By Alycia Douglass
Work hard, play hard – right? At least, that’s been Erin Blaskie’s approach to life these days.
In her 9-5 grind, Blaskie serves as director of marketing at L-Spark, where she works with SaaS and cloud startups. When she’s not helping scale Canada’s best in SaaS, Blaskie can be found literally climbing the walls – often clocking upwards of 20 hours a week at her local climbing gym.
She was first introduced to rock climbing through her daughter, who attended not one, but two birthday parties at Altitude Gym. While Blaskie initially opted out of climbing, she says that seeing her daughter fearlessly navigate the wall was the driving force
behind her first attempt.
“I saw just how much confidence she was getting from climbing, but I didn’t try it that day,” says Blaskie. “We came back for another birthday party, and some of the other parents decided to climb … so I did, too. I got on the wall and loved it.”
While Blaskie is admittedly not very competitive, she says that climbing has helped her break down some of her own personal barriers. Back in May, she traveled to Utah, where she climbed on natural rock for the first time.
“It was the greatest challenge I’ve encountered (in the sport) so far,” says Blaskie. “I went out and was really nervous, but I loved every minute of it. I think it furthered my addiction to the sport.”
Speaking of addiction to the sport, Blaskie isn’t the only rock climber in her household. In fact, Altitude Gym has become a common family gathering place for herself, her fiance and young daughter.
“It helps that this is a sport that my whole family can do,” laughs Blaskie. “We can all climb. Because it’s such an individual sport, you can literally climb next to someone on the wall and be working very different difficulties and still have a great time.”
While climbing has been a good source of quality time with family, Blaskie says it’s been even better for her overall mental health. Having previously struggled with burnout and depression, she says that having a space to release everyday stresses has helped
her strike a better balance.
“You have to carve out time in your schedule to do something you love,” says Blaskie. “Making that a priority has really changed my life for the better. I can come to the wall, and I can leave it all on the wall.”
Having stumbled into the sport by chance, Blaskie remains grateful to have found her footing in a sport she can’t get enough of.
“I never in a million years thought that this would be a sport I would be into,” says Blaskie. “But now that I’m into it, I can’t imagine my life without it.”