Background


Statement:

I was born on August 25, 1982 around Detroit, Michigan, USA and it is where my family still resides. My father is from Syria and my mother’s grandparents were all from Poland. I currently base out of Salt Lake City, Utah.

My existence – outlook and approach – is heavily academic, but at a glance may seem predominantly athletic. There is a tension whereby one holds the other, and helps to define the other more clearly. The contrast creates texture and richness and flavor for life. I’ll always captivated by the many oppositional elements that are fundamentally present through existing as a human being, even if they are paradoxical and impossible to perfectly rationalize.

Life – Death

Summer – Winter

Day – Night

Happy – Sad

Stability – Chaos

Creation – Destruction

Work – Play

Climbing has in large part directed my life since 2005. I felt immediately at home in the practice and lifestyle and community, and I have structured my life so that I can be dedicated to it ever since.

Before climbing, my life devoted to alpine skiing and ski racing. I have skied since I was 2 years old. I began racing at the age of 12, and when I was 16, I moved from Michigan to Salt Lake City, UT to attend Rowmark Ski Racing Academy. After that, I was recruited to ski race for the College of Idaho. I still ski frequently and love exploring the mountains this way.

I was introduced to climbing through sport climbing, and it is my main pursuit. However, I have taken to many styles; traditional climbing, bouldering, deep water soloing, ice and winter mixed climbing/dry tooling, and mountaineering and ski mountaineering.

The first time that I ever climbed was in 1995, I was 12. It was at an outdoor summer camp in Colorado. My parents sent me there from our home in Michigan with a couple of my friends to hike, camp, raft, and climb. I remember touching the stone for the first time, being on the wall, and moving upwards. I didn’t understand what I was experiencing, but now, looking back through my memories, I can describe it. I wasn’t scared, I wanted each climb to go on forever. I never wanted to come down. It just felt so natural. From that first day until 2000, I went climbing only a handful of times. In the Spring of 2000, I began climbing slightly more consistently with increasing frequency until the Spring of 2005, when I moved to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky to work at Miguel’s Pizza. From that point onward, climbing became my lifestyle.

In addition to practicing as an athlete, I have had many fortunate employment positions within the climbing and greater outdoor industry. I have worked as an instructor and manager for a climbing gym, a retail sales floor employee, a ski shop manager, an inventory buyer for a specialty outdoors store, also as a tech rep/associate sale rep, and I’ve working in the media. I have found that these opportunities bring a balance to my climbing life. They have allowed me a way to contribute back to the sport and the industry, as well as to balance my self pursuits as an athlete.

I don’t pretend to know what the hell to do with a life. I was born into one, and I’m just trying to make the most of it. To whom and where and when I was born created a framework, albeit a privileged one. I’ve taken that framework and made it my own through things that have called to me. They are physical and mental activity, expression, creativity, challenge, and progression with like minded others – mostly in nature – and balanced with time for solitude, reflection, introspection, learning, calm, and rest.