Do you go by a nickname? AO or Bert
Birthdate: 28 April 1980
What is your occupation? A former educator now working at Whole Foods Market
What/when was your first climb? I am not sure, maybe 2009
How many climbs have you completed? About 20
Why/how did you start? My former students were my inspiration. We can see the tallest building, west of the Mississippi (Us Bank Tower in DTLA) from the school playground. At the time, they were in awe of Spiderman. So, I told them that I could climb as Spiderman did. And my stair climbing life began.
Do you have a favorite climb? Why? The AON Los Angeles building because of the difficulty of the stairs and Towerthon San Diego for mentally pushing your body further than you ever have. Plus seeing the same smiley faces brings joy.
Why do you climb? I am not sure why I climb, I just do.
Are there other sports you’re passionate about? Crossfit and trail running.
Did you have injuries or issues you needed to overcome to climb? Stair climbing has been my physical therapy for my knees. My doctor told me to do lunges and squats to allow the muscles to get stronger. Stair climbing does that for me.
How do you train? I chose to not have a car. Because of that, I cycle everywhere. I also do crossfit, swim, track endurance and stairs in the building I live at. Only two floors but that happens to work. I am also a volunteer pacer for a local running group, A Runners Circle.
Do you have a special relationship with any of your step-siblings? All of them! I am always at a happy place with every single one of them. Madeline encourage me to be part of a the team (WCL). Jeff Dinkin has always pushed me to be better and quicker in the stairs. Nandor has spiritually conversation with me. I get what I need from all without asking. They just give and I hope I can do the same for them. It’s a positive, competitive, encouraging, helpful group in West Coast Labels
Who inspires you? You do! And so does anyone you come in contact in life. For good or bad, you can always internalize it and make it positive. We get to live this one life, we should be inspired by all.