Sasha DiGiulian, an American Rock Climber who at the age of 21 has had many achievements. Sasha was the first and only women from North America and third woman in the world to achieve 9a, was the Female Overall World Champion in Arco, Italy, is the World Ranking Leader in female outdoor sport climbing, a three time United States National Champion, Pan-American Champion and ranked Undefeated Junior Continental Champion for six years.
For Women’s History Month, Sasha answered some questions for Double G Sports about her career and some future goals she has!
(Image from Sasha-DiGiulian.com)
1. When you first started rock climbing, you were seven years old. What made you decide you would like to start this sport and did you have any fears?
When I first started, I had no idea that climbing was going to be my profession. I was drawn to the excitement of going higher and higher, being in control, and having fun. I was fearless because I was young and psyched. Now, I am more aware of what to be cautious about and why I would have fear of certain elements of the sport.
2. When you started to rock climb, how much time did you have to put in to train and practice?
I generally train about six days a week. I climb 2-3 hours, five days a week. I cross train with cardio like running or biking for an hour four days a week, and I do complex training including Ab workouts and strength to body weight ratio exercises with my coach, Alexi Thomakos.
3. Was it hard with being in school?
It is hard to be in school sometimes because I have another set of obligations to mentally and physically be engaged in. At times when school work is heavy, I lose motivation to go climb. However, I know that I always feel better and am more productive when I incorporate exercise into my day. I am happiest when I operate the most efficient balance between school and climbing, and obviously when both go well simultaneously!
4. What was your most memorable climb and why was it the most memorable?
My most memorable climb thus far was the multipitch climb I did with Edu Marin, Bellavista, in the Dolomites, Italy. This was an epic adventure during which I learned a lot about Alpine Climbing, expanding my comfort zone, and testing my limits.
5. Being as young as 21 years old, how does it feel to have accomplished as much as you have already?
Really, every day is a new day, a new adventure, and there is always something bigger and better to aspire to achieving.
6. What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment so far and why?
My biggest accomplishment is being able to live my dream. I have no regrets and I am proud of my friends and experiences that I have had in this journey.
7. Do you have any future goals that are set?
My ultimate goal is to inspire and to transcend my passion for climbing to as many people as possible. My future goals that are set lie in climbing in the US at destinations including my upcoming trip to the Red River Gorge (only six days, but hopefully the weather cooperates!)
8. If someone were to look at you, they would notice you are in great shape. Is that a necessity to be a successful climber?
Physical fitness and overall health is necessary for most sports. Living a healthy and active lifestyle makes me feel most fulfilled and happy, so for me, this is necessary to being a successful climber because I have the most confidence when I am in shape.
9. What type of training is best for someone interested in rock climbing?
Simply climbing. Most people who just start seek particular training routines or programs, but really, building a foundation of climbing is essential to improving and understanding the sport.
10. Is there any place in the world that you would love to go to and rock climb that you have not gone to yet?
I really would like to climb in South America in destinations in Brazil. I plan to travel there this upcoming August.
11. If you hosted a dinner, what three women in sports (past or present) who would you invite and why?
I would love to invite all of the Women’s Sports Foundation
Ladies! If I need to narrow it down to three, I would invite Michelle Kwan, Aimee Mullins, and Billie Jean King. All three of these women are incredible pioneers for leading women in sports to new levels.
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