Five Questions With Climber Regan Kennedy

Our athletes and ambassadors shred gnar and send hard lines, but there’s much more behind the scenes: other careers, balancing family life, creating art, giving back. To dig deeper into the adventure lifestyle, we’ve created Five Questions, an ongoing feature asking OR athletes the hard questions. And sometimes more than just five.

How did you get started climbing?

I had just started my master’s degree and we had an exchange student come to our lab from Italy for a six-week exchange program. He checked out the physical activity complex on campus and noticed it had a climbing wall, but in order to climb there he had to take a lesson with a partner as an orientation. He asked me if I would go with him, and my first response was ‘no way in hell.’ At the time, the only physical activity I was doing was riding my bike to and from school. I was thin and out of shape. I reluctantly offered that if he could find no one else, I would do it. I ended up taking the lesson with him and we climbed together every day until he left. I’ve been addicted since that first day. 

What keeps you climbing? 

I really enjoy the challenge of climbing. I like pushing myself to learn new movements. I love the subtleties of moving on rock or plastic and how it’s different for every person and body type. The climbing community is amazing, as well, a great group of people to spend your time with. 

Finish this sentence: In high school, I was ... busy socializing. I didn’t get much school work done and certainly wasn’t athletic. 

If you could leave aspiring athletes with one important piece of life advice or words of wisdom, what would it be?

Anything is possible. Work hard and you will be rewarded. Nothing comes for free. Stay positive and surround yourself with people you love. 

What are you looking forward to this year?

2013 is laid out to be the year of ‘work hard, play hard.’ I’m looking forward to the ‘play hard’ portion: a 2.5-month trip to Turkey, Greece, United Arab Emirates and South Africa. 

What’s your favorite piece of OR gear?

This year I love my Incandescent Jacket [LINK]; I wear it All. The. Time. And I’ll be wearing it all summer up at the cliff, too. I really, really, really love the radiant long-sleeve half-zip tops [LINK], as well. They’re really warm, the perfect layer for sport climbing in the Bow Valley. 

Where do you live now and why? 

I live in Calgary, Alberta, to be closer to outdoor rock climbing in the summer and train with an adult climbing team in the winter.