Tell us about your career so far, how old were you when you started climbing and when did you start coaching?
I first tried climbing when I was 3 at an outdoor crag. I took to it straight away and join my local climbing wall club when I was around four or five. I grew up in a great community and went on to join the GB Climbing team in juniors, winning handful of national competitions and went on to hold 3 national titles in the seniors for bouldering. I started to compete on the world stage in the senior category at sixteen years old and finished my competitive athlete career just over a year ago.
With all my experience climbing and being an ex-gymnast and coach, I really love to coach people in the movement of climbing. Seeing someone learn a skill and process to improve their own climbing is heart-warming to witness. I've 'helped' people with their climbing for as long as I can remember but I started to coach movement around eighteen years old.
Talk us through a typical day in your life.
Well, from January it has started with a 6:30am CrossFit class. What a way to wake up! Then it's home for breakfast before heading down to a climbing wall or gym for that days training session. Not before a coffee of course!
After training, me and my other half take our dog Nala out for a long walk or run depending on how we're feeling before its back home for dinner.
Does your training and the training of the athlete you coach differ greatly between competition season and off-season?
My athlete's training in competition season is very mobile! We're both on the road travelling the world going between the comps. In the times we're back home the aim is keep every discipline of climbing topped up, keeping focus on avoiding injury and staying healthy. My own training takes a back seat during this time as my focus is on her, so I will join in with what she's doing.
In the off season, training still happens but there is more home time so I can take more time for myself and go to more CrossFit classes to learn techniques.
Does your training programme include a lot of cross training and gym work?
When I was competitively climbing, I did a lot of conditioning for fingers, upper body and core with running thrown in there as well. But this was just for bouldering. Nowadays, if a climbing athlete is climbing in all three disciplines, you have to cross train and be in the gym to make sure your body is strong enough and robust enough to meet the demands of training for the sport.
Now that I have stopped climbing competitively, I go climbing in my own time to enjoy it and not to train so much.