Today is Patriots’ Day in the state of Massachusetts. Every year for the past 123 years, this holiday has been celebrated with the running of the Boston Marathon. Yet, as with all major global sporting events, it has been postponed. For most of us, the past few weeks have been spent indoors, sheltering in place from COVID-19. Looking back, there are not many events that have required people to do so in the absence of a natural disaster or war. However, I recently realized I actually have experienced this in my lifetime. During my freshman year of college at Northeastern University in 2013, two individuals used explosives to set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I was watching the marathon with my roommate about an hour before the explosions. Shortly afterwards, the entire city of Boston went into complete lockdown as the police searched for the suspects. Late in the evening of April 19th 2013, police apprehended the suspects after an extensive manhunt. The lockdown was immediately lifted. What followed was the largest impromptu street party I’ve ever been a part of. When the police inevitably came, they were hailed as heroes. So how does this experience relate to our current situation? The biggest lesson for me is that this crisis will eventually come to an end. And when it does, we need to remember that the true heroes are those on the front line: the medical workers, essential employees, and emergency personnel. We may not have quite the impromptu street party that took place in Boston in 2013, but I believe it is important to acknowledge the individuals who are actively risking their lives for the public good. The Boston Marathon brings people together like few other events I’ve attended. The collective celebration of spirit, strength, and coming together to overcome adversity is something I will always remember. We may not be able to celebrate it today, but the time will eventually come where we can do so together again. 📸 2014 Boston Marathon // 2013 Street Party #BostonStrong
A little over two months ago, I returned from an incredibly fun bouldering/ski trip in Europe with this guy. Neither of us were aware at the time that it would be our last adventure for a while due to the craziness of COVID-19. For Andi, this meant diving headfirst into combating the disease. Utilizing his degree in molecular medicine, he immediately began work at a virology lab in Innsbruck to test countless samples for coronavirus. When I got home, I found myself asking questions like ‘what actually is a virus?’ or ‘how does a virus infect a cell?’. While the internet is usually good at finding answers to these questions, I felt like I was finding just as much misinformation being spread rapidly, especially through social media channels. Fortunately, Andi came to the rescue, walking me through his own 4-hour crash course in virology over Skype. It felt refreshing to connect what I’d learned in my high school/undergrad biology courses to what is currently happening around the world. I am incredibly thankful to be friends with someone like Andi. That being said, I recognize very few people have the privilege of learning about these topics in this way. So how do we understand this crisis better? There is no one simple answer to this. However, I firmly believe that it is only by understanding WHAT the problem is that we can better inform ourselves of HOW to respond. Some possible courses of action we can take are: • Dig into the science. Take an online class (MIT OpenCourseWare has some great free content) or seek out scientifically-sourced material to educate yourself about COVID-19. • Be critical of news or social media that is not rooted in scientific consensus. Exercise ‘click restraint’ before opening or sharing something that seems too good to be true. • Support scientists & medical workers as they work towards overcoming this challenge. If you’re struggling to find where to start, I’ve linked a great intro video to this topic in my bio, produced by outstanding med student and bouldering world champ @julewurm. Thank you Andi and all those around the world in the scientific community working to solve this global crisis. We got this.
Word on the street is that the entire bouldering WC circuit for this year has been transferred to a single event here in Sunnyvale. Comp just finished up today. Conditions were good, setting could’ve been better. Final score: 1T1Z 99 99. Need to remember to bring my kneepad next time 😬 @ifsclimbing @rockandicemag #stayactive #stayhealthy #washyourhands 📹 @levinrichard
Before getting to the topic I’d like to discuss today, these are my parents. They’re pretty cool. We’ve been trapped in the same house for two weeks and haven’t strangled each other yet, so that’s probably a good sign. I grew up with my parents in Sunnyvale, California. Sunnyvale is at the heart of Silicon Valley, home to the biggest technology companies on earth. I feel extraordinarily fortunate to have grown up here. Over the past 3 years, mom & dad have been volunteering at Sunnyvale Community Services (SCS). This organization provides assistance to families in need. Its relevance has increased dramatically in the past few decades with the tech boom, causing the cost of living to skyrocket. One recent study found that a household would need to work ~3.7 minimum wage jobs to be able to afford rent in Silicon Valley. Last year, SCS provided assistance to over 8,700 residents in the Sunnyvale area. So why does this matter? It’s because faced with COVID-19, we’ve ceased operations of all but ‘essential businesses’. These are the people working minimum wage at our local grocery stores, our gas stations, our transportation systems. We’ve collectively realized these people matter. They are essential. And it is this group of people who is most at risk during this pandemic. At SCS, operations are still open, but with limited support to assist families. This case is specific to the area I live in, but similar topics are currently being discussed globally. So the question I would like to ask today is: How can we support our local communities during this time? • Support organizations like SCS in your area. Donate or volunteer if they are still in operation. • Support local businesses. If you are able, keep paying your cleaning services or local gym membership. Order delivery from a local restaurant. • Support your neighbors. Offer to do groceries for those at higher risk. • Check up on people. Make sure people around you feel socially connected, even though they are physically distanced. • Share compassion. This is a difficult time. But I’m convinced that if we all take the time to support each other locally, we can get through this. Stay strong, everyone.
This is a global crisis. There’s really no other way of putting the current situation. As recently as two weeks ago, I had lots of plans for this year. My guess is you did, too. All of that has shifted to combat the worldwide pandemic that is COVID-19. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ With a sudden lack of competitions to look forward to, I am now forced to reassess my priorities as to how best to proceed. This includes how I utilize my platforms on social media as both a consumer and a producer of content. And so, starting with this post, I would like to pose questions and potential plans of action for different topics relating to said pandemic. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My first question is: What can we do? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Hopefully these actions you will already be very familiar with. Many of them have been widely promulgated by the CDC & WHO. I will point out that these actions are assuming you are in a situation where you are fortunate enough to make these decisions, which I recognize is not the case for everyone around the world. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ What we can do: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • STAY HOME. This is the simplest and easiest way to ‘flatten the curve’. • Stay healthy. Wash hands, exercise frequently, eat healthily, prioritize sleep. • Donate to or volunteer at a local food bank. • Listen to safety notices provided by your local government. At the same time, be critical of what our leaders put forward as proposed solutions. Speak out for those who have no voice. • Support local food & supply workers. Support medical workers. Listen to scientists. • Be kind to others. • Again, be kind to others. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Around this time there’s been a lot more engagement with social media (myself included). I’ve seen plenty of ‘inspirational’ posts that offer little substance and my goal is to not add unnecessary clutter. However, one of these ‘inspirational’ posts about fear stuck with me a bit more than others and I’d like to share my own interpretation here: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In my athletic career, many people ask me if I am ever afraid before a big competition. The answer? Always. It’s how we respond to this fear that defines us. When you’re confronted with your greatest fear, stay calm. Take a deep breath. Face everything, and rise.
So proud of my brobro ❤️ This week, he’s finishing out his second tour in @cirquedusoleil with @runtheshow. Definitely unfortunate the production is coming to a close, I had the opportunity to see it 3 times and it truly blew me away. Regardless, it was incredible to see Yuri’s journey through the entire lifespan of the show, including casting, creation, integration, navigating setbacks, & finally re-integration. His perseverance was apparent in the final product with him and his castmates easily pushing the entertainment industry in new & exciting directions. Wishing you the best of success on your next adventure! 😊
The Dagger (V13/8B) 🗡 • • • After combined nationals, I decided to take a spontaneous eurotrip to catch the legendary Hahnenkamm ski race in Kitzbühel as well as check out the bouldering scene here in Ticino. After watching videos of this problem for years it felt incredible to take it down from the stand start. Came mega close to the linking the sit, but looks like it’ll have to wait for a return trip for now. Thanks for sharing the adventure @ansichtssache.photography! 🙂
That’s a wrap. Over the past 3 years, I’ve dedicated my time, energy, and focus towards qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games. That journey concluded last weekend after finishing 7th in finals at Combined Nationals. While it was not the result I was hoping for, I’m proud to know that I gave the opportunity everything I had. Specifically for this event, I felt my mental & physical preparation were at a level higher than they’ve ever been before a competition, and there were moments during the rounds where I felt I performed at or even beyond my maximum potential. After the comp ended, someone asked me if there’s anything I’d change if I could do it all over again. I don’t think I would. I’ve learned so many things about myself and the world through this process and I feel extraordinarily fortunate to have had the experiences I did. Thank you to all who have supported me through this chapter of my life, I’m looking forward to the next one. 📸 @jonvickersphoto
Since 2003, Nationals has been the competition that has stood out to me as being the biggest event of my season. This year, Combined Nationals represents the cumulation of all my past experiences and is the final pathway towards qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games. I’m both excited and nervous, but most importantly feeling solid about my preparation for this event. Every round from here on out counts. All my training has prepared me for this moment. I’m ready to give it everything I’ve got. 📸 @lockhart.bob