Saturday, December 31, 2011

Meet...Meagan Martin

By Aubrey Wingo

Recently Aiguille Rock Climbing Center graphically revamped their style, including our brand new brochure and our front cover model might seem a little unfamiliar to some. Typically, writers at the Aiguille newsletter present articles about our current members here at the facility however we can make an exception in this case. Meagan Martin, the new face of the Aiguille brochure, has a long history with the gym.

Climbing for around 12 years now, Meagan’s involvement in the climbing industry over the years is long seeded in Team Aiguille, USA Climbing, and Aiguille Rock Climbing Center. Let us take a stroll back in time to around the turn of the century... the 21st Century that is when Meagan retired from her years in gymnastics, despite the fact that both her parents and two sisters were rooted in in the sport, to discover a new world of athleticism in rock climbing. Being a Lake Mary native, Aiguille was guaranteed to be her first stop. It wasn’t long before Meagan proved to her Team Aiguille coaches and competitors that she was a contender, quickly dominating the climbing scene award after award. Meagan is a four-time US National Team Member, including first place at Youth Nationals in 2002, placeholder in the Professional Climbers Association competiting, multiple American Bouldering series wins, first at Boulderpalooza, and has competed at various competitions such as the Teva Mountain Games and the Ford Adventure Sports Challenge.

Now at 21, Meagan’s climbing competition days have been put on hold while she attends Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN as a star pole vaulter. Always involved in track and field at Lake Mary High School and a 4 year letter holder in her sport, she currently holds the record at LMHS at 12’3” as well as Vanderbilt’s record at 12’8”. Pole vaulting definitely seems like a stretch from climbing however Meagan has noted that pole vaulting keeps her in shape when she does not have the opportunities to climb. Once graduated with a degree in English, it won’t be long before you see Meagan in the competition scene again.

So what can inspire someone like Meagan to continuously train and climb? “Mark Mercer and Choco Tacos!” she says with a laugh and maybe an occasional snort. You can constantly see these training partners working some of the hardest problems on the Wave and constantly leading 5.13s here at Aiguille. “Climbing is the best thing ever, frustrating but rewarding.” In this writer’s opinion, Meagan is an inspiration to any female climber, climbing stronger than most of the men. When asked about her thoughts about being a female climber, she simply says, “we’re awesome”, and that it can definitely be satisfying to beat all the boys!

Meagan has climbed all over the country, including Little Rock City, Rocktown, New River Gorge, Red River Gorge, Rocky Mountain National Park, Fosters Falls, Yosemite National Park and more. Eventually, her dream is to climb at Hueco Tanks in Texas and Rodellar in Spain. Bouldering or sport climbing, it doesn’t matter as long as she is having fun!

Overall, Meagan isn’t much different from any other girl. Outside of climbing, she loves to shop, watch TV, and paint her nails, listens to everything from Modest Mouse to Deadmau5, and oh wait... climbs V9/5.12d! When asked what advice she could give to all climbers, she says,

“Don’t ever be afraid to get on anything that’s hard.
Climb everything.”

Look for Meagan strapping on her Testarosas every holiday break from school dominating at Aiguille Rock Climbing Center
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