What does the pandemic look like in the US now? How´s your daily life changed since the beginning?
Right now things are starting to open up, but it seems a bit early to me because the numbers are still rising in the US. I’ve been able to do most of my normal training and things from home and have been doing a lot of projects around my house. Like puzzles, games, knitting or music. I luckily built a home wall early on in the quarantine so I have been able to climb the whole time.
What was toughest for you personally to accept? How did you deal with it?
I think the hardest part was the lack of social interaction. I newly moved to Salt Lake City so to be unable to hang out with my friends here was really unfortunate. We did a lot of facetiming and calling to make up for it.
What are the ups and the downs of this new situations in your opinion? Does it even have any bright side according to you?
I think obviously the economic impact that the quarantine has had on the world is much bigger than anything I’ve personally felt. That and marginalized communities in the US and other countries that have less access to healthcare have been hit really hard by the virus. It’s hard to feel bad about my situation when there are so many others in more need than myself. I think the bright side will, hopefully, be a better sense of unity around the world as we fight against the virus all together. I feel like it’s the first time everyone has been in agreement on something.
Is the outdoor climbing possible in the US now (May/June)?
Yes we are allowed to safely get outside and climb now. I have been hesitant to go outside because I have my home wall to train, so I was saving the outdoors for people who were not as lucky to have something in their home. I’ve now been outside a couple times which has been really nice for my mind and for my climbing. It feels really good to be in the mountains.
How did you feel when you found out the Olympics were postponed to 2021?
I was honestly just very relieved that it wasn’t cancelled and that my invite is still valid! I feel really terribly for the people who have not gotten their chance to qualify yet.
You moved from Minnesota to Salt Lake City in order to train here for the Olympics. Where are you staying at the time of pandemic and what are your plans till the Olympics in 2021?
I live alone in an apartment in Salt Lake but was planning on living here permanently after the Olympics anyway, so my plans haven’t changed too much! The climbing community here is really supportive and I love living here. There is so much real rock nearby that makes it hard to find anywhere better to live in my opinion.
How´s the quarantine training going?
At first I was really motivated but I definitely had some time where I was much less psyched. I feel like I’m getting it back again now. I’ve been trying to focus on the stuff I really enjoy doing to make sure I don’t get burned out.
Is it getting harder to stick to your training routine as the „stay at home“ regime lasts for quite a long time already?
It definitely gets really hard! I think the quarantine mindset makes you really lazy, especially when we were unable to go outside and had no competitions to look forward to and no one to climb with. I love climbing alone but even I got pretty lonely not having anyone to climb with at home.
You´ve done some great job with Instagram tutorials for training at home – a series of videos where you show and explain how you train strength, how you stretch etc. Where did you get the idea?
I’ve noticed that my training tip videos in the past have always gone really well on Instagam. Lot of people have asked me to do more. I’ve heard consistency on social media is really important so I thought starting a weekly thing would be good.
What´s next – are you thinking of further training topics to cover?
As gyms open up I’m hoping to show more climbing-specific workouts for endurance and strength. I also want to show exercises you can do with gym equipment that I don’t have at home.
You are known for 100 % commiting to your goal when you are in sending mode – would you have an advice for learning this skill as well?
I think there are a couple things you can do to get into this mindset. Taking away distractions during a serious training can really help. If you’re trying to give something 100 %, looking at your phone between every try can be very distracting. Also, being OK with not succeeding a lot of the time.
What thing(s) make you feel OK in these times?
I recently adopted 2 kittens which have made my mood much better during these uncertain times.
What are you looking forward to now?
I’m really looking forward to increased. I’m really grateful to continue being able to climb and look forward to the Olympics as well.
What are your nearest goals – in training, daily life, outdoor climbing?
I have some climbs around Salt Lake City that I definitely would like to try. Not sure exactly what my next goal is but I’m always motivated to become a stronger, better, more well-rounded climber.
Thanks a lot for your answers! Wish you good health.