I am so grateful to have been able to track down Canada’s own Sean McColl for a quick interview. Sean is a motivator and inspiration to so many climbers because of his playful personality and is ability to seriously crush on both rock and plastic. One thing that I especially love about Sean is that by just watching him climb, you can see how much he truly enjoys it. Sean climbs through passion, which is one of the reasons I believe he has been so successful.
Below you will find my interview with Mr. McColl. Enjoy!!
1. Whenever I watch you compete you always seem to be having a lot of fun. How do you maintain such a positive mindset under all the pressure that comes with competition climbing?
I manage to have so much fun at competitions because I genuinely love competing. I started competing when I was 11 years old and have many ups and downs. I maintain the mentality by competing in as many competitions as I can manage and also do other types of climbing to keep myself entertained. I also love traveling, meeting up with my friends and climbing outside. When I get frustrated in a certain aspect of climbing, there are so many different ones to jump between that I am never bored.
2. What keeps you motivated to keep pushing your limits?
Competitions, Training and pushing myself to my next goal keeps me motivated enough. I also have enough time to relax while I’m not climbing. With this, I have enough time to plan out my trips and season so that while I’m traveling I can really use that time well. It’s also so inspiring to see other professional climbers do things that I personally want to achieve. If I’m lucky enough, I’ll know the climber and they can also help me achieve my goals.
3. What do you find is the most satisfying part of climbing?
The most satisfying part of climbing is completing or doing something you thought wasn’t possible for yourself or doing something unique for the first time. I love trying out new different types of competitions to see how they will affect me.
4. What inspires you most in a climb? (i.e. The holds? Movement? Location? etc…)
I find the most inspirational part of climbing is that it’s so similar to that of a well constructed Orchestra. There are so many moving parts in climbing, body position, hold position, thinking ahead, sequencing. I try to master all aspects of it to make myself the best climber. There are many climbers that specialize in one or two parts of this “Orchestra” but I try to be good in all parts. Of course I still have my weaknesses.
5. What is on your climbing bucket list?
I have a bunch of boulders and routes that inspired me but I never had the chance to do. A lot of things on my bucket list are new areas that I want to finally climb in or even develop a completely new area.
6. What would you say is the most valuable type of training you’ve done?
The most valuable part of training I did was listen to my coach as close to 100% of the time as I could when I was between the ages of 14-18. During that time, I learned how to train efficiently and I learned everything I needed to about what my body could handle. Since then, I’ve adapted my training to my body and where I am physically but a lot of things I do come back to what I learned in those teenage years. Without them I would be lost.
7. What is/was your biggest struggle that you encounter while climbing?
The biggest struggle I encounter while climbing is being or getting injured. You can usually feel it coming and it’s the worst feeling because you know you can’t train 100%. If you are injured enough, you have to not climb at all which is sometimes so hard to do especially if it’s mid season.
8. If you could offer one piece of advice to a climber what would it be?
Enjoy the process of training and competing. You will never win every competition you go into but you can always have fun. Try to be satisfied with climbing well regardless of your overall placing.
9. It was amazing watching you on America Ninja Warrior! It looks like your climbing skills were a huge asset. How did it feel to compete in something other than climbing? Will we see you there again?
If they invite me back in 2015, I’d love to go back on American Ninja Warrior. My climbing skills were definitely an asset; to compete on something like that felt like another type of competition but the hardest part was that I was doing new movements for the first time and some were pretty hard. Many people who do Ninja Warrior train for most of the year for that. I’ve been training for climbing so it was a new challenge that I gladly accepted.
10. Name one thing about you that few people know (like a pet peeve, bad habit, or guilty pleasure).
During my rest periods at home, I love to play video games. It relaxes me, is easy on the body and I can do it all from the comfort of my home.
Thank you Sean McColl for the interview! Keep on inspiring! 🙂