Meagan Martin is making flashes – on and off the wall. Whether she’s coaching at ABC Kids Climbing in Boulder, CO, dominating competition podiums or crushing the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course, her approach is fearless and fast. A collegiate pole vaulter turned bouldering champion, Meagan has a solid grasp on the climbing scene. Active Junky caught up with Meagan in the middle of her exceptional 2014 season to discuss her past, present, and future as a climber, as well as the highly anticipated Psicobloc Masters Series in Park City, Utah.
Field: Professional Climber
Sponsors: Adidas Outdoors, Gnarly Nutrtion, Joshua Tree Skin Care, La Sportiva, Organic Climbing, Rockwerx
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Events: Bouldering, Psicobloc
Meagan, appreciate your time and would love to get caught up on 2014 so far.
Thank you for choosing to interview me Active Junky! 2014 has been a busy and fun year thus far. I have been competing in Bouldering and Sport Climbing comps since January and the Psicobloc Masters Series is my next comp in Park City, Utah. A few of the highlights were winning Bouldering, Speed Bouldering, and the Overall at Dominion Riverrock this year, along with making Semis in the Toronto and Vail Bouldering World Cups! In addition to all of the climbing competitions, I decided to try out for American Ninja Warrior, which has also been a fun experience.
You have been climbing for most of your life but recently jumped back into the pro circuit. How do you balance the responsibilities of a profession with the fires of passion?
I competed in youth sport climbing from 2001 to 2004. Since I really wanted to compete in Bouldering too, I decided to enter a few pro bouldering comps at the age of 13 in 2003. Following my success in competitions, I found myself with sponsors and a little bit of climbing fame. Walking away from all of that, I started a new sport, pole-vaulting, which became my main focus in high school and college. Coming back to the circuit felt like I was in the same place where I left, but much older. When I was a kid, I wasn’t looking at climbing as a career, which was a good thing. Transitioning from a college sport prepared me for where I am now. I make choices that are good for me professionally, but I also make sure the choices keep me connected to my passion for the sport.
When you arrive at the Psicobloc Masters with some of the best climbers in the world warming up, what goes through your mind? Stepping up to the wall with Chris Sharma and Sasha DiGiulian can’t be easy.
When I first heard about the Psicobloc Masters Series I was just hoping for an invite! Knowing that I was about to compete with some of the best climbers in the world, many of them being phenomenal sport climbers, was a bit intimidating since I am more of a boulderer. At the same time, I was really pumped to be included in that group of people, so it just meant more excitement for the competition.
Claiming an impressive 3rd place in the Psicobloc Masters last year, what can you take away from that performance to give you an edge this year?
Why thank you! I was pleased to walk away with a podium finish. What gives me a bit of an edge in the competition is the fact that I’m not scared of how tall the wall is. At the end of the day, no one wants to fall. The difference, when it comes to the way I climb, is that most people let the height and the pool get into their head. When I’m climbing I pay attention to each hold as I grab it and make as many moves as I can. I don’t look down, instead I just keep moving.
Deep water soloing defies traditional climbing environments. What are four pieces of gear that you bring along to DWS locations?
You really only need climbing shoes and a chalk bag, so if I can choose four things I would bring two pairs of climbing shoes and two chalk bags.
With the rapid growth in deep water soloing, what advice do you have for recreational climbers exploring psicobloc for the first time?
My advice would be to always make sure that you are comfortable with what you are doing. Ease into the grades that you choose to climb, so that you can avoid panicking on the wall. Also, make sure that you know how to properly fall into the water.
We couldn’t resist the urge to ask about your recent celebrity showcase on American Ninja Warrior. How did that opportunity arise?
I received an email, as did a lot of American climbers, inviting me to make a video and try out for the show. I figured being a climber along with my background as a gymnast and a pole-vaulter would put me in a great position to have success on the show. I am really glad that I participated because I had a great time, met a lot of cool people. I think it is good exposure for the sport of climbing. It is something I would definitely do again!
Meagan, once again we appreciate your insights and wish you the best in future endeavors. Any last shout-outs before heading back to your adventures?
Of course! I would like to thank you again for thinking of me for this interview; it’s always nice to have the chance to talk about my favorite sport! I am so glad that the Psicobloc Masters Series is happening again and to be part of it this year. As long as I’m climbing, I’m happy!