How did you start climbing?
How did you start climbing? It’s the question I have been asked more times than anything else in my life. I don’t get bored telling the tale though. I am constantly asking people how they found the sport as I find it fascinating. I do wish I could remember it more. Much to the surprise of most people, my parents did not climb. I first saw climbing on the TV at the age of three. Some 20 years ago now, hence my inability to remember all that much. I do remember being sat on my Dad’s knee and turning to him to ask if I could do that. It was a film about a French climber called Catherine Destivelle. Little did I know at the time that she was one of the most famous and talented climbers around. My father and I would frequently watch the adventure sports channels. I have no idea why this particular clip captured me so much. Apparently, I continued asking if I could go climbing for some time. Coming from a non climbing family and knowing nothing about the sport lead to it being over a year before I actually had the opportunity to give it a go.
Would I have found climbing if it weren’t for the French lady in lycra, climbing cliffs in Africa on the TV? Who knows…
I drove back from London yesterday and decided make the most of the journey and have a listen to Niall Grimes Jam Crack Podcast with Catherine Destivelle. I’d been down in London doing a photo shoot and interview for the Financial Times. Of course you can guess what the first question I was asked was. Doing interviews always makes me feel very nostalgic. It’s rare that I stop and think about my life and how I got to where I am. It’s quite refreshing when someone poses questions that make me really think about it all. It’s often only at these time that I reflect on what I have been up to and where I am. I dreamed of becoming a professional athlete but I never thought it could or would actually happen. I guess I have Catherine to thank!
So this podcast really captivated me. I’ve met Catherine before, actually she spoke at my event ,The Women’s Climbing Symposium, last October. The talk was incredible and really opened my eyes to how broad and fascinating our sport is. When I saw her on the TV 20 years ago I became obsessed with the sport but I had little knowledge of anyone in the sport including Catherine herself. It’s only recently that I have learnt of her achievements and her incredible love for the sport. She inspired me to start climbing and now she inspires me to achieve my goals and enjoy the process. After hearing Catherine speak at the WCS I was so excited to hear that Niall had recorded a podcast with her. I love listening to her tales and getting some in sight into the life of one of the first professional climbers ever. I can’t recommend this podcast enough.