About No Excuses // Just Crush

A good friend and climbing partner once told me, I love climbing with you because you take away all of my excuses. I don’t remember his words verbatim, but the gist was that my badassery inspired him to push harder, climb higher, run faster, fight for just one more second. And if I can inspire one person, why can’t I inspire many?

I hate excuses. They are dirty little lies, all wrapped up in reasons. I like crushing. I like trying hard. Really hard. Sometimes I succeed, other times I don’t. But if I want it, I find a way – not an excuse.

I’m just an ordinary girl. A single mother, a small business owner, a recovering addict. And a crusher. I unapologetically chase my stoke, and I want to inspire you to do the same.

rock climber and crag dog


Before there was rock climbing, there was gymnastics. I ate, breathed and slept gymnastics until one back injury led to another, led to another, and the next thing I knew I had been diagnosed with a fractured scapula, scoliosis, kyphosis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and fibromyalgia. Cue the painkillers and corticosteroid injections.

There is an uncommon risk associated with corticosteroid injections: scar tissue can build up at the injection site, trapping your nerve roots and causing intense pain and limited mobility, or even paralysis. This pain disorder, called arachnoiditis, just happened to manifest during my pregnancy, rendering me completely immobile, paralyzed with pain. My neurologist told me – and this is verbatim – that I was in more pain than that of a terminal cancer patient, but without the promise of death. I lived in that pain for over a year. There was about a 10% chance that surgery could cure me. I’m grateful every day that it did.

While recovering from my surgery, I contracted viral meningitis and needed a spinal tap. Blah, blah, blah, there is an uncommon risk associated with spinal taps, where the injection can cause a spinal fluid leak. Two surgeries and about a year later my back was in working order – and I was hopelessly addicted to painkillers.

Painkillers turned to heroin, as they often do, and I promise you that I was not crushing anything in life. But that is all in the past.


Many years and a lot of hard work later, I’m all cleaned up and a not-so-anonymous member of Alcoholics Anonymous. In sobriety, I threw myself back into fitness and yoga. I discovered rock climbing, a new – but very healthy – addiction. I stopped making excuses and started to crush. I went from smoking a pack-and-a-half a day to running a half marathon on Monday mornings, from being out of breath on a brisk walk to bringing energy, attitude and intensity to a killer HIIT workout. Instead of staying up until sunrise, I rise with the sun, saluting it with a few vinyasas, expressing my gratitude to the universe.

By day, I’m a single mother running a marketing & design consultancy. By night, I’m a fitness and yoga instructor at Central Rock Gym in Randolph, MA. By weekend, you can catch me climbing anywhere from Rumney to Red Rocks, hiking the Whites, pounding pavement, surfing, paddling, kayaking – and always crushing.

female ice climbers
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