Welcome to another episode of the SheHeroes Chatcast! In this 6-part series of conversations with accomplished SheHeroes in entertainment, publishing, film, sports and more we will chat about what inspires these amazing women to pave the way for the future of girls. We can’t wait to talk to women from all over who inspire!
This week we are excited to welcome Meagan Martin! Gymnast, pole-vaulter, champion Rock Climber, coach at ABC Kids Climbing Gym in Boulder, Colorado and currently competing on this season of American Ninja Warrior!
Meagan has been helping redefine what it means to be a female athlete first in the world of competitive rock climbing as well as the growing landscape of American Ninja Warrior – an arena is seeing an increase in women ninjas each year.
As a kid Meagan climbed trees all the time. She was home schooled in elementary school and her mom made her read for an hour each day. So, Meagan chose to climb up in a tree with her book to do her reading. For her, it always seemed more fun that way. Meagan started competing in gymnastics at the age of 5. "In regards to sports, all I really knew starting out was competitions. I love the exhilarating feeling that competitions give you. There are so many things going on, not only around you, but also in your head. You train really hard for that moment when you walk out in front of the crowd and do your thing. I do really love the crowd; they definitely pump me up!" says Meagan. Coming from a competitive gymnastics background, competing in climbing became the natural thing to do.
Meagan first tried Pole Vaulting in January of her freshman year of high school. "At first, I wasn’t really interested in trying pole vaulting, but my mom really thought that I should try it. I ended up loving it, so I guess my mom was right! I think that Gymnastics and climbing were both helpful in my transition into Pole Vaulting. Gymnastics gave me the body awareness, speed, strength, and acrobatic skills I needed to be a good Pole Vaulter. I think that climbing kept me strong after quitting gymnastics, so there was an added strength that I was able to apply to Pole Vaulting."
At the end of her Junior year of college, Meagan realized that she wanted to pursue climbing competitively again as well as make it her career following college graduation. She had gone to the climbing gym in Nashville a couple of times, but with school and track, Meagan hadn’t made climbing a priority. The summer before her Senior year of college, Meagan pole vaulted and climbed all summer. When she returned to Vanderbilt in the fall, Meagan made a point to climb at least once a week throughout the school year. "I would choose one day a week to climb for a few hours after track practice. It was quite exhausting, but I knew I would be in better climbing shape to start my training after graduating."
"I just want to continue climbing and enjoying it. I love competitions, so I will always do as many as I can. I also want to focus on outdoor climbing and sport climbing. I hope that my involvement in climbing will help the sport grow, because it's such an amazing sport that more people should enjoy."
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