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I am a rock climber. It seems like a simple claim to make, but I've worked so hard to earn this title.

I climbed for the first time just four years ago. Since then, I went from playing video games all day in my bedroom to spending all my free time outside, planning trips every weekend, training 4 days a week, all for climbing and progress.

I've grown in many aspect of my climbing. I joined a competition climbing team. For the first two years I got last or second to last in just about every comp. Though, second to last - in other words, not last- felt like a huge achievement. As I progressed I started to do better. Within the past year, I have placed first in a few comps and placed well in comps where the REAL strong people showed up.

Competition climbing, or indoor climbing, does not feel as important to me as the outdoors. Outdoor climbing feels so real, and the routes that you succeed on, they will exist for a very long time. When I finish my hardest climbs ( v11, on a scale from v0-v17), it feels like I will have them under my belt, bragging rights forever. Climbing takes me to some amazing places; Yosemite, the Eastern Sierras, Santa Barbara, and even little hidden gems in my backyard in Tahoe. I've truly learned to appreciate the world around me.

I found my passion for rock climbing, and with it I found my passion for everything I can do to support my climbing lifestyle. I watch my diet, train as often as I can, and make money for my weekend adventures. I want to be the best student I can to prepare for a great future full of travel, climbing, and friends and family. Climbing has given me strength in all aspects of my life, and everybody deserves to find their own little something to fuel their dreams.

I am Sam Keechler, and I am a rock climber, competitor, adventurer, and scholar.

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