Blog Archives - Page 2 of 27 - Sender One Climbing
LGBTQIA+ Organizations to Support & Accounts to Follow

LGBTQIA+ Organizations to Support & Accounts to Follow

Voices of the LGBTQIA+ community are often underrepresented and misunderstood. However, there are countless leaders and inspirational individuals within the LGBTQIA+ community that deserve to be recognized, celebrated and amplified. 

We’ve put together a list of change-makers, entrepreneurs, artists, and educators to check out and follow. In addition, discover LGBTQ-focused organizations to support that are advocating and fighting for equal rights.



LGBTQ Center Orange County

Their mission is to advocate on the behalf of the OC LGBTQ communities and provide services that ensure its well-being and positive identity.

Los Angeles LGBT Center

They are building a world where LGBTQ people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society.

Equality California

They bring the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in CA and across the US while striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people.

It Gets Better Project

This nonprofit organization aims to uplift, empower, and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe through storytelling and building community.

Transgender Law Center

The largest national trans-led organization, TLC changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.

The Trevor Project

Founded over two decades ago, The Trevor Project is the leading global organization that responds to the crisis of LGBTQ youth suicide.

Out & Equal: Workplace Advocates

They work exclusively on LGBTQ workplace equality by partnering with Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and organizations across industries and diverse missions.


For over 30 years, GLAAD has led a dynamic media force that takes on challenging issues to inspire cultural change while rewriting the script for LGBTQ acceptance. They aim to create a world where everyone can live the life they love.


We're matching up to $1,000 in donations for the Human Rights Campaign!

For every Pride item purchased in June AND July, $2 will be donated to the @humanrightscampaign. Choose from our Pride tank (available in two colors), an Organic Climbing chalk bag with a Pride patch, or get the Pride patch on its own! Contribute in person or online. 

Dads Who Rock

Dads Who Rock

We're wishing a Happy Father's Day to all the climbing dads in our community. Thank you for being our role models and cheerleaders, for the encouragement and support, for being fun and adventurous, and for being here with us. Thanks for being our ROCKS. We hope you enjoy a cold beverage, your favorite meal, and maybe a solid climbing session to celebrate you.

We asked a few dads some questions about fatherhood and climbing. Check it out below!

Happy Father's Day!

Jason Chang

Sender One Member Since 2013

How do you balance fatherhood and climbing?
It helps that I have a kid on the Sender One Climbing Team so I can bring him to practice and get a climbing workout in while he trains. But I also find that I need to have some kind of physical activity as an outlet so I usually make time for 2-3 sessions a week in order to maintain my sanity.

What are some of the biggest challenges of being a climber and father, or being a climber's parent?
Being old and frail. Just kidding. Probably the cost. It's not a cheap activity, especially if your kid travels for competitions. But also being old and frail.

Do you mainly climb with your kids, or do you have your own group of climbing friends?
I climbed with my kid when he was around my ability, but he has since eclipsed me in capability so we don't session together as much. I do enjoy taking him outdoors and supporting him as he works on projects. So, I have a small dad group that I climb with and there's a mom group that I sometimes get adopted by. 

Did you start climbing before your child? If so, how was it introducing them to climbing?
I started first and when my son started climbing it was very obvious that he found something that he was really into. He didn't enjoy mainstream sports when he was younger and then when he started climbing it was amazing to see the difference in passion and dedication to learning.

What is your favorite thing about being a climbing dad?
I love being a climbing dad. One of the best things is seeing your kid grow and develop as a human in the context of being a competitive climber. Being involved with the youth competition climbing community and having great friendships with the families both near and far. Earlier I mentioned the cost but there's also a great reward to having an activity that you share with a son or daughter that gets you active and outside.

Do you have any advice for other climber dads?
You can't force a kid to like something you like. But you can give them opportunities to explore and keep it fun so they're willing to try it and discover if they truly like it themselves.


Todd Presner

Sender One Member Since 2016

How do you balance fatherhood and climbing?
Now that Mateo is almost 13, it’s easy since he climbs with the Sender One training team and enjoys going on outdoor adventures with his dads, Todd and Jaime. It’s definitely important to have a supportive partner who, in our case, has his own sport (ocean swimming), which makes for good balance. Mateo is a lucky kid who has climbed all over the US and Canada, including Maple Canyon, Squamish, the New River Gorge in West Virginia, Red Rocks, and the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. He prefers climbing in places with “friendly animals and bugs” and enjoys being out in nature.

What are some of the biggest challenges of being a climber and father, or being a climber's parent?
The challenges were much greater when he was younger since sleep deprivation was a real thing. While I can’t just pick up and go climbing whenever and wherever I feel like it, I value my time climbing more and try to make several trips a year and make them count. Although I’m outside on real rock a lot less, I love gym climbing at Sender One – and it’s great to see the young climbers progressing so quickly through the grades!

Do you mainly climb with your kids, or do you have your own group of climbing friends?
It’s everything. I try to climb outdoors with Mateo when we can go on a trip, and I also have a number of climbing partners who are parents, too. This is great since we can climb together with our kids. I am also part of a queer climbing group called “Homoclimbastic” (it’s a real thing, you can google it!), a network of LGBTQ climbers, allies, and friends. We do a couple of trips each year and sometimes Mateo will tag along.

Did you start climbing before your child? If so, how was it introducing them to climbing?
I started climbing around 1999 or 2000 at Mission Cliffs in San Francisco and have pretty much been climbing for the last 21+ years. I took a break in 2008, when Mateo was born, but never fully stopped climbing. I think I brought Mateo to the climbing gym before he could really walk, and he started climbing as soon as he could pull himself up.

What is your favorite thing about being a climbing dad?
I love seeing the children of climbers excel at climbing. It’s great to see them grow and achieve so much in the sport.

Do you have any advice for other climber dads?
Patience. While everything may seem to take much longer, your priorities and appreciation of climbing (and the outdoors in general) will shift in countless positive ways. It’s not only about “the send,” but also the memories of being outside together, climbing on the same rock, and enjoying the beauty and movement of our sport with family and friends.


Rick Shar

Sender One Member Since 2018

How do you balance fatherhood and climbing?
It’s not too difficult to be a climbing dad because climbing is an activity we all can enjoy together. It helps that while my daughters are with their youth teams, I can climb too. In other sport/activities, I have to drop them off and pick them up, or just wait around.

What are some of the biggest challenges of being a climber and father, or being a climber's parent?
I wish my daughters can belay me, but they are too young and lightweight for now. Another challenge is having to constantly buy climbing shoes because they go through them so fast.

Do you mainly climb with your kids, or do you have your own group of climbing friends?
I climb with other parents when my girls have climbing practice. 

Did you start climbing before your child? If so, how was it introducing them to climbing?
I had an Intro to Climbing class at Sender One LAX. My girls saw photos from the session and wanted to check it out. During winter break, I took them to Sender City on their first visit, then to the gym the next day. After that, I got them both a 5 punch card and they were hooked, climbing about 6+ hours on each of those punches. 2 weeks later, my oldest daughter, 8 years old at the time, tried out for the Comp Team and made it. 

What is your favorite thing about being a climbing dad?
Seeing my girls challenge themselves is fulfilling. Watching my daughter climb 13s isn’t bad either. 

Do you have any advice for other climber dads?
I used to want my girls to push harder grades and even lead climb more. Now I want to make sure they are enjoying it, and don’t get scared or frustrated. An important piece of advice: learn to give a soft catch when lead belaying your child if they are very light.

Charles Landis

Sender One Member Since 2013

How do you balance fatherhood and climbing?
Tough one! Climbing comes first!! (lol) No, seriously, being a father always comes first. But we do like to climb!

What are some of the biggest challenges of being a climber and father, or being a climber's parent?
I always wanted my kids to excel at whatever they were doing, whether it was climbing or anything else.  But there's a fine line between inspiration and being overbearing.  I try to find that line.

Do you mainly climb with your kids, or do you have your own group of climbing friends?
I mainly climb with my own friends but Emily and I still get to the gym occasionally. It's a great father/daughter experience.

Did you start climbing before your child? If so, how was it introducing them to climbing?
No, I started climbing at the same time they did.  In fact, the kids' desire to climb was what got me into it.

What is your favorite thing about being a climbing dad?
The climbing community is a wonderfully healthy place for adults and kids.  So I really enjoy the comradery and community.  So does Emily.

Do you have any advice for other climber dads?
Just have fun!!

AAPI-Owned Businesses to Support

AAPI-Owned Businesses to Support

Sender One is proud to be an Asian-American-owned business and we'd like to highlight a number of other AAPI-owned businesses, many of which are local and part of our community. Wherever your origins may be, it takes drive, commitment, and courage to create a business of your own so we're offering our support and celebrating their achievements!


JJ² Bakery

East meets West! JJ Squared Bakery uses various Asian ingredients and applies French pastry techniques creating harmony between east and west. They offer different traditional Asian breads, cakes, and desserts. Each bakery product is handcrafted and freshly baked for the best quality.

2370 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90501

Ms Chi

Ms Chi Cafe™ showcases Chef Shirley Chung’s passion for progressive Chinese American cuisine. In addition to her unique culinary creations inspired by traditional authentic northern-style dumplings, noodle bowls, fried rice, specialty Boba and milk teas, and coffee drinks; Chef Shirley’s personality shines in the house-made Mr. Chi Chinese spiced pastrami and scallion pancake sandwich plus her Top Chef winning dish –Jumbo Cheeseburger Potstickers with a tomato bacon jam.

3829 Main Street
Culver City, CA 90232

Bird & Barrel

Bird & Barrel opened its doors in 2020 in Downtown Santa Ana. Their purpose is to create a family-run, community-driven establishment specializing in poultry-centric cuisine, focused on Asian fusion delicacies, and to introduce the local community to our unique flavors.

305 East 4th St. Ste 105 
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Mix Mix Kitchen Bar

Award-winning Chef Ross Pangilinan presents Mix Mix, a globally inspired dining concept presenting dishes that see influence from traditional French and Italian to modern Filipino cuisines.

300 N. Main Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701


Fancy bagged wine delivered to your door.
Maivino was started with the belief that wine traditions limit the potential of wine.  At Maivino, they seek to make great wines more accessible by abiding by the following tenets - great wines can come from anywhere and wine traditions that are worth keeping are ones that benefit either the drinker, the earth, or the wine.



ONCRUX not only offers performance liquid chalk that sanitizes, but also a variety of performance chalk products. 
With the onset of the global pandemic, we wanted to help athletes adapt to a new environment.  We wanted to offer peace of mind to those who continue to pursue their passions and hobbies.  As athletes, we understand the impact premium prices and subpar products have on training.  We want customers to feel confident and safe when working towards their goals.

Comfortable Adventures

Their mission is to produce low-impact, high comfort hemp goods to modern outdoors womxn in the pursuit of comfortable adventure.
Powered by hemp, they're taking a natural approach to adventure apparel with a focus on sustainability, transparency, and inclusion. They have pledged and stand in solidarity with the Outdoor Industry CEO Diversity Pledge.

Artifact Climbing

It's about the weekend road trips to the local crag with the homies. The relentless support from your crew as you send that one project that kept you up at night. The late-night taco runs after a Tuesday night gym session. Beer.
It’s these kinds of stories that inspire us in everything we create.
It’s about the culture. The friendships. The community.

Dynamite Starfish

Offering unique designs on t-shirts and tanks, which are carefully chosen for softness, comfort, and the least environmental impact. All our tees are screen-printed by hand (most times by the artist/owner) in Los Angeles, California.


Wynne the Pooh

Your typical crazy plant and cat lady, but she also makes pots.
Wynne is a software engineer, and started learning pottery in 2018 at a little ceramics lab in Los Angeles called slab la. Since then, she's fallen in love with creating all kinds of pottery, especially zigzag pots, and donut vases.

Ariel Lee Art

Ariel Lee is an artist and illustrator based out of Southern California. Her unique style captures beautiful landscapes that many climbers are familiar with like Joshua Tree and the Eastern Sierra.

Milk and Honey

Milk and Honey is a passion project inspired by a desire to bring awareness to the injustice of human trafficking. For each pair of earrings and accessories that are purchased, 20% of the profit will be donated to anti-human trafficking non-profit organizations in the U.S. and around the world. Every earring and accessory is handmade and crafted with love & care to promote purchasing with a purpose. Our hope is that you would feel incredibly beautiful, proud, empowered about wearing or using your Milk and Honey clay pieces.

Anni Crafts

Anni is a master knitter, instructor, knitwear finisher, holiday stocking extraordinaire, and pattern writer. She loves starting with a fresh skein of yarn, so new and full of potential. The sweater, scarf, stocking, hat, or blanket that emerges brings her a sense of joy. As a knitting instructor, she creates opportunities for others to work with their hands and craft something they can be proud of. She considers herself a beginner sewer and has sewn over 3000 masks during the pandemic. Anni's goal is to design, knit, and sew a capsule wardrobe for herself.

PS: You can also find her working as a Customer Experience Specialist and Community Coordinator at Sender One SNA!

Mental Health Awareness Month: Apps & Podcasts

Mental Health Awareness Month: Apps & Podcasts

The month of May focuses on Mental Health Awareness. Follow our blogs this month as we share topics on mental health!

As a climbing gym, Sender One fosters physical health and wellness on a daily basis, but we also understand that as a whole, “there is no health without mental health,” as the World Health Organization states.

If you are struggling with mental illness you may feel stuck or that you are all alone in your journey. While apps and podcasts are not a replacement for therapy, they can provide genuine help to guide you through a myriad of problems, disorders, and more. Some apps and many podcasts let you connect to the world of others going through similar battles. Within moments it is now possible to have tangible tools at your fingertips. Check out this list of phone apps and podcasts that address everything from depression and anxiety to eating disorder recovery and more.


Insight Timer

Meditation, Yoga, & Sleep

With 90,000 free guided meditations, you can meditate on Insight Timer for as long as you want without ever paying a cent.
Most meditation apps say they’re free but the reality is quite different; once the starter pack finishes they quickly lock you out. We offer the largest free library of guided meditations on earth and the world’s most loved meditation Timer, for free.


Stress & Worry

How you feel matters! Whether you're feeling sad, anxious, or stressed, Happify brings you effective tools and programs to help you take control of your feelings and thoughts
Their proven techniques are developed by leading scientists and experts who've been studying evidence-based interventions in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy for decades.


Self-Guided Therapy

Youper was born from the idea that everyone can become the best version of themselves, like being a super you. In fact, Youper comes from the combination of the words You + Super. We’re using Artificial Intelligence to empower people to take care of their mental health.
Their vision is to provide everyone on the planet with Youper to be by their side in their journey towards happiness.

I Am Sober


Track your sobriety with a community that understands what you’re going through.
Build new daily habits and learn from others who are making changes happen.


Survivors of Sexual Violence

The RAINN app gives survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones access to support, self-care tools, and information. The app’s “Hotline” feature can connect you directly with one-on-one support from a trained support specialist on RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline via phone or online chat. The app’s “Self-Care” section contains exercises to help you take a moment for yourself as you heal. The app’s “Learn” section includes helpful information on sexual violence topics, finding and giving support, and healing.

Recovery Record

Eating Disorder Management

Recovery Record is a smart eating disorder recovery app that fits into your life and links with your treatment team to help you achieve lasting recovery. The app, which has been evaluated in clinical trials, is now available for you to use in connection with your treatment team.
You might not be sure if you have an eating disorder or if this is right for you. That is OK. No matter your situation, if you'd like to overcome an eating disorder or have a better relationship with food or your body, Recovery Record was designed to help!


The Happiness Lab

You might think more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations would make you happy. You’re dead wrong. In "The Happiness Lab" podcast, Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness. She's changed the lives of thousands of people through her class "Psychology and the Good Life," and she'll change yours, too.
Are you ready to feel better?

The Hilarious World of Depression

A show about clinical depression...with laughs? Well, yeah. Depression is an incredibly common and isolating disease experienced by millions, yet often stigmatized by society. The Hilarious World of Depression is a series of frank, moving, and, yes, funny conversations with top comedians who have dealt with this disease, hosted by veteran humorist and public radio host John Moe. Join guests such as Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, Andy Richter, and Jen Kirkman to learn how they’ve dealt with depression and managed to laugh along the way.

The Mental Illness Happy Hour

Comedian Paul Gilmartin hosts a weekly, hour-long audio podcast consisting of interviews with artists, friends, and the occasional doctor.
The show is geared towards anyone interested in or affected by depression, addiction, and other mental challenges which are so prevalent in the creative arts.
Paul’s hope is that the show and this website will give people a place to connect, smile, and feel the return of hope. The biggest myth about mental illness is that you are alone and there is no help.

Terrible, Thanks for Asking

You know how when someone asks "How are you?" you just say "Fine,” even if you’re totally dying inside, so everyone can go about their day?
“Terrible, Thanks For Asking” is the opposite of that. Nora McInerny asks real people to share their complicated and honest feelings about how they really are. It’s sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and often both.

We'd like to remind readers that these are resources and in no way, a substitute for professional help. 

If you are in crisis or you think you may have an emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. If you're having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area at any time (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline).

Moms Who Crush

Moms Who Crush

We'd like to wish all the incredible moms a Happy Mother's Day! Thank you for being supportive, hardworking, understanding, and loving. We know it's not easy! Moms, you inspire us all and we appreciate you every day.

We took a moment to connect with some moms who are members of our community. Take a look at how they manage parenting and climbing in their own unique ways.

Happy Mother's Day!

Jessica Christensen

Sender One Member Since 2014

How do you balance motherhood and climbing?
I guess I don’t always see it as a balance since I’ve kind of gotten used to having Miles around. It just is. At first, it took a major lowering of expectations. If we (Erik, Miles, and I) could get out for a day, it was a success even if we only got a couple of routes in. It helps that I am pretty stuck on sport climbing. Trad is another story, actually, a funny but kind of sad one involving Miles. [We] would leave him at the base of Cyclops without realizing he only had a little battery left in his iPad. He was more than a little distraught when we re-emerged from the downclimb. Honestly, more battery and he would have never even noticed.

What is the biggest challenge of being a climbing mom?
The biggest challenge is really trying not to eat all of the rad snacks a 7-year-old’s metabolism can afford to eat.

Do your kids climb? If so, how do you get them excited about climbing?
Miles likes to camp, hike, and scramble and that’s all I care about. He participates in Mighty Monkeys but he likes and is most adept at pretty much any sport. We never push him to climb (or we try really hard not to). Ultimately, I'm good with whatever sport he chooses but it sure works out for him to like what I like for now at least.


What is your favorite thing about being a climbing mom?
Eating his snacks after I climb.

What kind of system do you and your climbing partner have in place when you are out climbing with the kids?
iPad with charge and downloads. We always saved that for the gym or when we are climbing. I know it isn’t an ideal babysitter but it keeps him in one place. Again, it’s also realistic expectations and sport or bouldering (ha) only. He is getting old enough to clean between us so we are trying to get him to set a goal, possibly Cyclops since we goofed on the aforementioned incident.

Do you have any advice for expecting and other climbing moms?
It’s your kid, if you are an okay to great person, then they will be too. Understand that the time with a little kid is so rad and weird and awesome and awful all at the same time and be patient, with them and yourselves. And also, charge the iPad, never plan on wifi, and pack snacks. And whiskey.

Amy Hoffman

Sender One Member Since 2015

How do you balance motherhood and climbing?
I started climbing after my kids did, so this part is easy for me: I climb during my kids’ climbing team practice most of the time, and sometimes meet a friend for my own session on the weekends. As I have grown to love the sport for myself, not just as a mom of kids who climb, I started to set goals for myself and challenge myself to improve, so I try to use my time at the gym well.

What is the biggest challenge of being a climbing mom?
The biggest challenge for me is worry over injuries. Indoor climbing is a safe sport for the most part, but my kids have had several injuries, from mild to fairly serious. After the serious climbing injury my teenaged daughter experienced, I had a really hard time coming back to climbing myself: I had a lot of anxiety and had to really work through that mentally and emotionally in order to get back to a place where I felt joy when climbing again. Seeing her come back even stronger has been such an inspiration to me, so that helped, too!


Do your kids climb? If so, how do you get them excited about climbing?
They do climb...they are both totally hooked on it and are youth competition climbers. There have been periods of time where they hit a plateau or felt less into it, but we just let them take a break if needed or chill out a bit on training, maybe do some outdoor bouldering to shake up the routine, and they have always come back.

What is your favorite thing about being a climbing mom?
I just love the sport and the climbing community. Taking that couple of hours on a weekday to climb hard with friends, just being myself for a minute and not in my mom role, challenging myself, and being totally in the moment on a’s priceless. And of course, it’s wonderful to be able to understand and appreciate what my kids and their friends do as competition climbers; they are amazing!

What kind of system do you and your climbing partner have in place when you are out climbing with the kids?
There are several families that we go outdoors with, mostly bouldering; in general, we just try to make sure we follow good outdoor practices like “leave no trace” and that we are respectful of the parks and crags. Most of the kids are teens or tweens, so they have learned how to be responsible and safe, and we just really enjoy the fresh air and fun times together. Also, we bring lots of snacks, bug spray, sunscreen, and water.

Do you have any advice for expecting and other climbing moms?
I started climbing when my youngest was about 6 years old (he’s 12 now), and I really didn’t think I could do it. I thought I was too out of shape and overweight. Another climbing mom talked me into trying it, and honestly, that was probably one of the best things that have happened to me in my life (thank you, Stephanie!!). My mental and physical health improved so much and I’ve made some wonderful friends. So, my advice would be for the moms whose kids climb, but think they could never do it: try it! You just might fall in love with it like I did.

Jane Chin

Sender One
Member Since 2018

How do you balance motherhood and climbing?
Fortunately, my kid is in a Sender One youth program, so we are both able to climb around the same time! What I appreciate about the youth program is that the coaches are all "on top of things". This means I can trust that my kid's learning skills and getting a good workout, and I can focus on climbing (with my husband). Sometimes "balancing" means having the right "helpers" and "systems" in place for parents, which our family has found with Sender One youth programs.

What is the biggest challenge of being a climbing mom?
My biggest challenge is that I want to use climbing as a way to "get out of my head", but I end up putting too many things "back in my head", such as, "Shouldn't I be climbing harder problems? Why does everything on the Torch feel so scary to me?"... type of self-talk. Then we have the typical "mature climber" problems like risks of injuries and listening to my body's needs to recover with my mind's screaming wants to climb more.


Do your kids climb? If so, how do you get them excited about climbing?
My 13-year old has been climbing for a few years, and he is tremendously motivated by his SenderOne teammates and coaches. He looks forward to each climbing session and has become the one who shepherds us to "get climbing stuff ready" so we can arrive on time for his training sessions. I aspire to notice and praise my son's efforts, versus achievements. Sometimes I use climbing as illustrative examples about fear, failing, and working on things within our control.

What is your favorite thing about being a climbing mom?
Climbing is the only sport/fitness activity that I've stuck with this many years (I started climbing in 2014, in my early 40s). I continually learn new skills and tackle new challenges. I enjoy meeting and chatting with people at the gym. Since my husband also climbs, we are spending many hours of the week literally "holding each other's safety" in our hands -- talk about "extreme couples bonding" time! Climbing is such a huge part of my life because we can climb as a family. As an introvert, the climbing community offers me good enough doses of "social time".

What kind of system do you and your climbing partner have in place when you are out climbing with the kids?
Since our kid is older, we will take turns belaying our son on his rope projects. When our son was younger, we'd make sure he'd have activities to keep himself busy in-between climbs -- whether this is a book or a sketch pad or pieces of paper for origami projects. We'd also look for other peers with whom our son may enjoy climbing with since climbing can be a highly social activity.

Do you have any advice for expecting and other climbing moms?
I'd say listen to your body and to others who are supportive of your climbing goals or efforts. I remind myself that I want to climb for as long as my body allows, and this keeps me balanced in terms of pushing myself and taking rest days from climbing or "easy-going" days at the gym. Definitely focus on the antagonistic muscles that keep your overall body balanced and strong: I've had to learn this the hard way!

Michelle Law

Sender One
Member Since 2018

How do you balance motherhood and climbing?
Climbing is usually a family activity at our house. We try to involve our kids in climbing so it doesn't necessarily need to be an "either/or" relationship to balance motherhood and climbing for me. Otherwise, we're lucky enough that we have a large support system of aunties/uncles and other climbing family friends who can help watch the kids so we can climb.

What is the biggest challenge of being a climbing mom?
The biggest challenge for me is trying to find the time to climb - whether it be ducking out to do a climbing date with a friend while someone watches the kids or taking the whole family to the gym (while working around our 3 yr old's nap schedule) and finding time to squeeze in a climb in between trying to belay our kids so they can climb and then keeping them safe and occupied at the gym so we (my husband and I) can climb. The iPad is a popular choice for us and our kids since it keeps them stationary and not running around the gym. If we can get 3-4 climbs per adult during a visit to the gym with the family, we consider it a wild success.


Do your kids climb? If so, how do you get them excited about climbing?
We have a 7-yr old and a 3-yr old and they both like to climb (the 7-yr old has been climbing since she was 3). We want them to be excited about climbing without it feeling like a compulsory activity so we'll try to encourage and cheer them on as they climb but when they say they want to stop, we don't push them (for now). Usually seeing us, our friends, or even their friends climb makes them want to try (in our case, throwing in a couple of YouTube videos of Ashima climbing also motivated my daughter as well). My daughter is competitive and likes trying new things so she'll get excited to try harder climbs to try to "one-up" mom by doing the same difficulty as me. Recently, I've been pleasantly surprised to see her trying to boulder as well in the gym. With my 3-year-old, I just want him to feel comfortable and safe in the harness, and hopefully seeing his sister climb might motivate him to try to climb higher. 

What is your favorite thing about being a climbing mom?
I love that this is one of the few "shared" activities that everyone in the family can participate in and enjoy without real age limits. I like how it helps teach me and my kids how to focus and problem solve at the same time as you climb up a route and that it's a good physical activity for me and my kids. 

What kind of system do you and your climbing partner have in place when you are out climbing with the kids?
We try to coordinate with other climbing families and our own families/friends to climb at the same time so that one adult can supervise the kids at a time and give the other adults a chance to climb/belay. We also try to bring activities for our kids (books to read, coloring books...etc) to keep them busy and as a last resort, we always have our trusty old iPad + Netflix to keep them occupied. Also, snacks and drinks are key since we tend to stay for a couple of hours and they will inevitably get hungry.

Do you have any advice for expecting and other climbing moms?
I've found the Sender One community and the families that frequent the gym to be overwhelmingly friendly and kind when it comes to climbing with or without your kids. Don't be afraid to make new friends and acquaintances at the gym or introduce some of your friends and family to the climbing sport so you have a bigger climbing network to call upon to do a group family date at the gym. 

Mental Health Awareness Month: Read All About It

Mental Health Awareness Month: Read All About It

The month of May focuses on Mental Health Awareness. Follow our blogs this month as we share topics on mental health!

As a climbing gym, Sender One fosters physical health and wellness on a daily basis, but we also understand that as a whole, “there is no health without mental health,” as the World Health Organization states. 

Mental Health Awareness Month is about breaking the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness so that we can focus on treatments and resolutions for a stronger and happier life. Check out this list of books that dive into different perspectives of those experiencing mental health issues while providing guidance and insight on improving our own mental health. 

If you are struggling with balancing your mental health, we encourage you to speak with a mental health professional. 


Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Lori Gottlieb

“Rarely have I read a book that challenged me to see myself in an entirely new light, and was at the same time laugh-out-loud funny and utterly absorbing.” - Katie Couric

The Noonday Demon

Andrew Solomon

“Depression is a country that the undepressed can’t enter, but Solomon… bends all his energy and talent as a writer to sending us snapshots from this terrifying land.” - Nicci Gerrard, The Observer


Glennon Doyle

“Doyle might just be the patron saint of female empowerment. . . . Here she inspires other women to listen to their intuition and break free of what cages them. . . . Her memoir has a message as clear as a ‘go’ signal: Find and honor your truest self.”- People (Book of the Week)


Daring Greatly

Brené Brown

“What I find remarkable about this book is the unique combination of solid research and kitchen table story-telling. Brené becomes such a real person in the book that you can actually hear her voice asking, “Have you dared greatly today?” The invitation in this book is clear: We must be larger than anxiety, fear, and shame if we want to speak, act, and show up. The world needs this book and Brené’s unique blend of warmth, humor and ass-kicking makes her the perfect person to inspire us to dare greatly.” - Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

Emotional First Aid

Guy Winch

“The advice Winch offers in this refreshingly useful book is both practical and practicable—down-to-earth techniques that really can bring relief when things feel like they’re falling apart.” - Anneli Rufus, author of The Big Book of Low Self-Esteem

The Courage to be Disliked

Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

“[The Courage to be Disliked guides] readers toward achieving happiness and lasting change… For those seeking a discourse that helps explain who they are in the world, Kishimi and Koga provide an illuminating conversation.” - Library Journal


How it Feels to Float

Helena Fox

“A perfect, surreal exploration of mental illness and grief. Fox’s writing is poetry, bringing the reader to the brink of Biz’s madness and back again as she finds new ways to make meaning, and new people to make it with. . . . How It Feels to Float is a visceral reading experience that captures the way in which many teens struggle with mental illness. It is a lesson in acceptance and understanding, and readers will be deeply moved.” - Books+Publishing

Turtles All the Way Down

John Green

“This novel is by far [Green’s] most difficult to read. It’s also his most astonishing. . . . So surprising and moving and true that I became completely unstrung. . . . One needn’t be suffering like Aza to identify with it. One need only be human.” - Jennifer Senior, The New York Times


Laurie Halse Anderson

“With naked emotion, brutal honesty and a narrative that’s simultaneously captivating and claustrophobic, Wintergirls gives readers a haunting window into the disordered thinking behind eating disorders.” - Norah Piehl, BookPage

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