Alex David Johnson
posted by dpm on 10/04/2010
Alex David Johnson
Years Climbing: 6
Favorite Climbing Area: The Barn (My Home wall) also Rifle and the Red are pretty cool too
Hometown: Downers Grove, IL
Hardest Sends outside: 5.13d The Great Feast, Pipedream @ Rifle
Competition Accomplishments: Was recipient of the 2010 North Face Young Gun Award at this year’s Rope Nationals held in Stone Summit, Alexandria, GA
2010 Junior ABS National Champion
1) What is up with taking Alex Johnson's name? Don't you think that is f@cked up? I mean, it is hard enough for women to get ahead in this sport and you come along and totally steal her identity. What do you have to say for yourself?
HA-HA I really don’t know what to say to that, however her full name is Alexandria not Alex, and my full name is only Alex. Maybe you should be asking why she took my name.
2) Ok, ok, we get it, your parents named you Alex. I guess you are off the hook on that one. So, let's get all “Barbara Walters” and talk about the stuff that everyone is afraid to talk about...Back in the 90's, there was a climber named Mike Freeman. He was, one of the first known men of color in the sport of climbing. He would jokingly use the term FBA or First Black Ascent, because at the time, Mike was one of the only black climbers out there. Your cultural background is mixed. Why do you feel there aren't more people of color in the sport of climbing?
That is a good question; I believe that the reason there is not very many climbing because they are all playing basketball ha-ha. Maybe if gyms started putting basketball courts in their facilities then you might see that number rise. But seriously it would be cool to see more people of all mixes climbing. That’s a good idea, for my first FA I’ll call it FMA (first mulatto ascent).
3) Do you feel that your ethnic background makes you stand out to other competitors?
I think that my friendly personality and the fact that I wear socks when I climb make me stand out more than anything.
4) You have a fairly dynamic style when you climb. Can you slam dunk a basketball?
Of course I can dunk a basketball! Is that a question??
5) Your Facebook profile has a ton of photos of you smiling, laughing and acting foolish with your friends. Is there ever moments where you get pissed? What types of things get you heated?
Yeah, I just love goofing off, hanging with friends and messing with people. Being goofy is just a way of life for me. Hmmm, I can’t think of a time where I am not smiling or having a good time. I guess can get pretty grumpy sometimes when I am hungry.
6) By all accounts, it seems like most of the time you enjoy the hell out of your life and your family seems incredibly supportive of your life’s path. Tell us a little about your family.
My Mother and Grandmother are the BEST! They are both super supportive of me and my climbing; they are the reason why I have been able to progress so much in the sport. Without them I would not be able to travel all over the world competing. Also my new siblings Nathaniel age 3, Levi 2 and Ariana 1 are always a huge motivation for me to send when I hear them cheering me on at competitions.
7) Is it your mother who makes you wear socks with your climbing shoes, or is that your own doing?
Wearing socks was all my idea. It just felt so right the first time I put my shoes on with my socks. When socks take off in the climbing world I can launch my own sock line.
8) Has anyone ever told you that decreases the performance of your shoes?
I have heard this yes, but I believe that socks are the key to unlocking the future of climbing. I mean if Daniel Woods and Sharma started wearing socks who knows how hard they would be climbing right now.
9) Do you use color safe bleach on your socks or the full-strength stuff?
I actually use my very own special detergent that I designed special just for my climbing socks. It should be available in the US by the end of the year.
10) Ok, so clean socks are important to you. Do you wear different style socks depending on whether you are bouldering or sport climbing, and which of those disciplines do you prefer?
Black Nike low cuts are the only way to go. I think in order to be the best climber you need to boulder and climb. Bouldering gives you the strength for those hard cruxes on routes and sport climbing gives you the endurance for the long boulder problems. I can’t pick just one I love them both.
11) You are in College now, and undoubtedly when you aren’t training to climb or doing homework, you are trying to pick up girls. Do you use the “ABS Junior National Champion” title to slay the ladies or are your tactics more refined?
Oh yeah, I love the ladies. Every now and then I will bust that one out, but my favorite one to use that works every time is when you are talking to a girl just casually take a look at the girls tag on the back of her shirt and when she asks what you are doing, just smile and shake your head and say “Yep, made in Heaven.” It’s pretty much a done deal after that.
12) Was your recent online music video one of your tactics or is music a real passion of yours?
It was not meant to be a tactic, but the girls loved it so, maybe there will be more videos in the works. Music is a huge passion for me; there isn’t a moment where I am not listening to music. My favorite genres are club, dance, trance etc. I also really enjoy mixing and making music.
13) What kind of tips would you give to older climbers who want to make an online music video?
Be yourself and have fun and then it will for sure make top ten on ITunes. Also having a killer set of abs doesn’t hurt.
We look forward to watching your progress in climbing and we will be watching the Billboard charts for your debut album. Check out Alex Johnson’s video HERE.