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Who are you and how did you get to Brooklyn?
I am a small town boy from Ohio who left at age 19 to see the world in the military. I spent six months in Iraq and was in Pakistan for four months as a corpsman. After that, I came back to get a degree in film and video and upon graduation, it was either California or New York. New York it was.
How’d you start climbing?
I started climbing in the service, when I was stationed in Newport, Rhode Island. I was climbing every weekend for a year with one of my buddies, but then after that, being deployed, I never had the opportunity to climb again – until I got to Brooklyn Boulders.
Favorite place in traveling the world?
Wales was my favorite – its so beautiful and simple there. Great food, good beer, great people.
How has climbing changed your life?
I don’t necessarily enjoy exercise, so something like climbing that’s enjoyable gives me a way to exercise in a fun and challenging way, opposed to running on a treadmill.
What’s it like being a veteran?
It’s interesting being a young veteran. I was actually against the military until I joined – I joined because I needed money for college. It allows people to see the world, and to join a community – much like climbing. It gave me a sense of pride. We did a lot of good things when we were in Iraq, we helped a lot of people. When people think of veterans, they think about old men. But now there are so many young men in their 20s who are getting out of the service. Sometimes it feels like people don’t really appreciate you the way they think you would.
What are your current projects, on and off the wall?
Personally, I’m trying to cook more. More healthy meals rather than ordering out. Trying to read a book over watching television. I just finished the Harry Potter series for the first time – I can’t believe I never read it, it’s amazing.
Say hi to Nicholas next time you’re at BKB – and come climb with us on this Veterans Day, November 11th, 2015.
We’re offering free climbing for all veterans + family members, 25 adaptive climbing spots, and 50% of our day pass proceeds will go to BKBF. More information here.