Meet Jeline Guiles. She loves bouldering. So much so that she doesn’t even own a rope! She’s also the creator Climb On! Sister, an idea conceived from love – the love of climbing, that’s evolved into a hub for igniting a passion for climbing amongst girls and women. Aside from being a self-starter whose contributing in such an positive way to the climbing community, what really stands out about Jeline is she’s real, she’s interesting, and she’s got an amazing attitude. An inspiration for the hard work and outlook needed to succeed both on the rocks and in life, she’s the perfect mentor for someone looking to take their passions to the next level, especially when that passion is climbing. Without further ado, meet Jeline Guiles – OMM’s Lauren Rains ~~~ What’s the story behind how you got into climbing? It was my 21st birthday. Knowing that I wasn’t into the typical college party scene, my boyfriend decided to take me to the local climbing gym. We climbed for 5 hours straight, to the point we couldn’t even hold the steering wheel on our way home. We were hooked! We decided to climb about once a month, taking some outdoor climbing trips every now and then with more experienced climbers we knew, until we got married (about a year later) and discovered that there was a climbing gym less than 3 miles from us. We instantly signed up for an annual membership and have been going there for the past 6 years. What was your life like growing up? Growing up, we didn’t have much, but my parents wanted more for my two older sisters and me, so we uprooted from the Philippines and moved to Australia. After earning our citizenship and 8 years of amazing Australian life, we moved here to the States where my parents taught us the value of hard work and dedication. They pushed my sisters and me to do well in school, to finish college, and to follow what our hearts desired. I remember, a long time ago, wanting to become a pediatrician, so my mom bought me a children’s book of anatomy because, that’s what my parents did; they taught me to dream big and showed me that there was always a way to achieve those dreams. They always supported my sisters and me wholeheartedly in our endeavors and were always our loudest cheerleaders. Everything I am, I learned from my parents. What was the feeling you had / the moment when you first realized climbing would become a huge part of your life? After coming back from my honeymoon, I remember standing in the bathroom, my fingers dipped in a bowl of acetone, waiting on the glue from my fake nails to disintegrate so that I could go climbing. There I was, newly married, with a 7 day-old French manicure that I so desperately wanted to get rid of, and I thought “Jeline, you’re addicted!” For those who have never climbed – how exactly do you train for it? Also, are there any training resources you’d recommend such as websites, online communities, workout regimens? For new climbers, the best training is just to climb. A lot. Focus on your technique before you focus on strength. Strength will come eventually, but if you learn bad technique in the beginning, it’ll be difficult to get rid of later on. When I first started climbing, I watched the better climbers and asked them for advice on certain moves or any tips they had for new climbers like me. I bought books on climbing for beginners and subscribed to climbing magazines. As far as websites, DPMclimbing.com has a pretty good online community, and so does Climbing.com. And of course, you could always use Climb On, Sister! as a resource. *wink* You’re into bouldering all the way. You don’t even own a rope! What is it about bouldering in particular that you love so much? When I first started climbing, I would only rope climb. Eventually, my husband got into bouldering and stopped wanting to belay me. With no other choice than to boulder more, I really began to enjoy it. I saw gains in my bouldering quicker than I did on rope, so I stuck with it. There’s something about trying to finesse powerful moves that really motivates me to try harder. What do you feel, think, experience when you’re in the moment of climbing? Fear is a big issue with me, so I try to suppress my fear as much as I can. My fear comes in two forms: fear of falling is the most prominent, but there’s also the fear of failure. On a climb I would call “good” (good because I didn’t let my fear sink in), I’m focused and feel relaxed. I’m also having an internal conversation with myself that I can do it! Then when I top out, the adrenaline kicks in and I’m extremely excited to have completed the climb. The whole experience is an array of emotions and I feel bipolar, but I wouldn’t trade it in if keeping my sanity meant staying on the ground. Who/what inspires you? I’m inspired by anyone that sees his/her potential and does what he/she needs to do to go beyond it. We’re all very capable of achieving great things, if we work hard and have the confidence in ourselves to stick with it. So…who inspires me? The person trying the hardest does. You are the creator of the website Climb On, Sister! What is the site and what are your goals for it? Initially, I created Climb On, Sister! as a means to document how I trained for climbing, my climbing trips, and my thoughts about climbing. As the months went by, it became less about me, and more about the women in the climbing community. My goal with the site is to ignite a passion in girls and women to push themselves, and the sport of climbing, and to celebrate the women of climbing. At the same time, I want it to become a resource for climbers, men and women, so I try to keep most articles gender neutral, except for the fun, girly articles. Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the culture and sport of climbing today? The individuals shaping the sport are the kids. Have you seen them climb?! I don’t think they get enough credit for their hard work and dedication to the sport, but they will be the ones to put up new, hard, and futuristic routes/problems for us old folk, so we should probably keep a closer eye on them. Let’s talk gear: What to your gear of choose for shoes, chalk, clothing, crash pad, etc? Why? Shoes: I’ve always worn Evolv shoes. I like the sensitivity you get with them, but they’re also the most comfortable I’ve worn. Chalk: As a brand ambassador for Primo Chalk, of course I have to go with them. Honesty, though, I really do like how their chalk is light and airy, but it sticks to your hand. Plus, it keeps your hand moisturized after climbing sessions! AND it smells like Christmas morning (Nutmeg? Cinnamon?) Clothing: I don’t really have a brand I stick with right now, but I recently discovered Ashenzi – a company based in Canada started by female climbers for female climbers. I don’t think there are enough technical pieces of clothing for female climbers out in the market, so I like that they’re focusing on that. Vertical Girl also has some rad stuff, along with Prana. Crashpad: We recently bought a massive Stonelick crashpad and it’s awesome! They give great customer service (tell Diana I said “hi”). We’ve also owned Metolius crashpads for our outdoor trips. What’s the toughest boulder you’ve climbed? What grade was it? I’ve climbed up to V9, but to me, climbing is all subjective and grades don’t really matter. A V2 to one person is a V5 to me, at times. There have been many times when I couldn’t complete an easy problem but hiked up a more difficult one. However, I’d say the “toughest” boulder problem I’ve climbed so far was a problem on the Sloping Joe Boulder at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch. The name escapes me, but it was probably a v5? It was tough because it was not my style of climbing whatsoever: slopes to more slopes, to a somewhat high top out, to more slopes. My fear set in and I had to mentally battle my way through it, even though I was very physically capable of completing the problem. When I got to the top, I was hyperventilating and almost ready to cry because I could not believe how scared I was of falling. Yeah, it was traumatizing. Since then, I’ve learned how to better control myself and just breath a little deeper if I feel scared. That seems to help lessen the fear. If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would that message be? Don’t be afraid to be better than your best. And just for fun, what’s your favorite book(s), movie(s), and music group(s)? Books: I don’t get to read much, but when I do, I enjoy series. My sister, Wilette Youkey, recently published her book The Origin, which is the first of three (?). I also enjoy John Marsden’s Tomorrow When The War Began series and, of course, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Movies: Anything that can keep me awake. I’m usually so busy that when I do watch a movie, it’s my time to relax and I end up falling asleep. Sad, but true. What are you most grateful for? I’ve come to realize that nothing in life is guaranteed, so I’m most grateful for: My wonderful, supportive, loving husband and my equally supportive family and friends. My three dachshunds. My health. My job. Finding something I’m passionate about. Everything in my life, really… What’s next for you in the near and distant future? I plan on competing in the Citizen’s bouldering competition at the Teva Mountain Games this summer and I’ve got a speaking engagement at the Texas Outdoor Women’s Network in July. In the fall, I’d like to compete in the Triple Crown Bouldering series, so we’ll see how that pans out. As far as Climb On, Sister! goes, I’d like for the momentum it’s gained to keep going. The opportunities are endless and I’m excited to see where it will lead me! Jeline Guiles is the editor-in-chief of Climb On, Sister! – a blog dedicated to igniting a passion for climbing amongst girls and women. She is sponsored by Primo Chalk and Climb On! To find out more, visit www.climbonsister.com or follow on www.facebook.com/climbonsister or Twitter @climbonsister.