I wasn’t naturally gifted. I was once a fat, uncoordinated, introverted kid.

Ean Kramer runs the popular early morning Coffee, Climbing & Conditioning (aka CCC) at our North Vancouver gym. As one of the ongoing trainings we offer in our Adult programs, here’s a little more about Ean and why he has made the CCC course one that people come back to year after year.

How did you get into climbing?

I had my first experience with climbing in 1995. It was outdoors at a place called Sandrock, Alabama in the U.S. Little did I know when I agreed to go, but I had a fear of heights. I discovered this when I was halfway up a 50 foot route, basically pulling myself from hold to hold (because none of my friends gave me any tips on technique), when all of a sudden my hands would no longer listen to me and I couldn’t let go of the wall. Despite the fact that I was on top rope on a relatively easy climb (maybe 5.7 at the most) and my friends were encouraging me to either reach for the next jug or just let go, my body wouldn’t listen. After what seemed like hours but was most likely more like 3-5 minutes my hands failed and I fell…all of maybe one to two feet (only because of rope stretch). My friend that was belaying me lowered me and another friend handed me a beer – which I gratefully accepted with sweaty, shaky hands. I spent the rest of that weekend drinking and watching my friends climb. After that I didn’t climb again for four years.

Four years later after many times of driving past The Wallcrawler Rock Club, my local climbing gym in Atlanta, GA, I decided it was time to give it another shot. I took a introduction to climbing lesson with the owner and I was hooked. After that I would spend 2-4 hours at the climbing gym 3-4 times per week, climbing until my hands were no longer able to hang onto holds. I put on 20 lbs. of muscle in 3 months.

Great that you kept at it and overcame your fear of heights… what do you love about climbing?

I love the mental aspects of climbing as well as the movement. Initially I used climbing as a fun, challenging form of exercise that forced me to completely focus on what I was doing in each moment. Later I learned to appreciate the fact that each route or boulder problem is a puzzle that can be unlocked. If you use the appropriate technique for each move, you can look cool and move up the wall with less effort than just pulling yourself from hold to hold. My first climbing coach taught me that each climbing technique is a tool. The more tools you have combined with knowing when to use each tool differentiates good climbers from novice climbers.

Why have you had success with running your CCC course?

I understand what people have to go through to conquer their fears and to reach their potential. I wasn’t a “naturally gifted” climber that started as a young child. I started climbing at 26 with a fear of heights to overcome and I had to learn everything literally from the ground up. I know what it’s like to fail and I know what it’s like to win. I know what it’s like to not be able to do things and to have to practice and adapt.

In addition to teaching and coaching climbers since 2007, I’ve been a route setter, a radio DJ, an energy healer, a fit model, a personal trainer, a competitive martial artist and an instructor of Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, Baguazhang, Kundalini Yoga, Qigong, Pilates, and meditation.

I invested the better part of my 20s and 30s transforming myself and, in 2013, at the age of 40 I took a lot of the skills that I had embodied over 20 years and created Longevity Training – Conscious Mind Body Fitness. The aim is to provide personal training and transformative coaching designed to take people to their next level. I really love helping people transform, evolve and empower themselves into people that are stronger, more flexible, more confident, more capable and happier.

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This is Ean’s 10th year teaching Coffee, Climbing & Conditioning (aka CCC), his popular morning class for beginners to veteran climbers alike. Jump start your morning with a cup of locally roasted Bean Around the World Coffee, then ease into 80-90 minutes of climbing drills. This is followed by Ean’s 24 station conditioning circuit specifically designed to create strength, flexibility, mobility and most importantly balance in musculature for climbers. Visit our Adult courses for more information.