We caught up with Hive athlete Jesse Grupper to learn about his passion for competitive climbing.
Photo by Jennie Jariel
Where is home?
I’m originally from Montclair, N.J.
What is your main sport?
I am a competitive (indoor) and outdoor rock climber.
How did you get into the sport and how many years have you been participating?
When I was six years old, I was dragged to my local climbing gym with my mom for my sister’s lessons. I didn’t want to just sit on the couch, and naturally was attracted to the activity. Climbing provides a sense of freedom and challenge that is hard to come by in other aspects of life. Falling is inevitable if you are pushing yourself to the limit, but, by being at the cusp, you learn so much more about yourself and your potential. It makes those times that you can figure out how to get to the top all the more worth it.
Why do you compete?
Climbing is my passion, it’s what I love doing. I love it because it gives me the opportunity to push myself more than I think I’m capable of, and gives me a platform to always feel like I can improve. It’s a mental challenge because each route is like a puzzle. There are many ways to go from the start to the finish, but you are always looking for the optimal path. It is also extremely physically challenging, as it takes a combination of strength, endurance, and power.
Do you compete on a team?
I mainly train individually, but receive workouts from my coach, Randi Goldberg. As part of becoming the National Champion in sport climbing, I have been given the opportunity to compete on the lead World Cup Circuit as part of the National Team. These competitions start in July and, while I am abroad, I will get the chance to train and work with the team.
Photo by Daniel Gajda
What is your greatest personal accomplishment, in your sport or in life?
This past October I sent my first 5.15 outside in Rumney, NH with Jaws II, which is the hardest number grade for sport climbing currently established. I also won Sport Open Nationals this past March, and placed second at the World Youth Championships in Arco, Italy in 2015.
What are your goals for the future?
For the past twenty years, I’ve devoted myself to balancing school and climbing. This coming year, after I graduate, I’ll be able to fully pursue climbing. I want to continue to push myself in outdoor and competitive climbing. I am excited to try my luck on the World Cup Circuit and compete among some of the best in the sport. I also want to complete more 5.15’s and continue to progress in outdoor climbing. More than anything, I want to continue to use failure as a motivator to reach a new level of climbing and awareness of myself, which I think only comes when you give your all to something.
Are there pieces of advice you have learned over the years and would like to pass on?
There’s a lot of talk about giving 110% all the time, but I think that listening to your body is the most important advice I can give. I, of course, want to give climbing everything I have all the time, but I’d rather practice for a sustained and healthy way so that I can do what I love for the rest of my life. Push it, but do it responsibly.
How did you hear about Honey Stinger?
I was outside climbing one day, and a friend pulled out this waffle-like thing and said, “You gotta try this!” One bite later and I was hooked.
What is your favorite Honey Stinger product and flavor?
Maybe I’m easy to please, but the Honey Waffles are just so good!
What Honey Stinger product and/or flavor would you like to invent?
Chocolate and peanut butter is probably my favorite combination, and waffles are an awesome snack. So maybe a chocolate, peanut butter waffle?
What is your favorite quote?
“Just remember to have fun.”
Photo by Daniel Gajda
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Media Highlights: https://jessegrupper.weebly.com/press-and-videos.html