Who are you and how did you get to Brooklyn Boulders?
I started climbing in Brooklyn, but I got a membership at BKB Queensbridge as soon as it opened since I grew up in Long Island. My day job is personal training, and I started climbing as part of my training efforts for Ninja Warrior. Everyone told me that I should incorporate climbing into my routine. I really enjoy it.
I almost exclusively boulder, and started at the end of last June. I’m a solid V4 climber right now.
How has climbing changed your life?
The biggest impact climbing has had on me is that it’s really taught me how to shift my weight. Climbing has taught me how to be more in tune with my body, how to preserve energy, how to be patient, and not to muscle my way through things.
As a former sprinter and hurdler, my strengths were power and I would lean towards muscling up. Rock climbing has taught me to be patient and to use my strength more wisely – to think more smartly, really. I am better at seeing the whole picture and analyzing things. I really love it, and even after I’m done training I think I’ll keep climbing.
What else are you doing to train for American Ninja Warrior?
I purchased a ton of bulk climbing holds, numchucks, and different sized climbing holds to start. Each week, I train twice a week, do two strength & conditioning workouts, one obstacle course, and I climb twice a week.
Grip strength is key – anything I can do to improve my grip strength, I’m on it – kettle bells, farmer carries, etc.
Who or what inspires you?
Geoff Britten. Watching him run the American Ninja Warrior course – he’s just such a strong guy, and when I saw his run, that’s when I decided to start training myself. There’s something about the way Jeff trained that inspired me to step up my game up.
Say hi to Mike Bell next time you see him at BKB Queensbridge and wish him luck on his journey!
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