Therese you a are huge fan of Monkey Fist, and such a happy and energetic person. Monkey Fist loves having you on the team, your enthusiasm is contagious. Can you tell everyone why and when you use Monkey Fist products?
“Well it is not even necessary to ask when I use Monkey Fist , since it is ALWAYS in my bag and I make constant use of it!
My favourite moment to apply it is directly after any climbing or training session, Monkey Fist is so calming for my hands. I often use it directly after I have had a shower. That is the best time because it gets straight into my skin. You should try it gets the best feeling skin ever!”
Nice one Thérèse, we will definitely try the post shower method. Therese, when you are not climbing what is taking up your time?
“Well I am a student in international Trade in Brussels – Belgium. I am a social media analyst and strategist. And I run my own brand called “I-
Thérèse you told Monkey Fist that following some physical illness and disability climbing changed your life. Can you explain this further and tell us when you first started climbing?
“I put on a harness for the first time in August 2012, I hadn’t done any sporting activities for 3 years due to the physical disabilities I was suffering.
I was born with a malformation of my last vertebra, which is attached to the linker part of my hips. To begin with it didn’t cause me many problems or much pain. ln my teenage year that changed, the pain increased to levels that saw me spending most of my time in a wheel chair. I spent almost two full summers in this wheel chair, which was very difficult as I have always been active.
I had been horse riding for more than 14 years, dancing, playing volleyball, rugby and kickboxing. All this had to end when my back pains became too much. I began to believe I would spend the rest of my life in a wheel chair. I was not able to walk properly for any long distance, I could not put on clothes alone I needed help all the time it was very difficult.
However from these bad times I have learnt a lot about Life, I have become so grateful of everything, knowing it can all collapse without warning or reason.”
That must have been a very hard time, especially for someone so active. It is great to see things have turned around for you and you are so happy now. How did you discover climbing, which became the way out of your physical hardship?
“I asked my mum for ideas of what I could do with my time as the chiropractor has said that I needed physical activity to heal my back. But the pain I was experiencing had meant everything I had previously done was out of the question. I had always wanted to try extreme sports, especially skydiving which unfortunately at that time was not an option. Mum suggested “since you love extreme sports so much and that you have been climbing on everything since your youngest age, why don’t you start climbing?”
I guess your parents are always right. Thank you mum! This simple suggestion has become the best thing to ever happen to me.”
That is amazing Therese, a good suggestion from your mum. How is your climbing going now, where and what do you like to climb?
“Now nearly 3 years later and after starting very gently and slowly I am out of my chair, active, climbing regularly and happy. Currently I am training hard to improve my climbing. I have now succeeded on several 7a’s. From a wheel chair to climbing 7a’s, three years ago i would not have though this possible. Climbing has even enabled me to be physically fit enough to make my dream a reality and start jumping from planes.
Since it is only 2 hours on a high speed train from Belgium to Fontainbleau France this became my movement playground. Font is for me the place to learn technique, wow, what a venue, my heart is in Font. I have also enjoyed climbing at Frankenjura, pushing my hardest sport climbs, onsight’s and headpoints in this beautiful setting. In the longer summer holidays I have visited the Calanques of Cassis (Marseille, France) a perfect venue for climbing holidays. Amazing views, great rock and the fact that you climb in front of the sea almost all the time makes it perfect.
Most of the time I am happy with climbs that gives a variation between crimps and slopers, well equipped routes are to me nicer to climb.. I feel I am a sport climber, but I have spent so much time that I really equally love bouldering. It really matters to me to become an all round climber.
I now know that life needs to be celebrated always and you need no special reason. You should simply celebrate life because everything could stop one day for no reason. My experiences in the chair and life since I left it have made me a truly happy and motivated person. I love to hug trees, climb in super coloured pants, wear bright coloured leg warmers and smile and laugh to celebrate life.”
Thank you Therese for letting everyone know a bit more about you. Your enthusiasm is contagious and I am certain we could all learn a lot from your approach to life. Good luck with the climbing Therese and we are very happy to have you as part of the ‘Monkey Fist’ family. We Love your “super coloured pants” and great big smile.
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