Tell us about yourself - who are you and what do you love doing?
Hi… my name is Ayesha… My turn-ons include improved inclusivity and representation in the climbing industry, and my turn-offs include transphobia and finger injuries. I’m a Canadian currently residing in Leeds, and what I love most is trying hard, whether that be on a boulder, a sport climb, or in training.
Give us three words that you identify with most?
Passionate, unconventional, and umm… sweaty.
What brings you the most joy outdoors?
Laughing and being silly with friends. Climbing is great, but have you ever been hunched over, ugly-crying-belly-laughing with your mates at the crag? I love beautiful lines, powerful moves, and trying really, REALLY hard, but it’s all so much sweeter when shared with like minded and psyched people.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Learning how to manage my anxiety. I’ve always struggled with anxiety but never felt I was capable of overcoming it, or of living a life with the tools to manage it. I had resigned to the fact that I was probably incapable of taking control of my own happiness. Luckily I was able to pursue help, and a lot of CBT later I feel confident in my ability to maintain my own happiness, and comfortable asking for help when I need it. If you would like to know more about the path I took to improve my mental health please do not hesitate to send me a message.
If you could share a core value or abiding principle with others, what would it be?
It is okay to learn you were wrong about something and then change your opinion. Be open to new and uncomfortable concepts. There is a big wide world out there, and your individual realm of existence is tiny in comparison. It is our duty to take the initiative to learn about other people’s perspectives and experiences, even if they challenge what we previously knew to be true.
Tell us one small change we can make as individuals to help our community?
Take the time to educate yourself on biases and discrimination in the climbing community. Demand inclusivity, demand representation, and demand accountability from your peers, and most importantly from yourself.