We’re shining the spotlight on FA member Adnaan Soorma this month! Adnaan started climbing at First Ascent Uptown and hasn’t looked back since that fateful day in 2015. He has taken climbing outside to destinations across the country, and he is a constant positive presence at First Ascent. Read more about Adnaan below and say hi to him next time you see him!
How did you get into climbing?
A friend of mine took me bouldering at FA Uptown back in early 2015.I didn’t really know what I was doing at first. But after a couple bouldering sessions I was hooked. I went on to buy my first pair of shoes, take the Learn the Ropes class at FA Avondale, and the rest is history.
What do you love about climbing?
I really love the problem solving. It’s not just about being the strongest. There’s lots of technique that unlocks moves specific to your body. I also love the community, being outdoors, and connecting with nature.
Bouldering or sport climbing?
Sport Climbing. When you’re on that lead rope it’s like putting a series of boulder problems together. So it’s the best of both worlds for me. I also enjoy long distance running and other battles of endurance.
What is your favorite place to climb outdoors? What other outdoor activities do you participate in?
Red River Gorge. The features are amazing at The Red from technical slab to overhang jug hauls.There is no shortage of climbs down there.
I also enjoy skiing, running, and biking. I’m also trying to get more into backpacking.
Do you have any particular climbing projects or fitness goals for this year?
I’ve got my eye on Twinkie. That is the route at The Red not the snack.I’d also like to send a 5.13 this year.
What keeps you busy when you’re not climbing?
If I’m not climbing I’m either at work writing code or sleeping.
What do you love about Chicago?
Summer. My perfect summer day in Chicago is biking to the bouldering gym for some yoga and climbing, getting some lunch, and then going to the beach.
What is your favorite Chicago spot for food, music, art, or culture?
I really like Vapiano for Italian food.Their pizza gives Miguel’s a run for their money.
Chicago also does a great job with their parks with the Grant Park Music Festival and Movies in the Park.
What is something about you most people don’t know?
I’ve always been in the midwest. I moved to Chicago five years ago after finishing school in Akron, Ohio.
Anything else you want to say to the FA Community?
Don’t give up on your goals. If you’re running into a challenge, step back and assess the problem (maybe not literally or you’ll fall off the wall), you will find a way even if it’s not the way everyone else has done it. I really like this quote by Robert Frost, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
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