Chris Sharma

Rock and Ice|June/July 2020

Chris Sharma
FIRST ASCENTIONIST, FORMER WORLD CHAMPION, OWNS GYMS IN SPAIN AND USA. INTERVIEWED IN QUARANTINE IN BARCELONA WITH HIS WIFE, 3-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER AND 1-YEAR-OLD SON.
RICARDO GIANCOLA

On being on full lockdown in Barcelona. We can’t even go out for an hour. We’ve literally been stuck in the apartment. Doing our part. We go out once a week for the supermarket … in full battle gear.

For sure it gets to me a bit, as an outdoor person. It could be worse, that’s for sure, but this whole thing is also really scary. Our kids got sick, had all the symptoms. Alana, our daughter, had a 105 temperature. The next day she had a dry cough. We didn’t get them tested but they had the symptoms. As a parent you feel so vulnerable and you’re better off not going to a doctor, they’re overwhelmed …

This is very humbling for society in general, forcing everyone to put everything on hold, and then you see your kid sick and you’re scared … So much is uncertain for me, [but] none of that mattered, the kids were sick. In those moments you see pretty clearly what is most important.

On a Rock and Ice profile where Andrew Bisharat observed people say they have never seen Sharma get mad in climbing. [Laughs.] I can’t say that’s always the case. We all try to keep our composure to the level that we can. It’s tricky when you care about something a lot, and you want to do what you’re capable of, and it’s not coming together.

Part of being successful is how you deal with frustration. To climb your best, you have to have a good state of mind. But at the same time there needs to be something nagging you. A thorn in your side … to let out this tortured artist [thing] that leads them to create these masterpieces.

When I did La Dura Dura [5.15c] I was going through some relationship stuff and in a way that was when I sent the route. Josh [Lowell, filmmaker] said you need to get a little pissed off. … Sometimes you gotta get a little angry to force you to crimp a little harder.

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June/July 2020