in Yosemite

When you’re climbing all the time, and climbing really well, it can feel easy to get hard routes done. You can just throw yourself into a project and work on it exclusively. There are no other distractions. Nothing else matters.   Balance is what’s actually hard. That’s something I’ve really begun to see and appreciate in motherhood. When I had all the time and energy in the world, success was omnipresent. But how would I do when I had to handle the needs of many others, including my own? I was finding...

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Nov 20 2014

Climbing With Kids: Jim Herson Interview

For any bay area climber or climbing parent, I'm sure you are familiar with Jim Herson, Anne Smith and their awesome kiddos Kara and Connor. However, for anyone who isn't familiar with them, here's a great interview as an introduction. They can often be found in the Sierras climbing up things with multiple kids and parents in tow. They also have one of my favorite climbing blogs out there that always leaves me laughing and inspired.   I first met Jim and Anne when I was a teenager doing the local competition circuit....

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