It was only a few weeks ago, when my mother went into a monograming place to get my name embroidered onto my US team jacket. By chance the woman mentioned that her son used to climb. She talked about his true love for the sport. My mom naturally asked the woman her son’s name to see if I might know him, since Dallas has a relatively small climbing community. The woman explained that her son had died almost 10 years ago. Shocked, my mother said she was sorry to hear that and left the store. She went home and told me the story. She really felt that she had an obligation to somehow give back to this sweet woman who we knew little about. I agreed with her, and I was willing to do anything to help. She courageously went back to the store with the intention of finding a way to help this lady. My Mom offered for the opportunity to meet me. She took a moment to compose herself and said that she would love to. She then continued by say that her son’s birthday was the next day and that my mother could not have came at a better time. My Mom called me the next day while I was in Rifle to share the news. I was taken back by the story, and was extremely excited to meet Leigh. I took some time in the last few days to find a way that I could make the greatest impact on Leigh and her family. I eventually decided that it would be my privilege to climb in her sons honor in the upcoming World’s in Singapore. I brought my jersey and first carabineer to the lunch that we set up. I gave her the jersey so she could monogram her son’s initials on it. I gave the carabineer because she exclaimed to my mother that she bought many for her son and he collected them. Leigh was truly a pleasure to meet and talk to. She is one of the sweetest and genuine people I have ever met. She showed me picture of her son, Houston. It was quite an emotional thing for both of us. Houston really seemed to love the sport of climbing. He would spend hours in their local climbing store just looking at gear. He never fully got to truly enjoy his sport due to an early death. Never the less, he had a passion that still lingers. I said my goodbye to Leigh as we left. I have now kept in touch with her as well as I can. I’m now always trying to remember that my climbing has a much greater purpose that surpasses myself. She is quite the texter by using phrases such as “I will be tickled pink” and characters such as “:o)”. I honestly have never been so motivated or driven to compete. Houston was a great kid that never had a full life of climbing. I only wish that I can climb in a way that fully represents his passion. I am so blessed to be here in Singapore and be able to pursue my passion of climbing. I am truly honored to have Houston’s initials on my sleeve. I am having trouble putting into words how much this means to me. I can only hope that my actions in Singapore will fully honor Houston in the way that he should be remembered. This is for Houston, Leigh, and the rest of their family.
Give more than you take
|Leigh and I|