Q&A: Ashima Shiraishi
The climbing prodigy on training regimens and guilty pleasures
Ashima Shiraishi was six when her father first took her to Rat Rock, a climbing wall in New York City’s Central Park. In just a few years, she became one of the most talked-about names in rock climbing—and, at 14, the first female and youngest climber in history to ever complete a V15 grade climb (the scale of difficulty goes from V0 to V17). Now the 17-year-old is setting her sights on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the first time in decades the sport has been included. Here, Shiraishi talks about her favorite food indulgence, the mental strategy she employs when facing an injury, and more.
What's your ultimate climbing goal?
How do you train?
When I prepare for a competition, I am usually bouldering. I work with a coach and there are certain themes for each day, so some might be focused on coordination and others geared toward endurance.
What goes through your head when you’re on the wall?
What are the most memorable places you’ve climbed?
Speaking of food, do you follow a specific diet when eating out?
I try to eat mostly vegetables and protein, but then sometimes I’ll treat myself to something pretty decadent. My guilty pleasure is good-quality Italian pizza. It’s my favorite.
What’s the number one thing you do to regenerate?
I really love deep tissue massages.
You’ve taken some big 45-feet falls in the past. How do you deal with injuries?
You’ve also made a name for yourself in the fashion scene—how do you express yourself through your clothing?
This summer, I’m climbing in several world cup events in Japan, Russia, and France. I’ll also be competing in one of the qualifiers for the Olympics, which will take place in Austria.