Member Spotlight: AUG 2015

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Kimi Nakano

Member since 2005

How did you start climbing?
Kimi: I drove by the pinnacle at REI Seattle for months thinking it would be fun to try, and then a friend invited me to go with a group of her friends. Long story short, I freaked out while the REI employee was giving his safety talk and instructions. I was (quietly) a shaky, sweaty mess, and thought I might throw up, but because I didn’t know most of the people there I didn’t want to make a fool of myself and forced myself to do it. About five feet off the ground I panicked. I don’t think I technically blacked out because I didn’t lose consciousness, but I was so traumatized that I immediately lost all memory of the event (apparently I got to the top). I think it was a 5.6.

Thinking that maybe I didn’t eat enough that day or that I was getting sick, I made myself do it again on a different day (alone this time) – same anxiety but a little better. I knew it was completely irrational and hated the lack of control, so I kept forcing myself to do it. After about six months of torture, I realized I was starting to actually love climbing… and haven’t looked back since.

Why do you climb at Edgeworks?
Kimi: Some of the best people I’ve met in my life, I’ve met at Edgeworks. It’s like my climbing home.

Where is your favorite place to climb outside?
Kimi: Smith Rock will always hold a place in my heart – I love how it looks and how it smells (juniper and sage!), and I have a lot of great memories climbing and camping there. I also love all of the climbing in Squamish. But the most beautiful places I’ve ever had the privilege to experience are in the North Cascades.

What do you do when you’re not climbing?
Kimi: I take naps. I also do yoga pretty regularly, and when it’s warm and sunny I like to paddleboard on local lakes. Recently I’ve gotten into what has been dubbed “fight club,” but really it’s just high-intensity circuit training with occasional striking sessions – I get to train with and punch and kick MMA fighters, and they don’t hit me back!

What are some interesting facts you’d like to share with the Edgeworks community?
Kimi: Trypophobia is the fear of irregular patterns and clusters of circles or holes. Though not officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, it is believed to be rooted in biological revulsion rather than a learned cultural fear. Some of the holds at Edgeworks drive me nuts.