Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ABS Nationals

Several years ago, my introduction to the climbing world was marked with sore arms, chipped nail polish, new (and only sort-of cute) shoes and the Nimmer family.  The Nimmers were among the first people I met at the gym, and to call them the First Family of Adventure Rock would be an understatement.  In their own ways, each is an impressive climber, and in their own ways, each is an amazing person.  Andrew, Melissa and Alex were all kiddos when I began my coaching tenure -- I'm using that term very loosely.  Andrew and Melissa became the kids Brian and I weren't quite ready to have but happily borrowed for weekends.  They were tons of fun to take places, climb with and fill with snacks and treats.  They weren't alone in this.  The Brengosz and Fields kids were favorites as well.

ARCT circa way too long ago to admit

Young Andrew, book in hand, just as he always used to be

And getting back to the climbing talk, I'm also proud of Andrew's continued growth as an athlete. He's one of the best climbers I've ever climbed with, and he is one of the most gracious athletes I have come to know.  Last weekend, he and Annaleah, another wonderful young person who I had the privilege of coaching, competed in ABS Nationals, a youth bouldering competition.  While I have plenty of experience with seeing the young people I  coached climb competitively, it never gets less stressful.  I was a bundle of nerves when one of the ARock team members left the ground, but they impressed me, each one of them, each time they climbed.  As Andrew made his way from qualifiers to semifinals to finals, he remained composed, focused and supportive of his friends and fellow competitors.  I work with young people every day, and so few of them greet their successes with such humility.

Aside from getting to spend time with Brian and with dear friends (and aside from finally having the opportunity to run outdoors after months of being trapped inside), I found this weekend to be wonderful in that I got to watch a wonderful person accomplish something great.  Andrew's 5th place finish is his best to date, I believe.  This is his last competition in the youth bouldering world, and Andrew sure did make it his best.  I am glad I was there to watch the culmination of his many years of commitment.  Congrats, Andrew!

Andrew sending!!
There was a lot of cheering going on at this point 




Finals 



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