Interview: Megan Sullivan
Questions by Taylor Feldman
TF: What brought you into the climbing world?
MS: Bad breakup. I had moved down to San Luis Obispo from Washington State for a past relationship. Five years ago when we broke up, I found myself with zero savings, and couldn't be happier. At that point, I knew that I was given a new opportunity to start over. One year later, I met some friends who were climbers and soon after I was on my first trip to Bishop, followed by Joshua Tree and Yosemite… I was hooked.
TF: You have always been drawn to traveling, your blog is chock full of your last-minute-ticket adventures to China and lately to see the 7 wonders of the world, what locations call you the most?
MS: If I can find a purpose for the travel, be it either a crazy adventure such as the seven wonders in thirteen days or to climb Mt. Rainier, I won’t hesitate. If there is no adventure involved, then I will not be interested in taking a trip even if it’s to one of the most beautiful places in the world. Laying on a beach in Cabo is not my idea of a perfect vacation… it’s actually kind of my worst nightmare.
TF: How many countries have you climbed in?
MS: I have done my majority of climbing in the great state of California… I mean…. who can beat Yosemite?
TF: What has been your most memorable climb?
MS: The Nose route of El Capitan. It’s one of the best climbs in the world and it also threw me on my ass. It was the biggest fall of my career by far (50 footer) but also the greatest motivator that I have ever had. I’ll never forget the first time I saw it and knew that one day I would climb it. For the next two years that route was all I thought about and I did anything to get out to the Valley every weekend with one goal on my mind. Within those two years, I slept in the dirt on the side of some pretty sketching roads, hardly slept or showered and met some pretty amazing people whom had an incredible influence on me along the way. There is something amazing about having a motivator like that in your life and believe that we should always have something “big” like that to work towards, be it in the climbing world or elsewhere in your life. It is what gets you up in the morning and more importantly inspires you to aim to not be great, but extraordinary.
TF: You have a knack for finding adventures even around the places you live. What inspired you to start “buildering,” or urban bouldering?
MS: I just like to climb, wherever it may be, and buildings started to become more convenient than gyms when I wasn’t able to get out of the city.
TF: Who or what has been the most empowering thing in your life?
MS: In short, I was in a relationship that turned me into a person that I could no longer recognize. I had lost all ambitions and seemed to care more about materialistic possessions rather than finding happiness from what actually made me happy. Unfortunately, I think that this is all too common with many entering adulthood. You lose sight of your dreams in trade for what is expected out you by societal standards. All of a sudden, success equates to happiness, which is based on career, material gains, and relationship status. When I found climbing, or one could say, when climbing found me, I found what really made me happy and soon success in all aspects of my life followed. The passion that I found within myself through climbing transcended into my work life and into a career that I absolutely love.
TF: You feed so much adventurous spirit to others; from where do you draw your adventure inspiration?
MS: I think that it is from all the years of not doing much of anything or thinking that there is plenty of time to eventually do it. Last year, I came to this amazing revelation that the only thing stopping you from having everything that you have ever wanted in your life is simple… you. For most, including myself, you say, “there isn’t enough time, or I don’t have any money,” but those are just excuses because you are afraid of failure or the unknown adventure.
If you watch less TV, spend less money on silly things, and even less on petty drama, then you can do more and live more of the life that you have always dreamed of. You just need to stop thinking that your goals are impossible and start thinking that you have the power to decide how you are going to live your life everyday. That is where the #livemorenow came from because you will never regret taking a chance to do something adventurous everyday. But, you regret sitting back thinking about the day you could have had.
TF: After overcoming huge obstacles, what is your advice to those who have recently suffered injuries or find themselves in a rut?
MS: You will hit a point in your life when you think that there is no way it could get any worse until it does. Days, weeks, months or sometimes even years later, you will wake up with an amazing realization that you survived; you were able to get through that moment even though at the time you never thought it possible. I’ve had my fare share of bad luck; but I have learned to look at the bigger picture and realize that it’s the failures, loss, and disappointments that define your greatest future successes. You hold the power to decide how you are going to live each day, so you might as well make it the greatest day of your life.
Check out, Meg the legend.