For many of us at OR, it was a mother who shaped our love for nature and the outdoors. Who patiently followed us down bunny slopes or carried us on her back for our first hikes into the woods. So we were thrilled when our athlete Beth Rodden announced in January that she was expecting. And in the months since, she’s brought together a lively, warm community of women through her thoughtful blog posts on pregnancy, climbing and parenting.
This year, we’re celebrating moms as the talented, multi-faceted role models we love. So in honor of Mother’s Day, we’d like to congratulate Beth on the birth of her son, Theo, and bring to you a Q&A with her about climbing, expecting, and lessons she’s learned.
How did you get started in your sport?
My dad took me to the local climbing gym and I was hooked after the first route. I literally became a fixture in the gym after that, couldn't seem to satisfy my climbing desire no matter how much I climbed.
What keeps you climbing?
A bunch of things. First, the actual physical act, the movement of climbing, I find so enjoyable. I love moving around on rock, whether it's a 5.6 or a 5.14. I really thrive on climbing. I also love the fact that it takes me to so many great places with so many great people. I am addicted to the mountains and get to spend so much time in them climbing. I have traveled to places that I never thought I would go because of climbing, and met people I never thought I would meet. I've suffered from several years of back-to-back-to-back injuries, limiting my climbing or sometimes stopping it all together. At points during those injuries or "comebacks," I worried that I wouldn't like climbing unless I could be climbing groundbreaking routes. However, it just emphasized how much I love climbing, and showed me that I enjoy climbing even if I’m just climbing on warm ups. A super valuable lesson and one that I am glad I learned.
What is your typical day/week schedule?
During climbing season, I'll usually wake up, drive down to Yosemite Valley, climb on a project or a classic route with a friend, head back up to the house, climb on my home wall and train for a couple of hours. I'm addicted to good food, so after training, I'll spend some time preparing a really good dinner, and then usually head to bed or watch a cheesy predictable love story. Rest days are usually spent working a bit in the morning and then going for a hike, run, or bike ride in the mountains.
Finish this sentence: In high school, I was: known as "Dave Rodden's little sister."
Any advice to young people getting started in your sport?
Enjoy it! It's honestly the best sport/activity I've ever done.
If you could leave aspiring athletes with one important piece of life advice or words of wisdom, what would it be?
Don't forget why you started in the first place. I see so many people that burn out or quit because they can't climb as hard as they used to, or want to, or their friends do. We all started because we love climbing, not because of achievements. So just remember to enjoy it, and it can be a lifelong thing.
Favorite place on the planet?
What are you looking forward to this year?
The new adventure of being a parent! Yikes! But really looking forward to sharing the mountains and exploring with the kiddo.
What’s your favorite piece of OR gear?
Any puffy jacket. But if I had to choose one, it would be the Virtuoso Hoody. It's my old standby that I use almost on a daily basis. (Yes, even in the summer!)
Where do you live now and why?
I split my time between my home in Yosemite and in the Bay area. Yosemite is my favorite place on Earth, and to me has the best climbing around, so it is a natural fit for a professional climber. My husband works in the Bay area, and it just so happens that the Bay has (in my humble opinion) the best food on the planet. I've become more than addicted to really good food in the past five years, so it feeds my habit when I am in town.
What is one surprising thing about yourself?
I love, love, love fresh flowers around the house. So girly for me!