At 20 years old, Sierra Blair-Coyle is having the time of her life as a “Roxy girl” and professional climber. Living in Scottsdale, AZ, her love of the sport began when she was 8 years old, with a visit to an outdoor mall where she scaled the manufactured wall, and “never wanted to come back down” – it was love at first climb.
Confident, intelligent, and “down to earth” we laughed as we learned her favorite food is- take a guess – bananas, and that she loves comic books.
Her interests in travel include climbing in destinations such as Virgin Gorda, Dubai, and South Africa, but she is currently staying very busy competing, climbing, representing her numerous sponsors, and attending Arizona State as a full time student. She also gets to have a little fun with fashion at Roxy roundtables, discussing the functionality of their athletic line.
Her love of rock climbing is contagious, and can quickly inspire you to throw on a harness and visit the local crag or climbing wall, but it’s her approach of simply “having fun” doing what she loves that we at Snow Bunny Mag truly find most inspiring.
Sierra’s desire to see climbing progress in to a more “mainstream sport” is obvious, and she has become in many ways the face of climbing, especially to the latest generation of young athletes. Sierra’s gratefulness of being able to do what she loves as a profession is nothing short of a great example to younger girls who aspire to follow their own dreams.
Her passion for rock climbing and the career that has ensued is as a result of hard work, dedication and determination. In short, it’s impossible when getting to know Sierra, not to admire and respect Sierra both for her skills on the rock, and her beauty both inside and out.
More from our interview with Sierra:
SBM: Was climbing a family affair?
Sierra: Climbing did not begin as a family affair, but when I started to climb, my parents would also climb while I was at practice. My older sister would climb every so often as well. Even now my mom still climbs when I train and my dad coaches me.
SBM: What is the best thing in your opinion about climbing?
Sierra: The best thing about climbing is the incredible adventures I have been lucky enough to experience. I have met many amazing people through climbing and traveled to breath-taking locations. Whether it is going climbing outside for the weekend, training in my home gym, or attending a photo shoot in Maui, there is always a new experience and adventure happening!
SBM: Sport or traditional climbing?
Sierra: Sport, although I mostly boulder.
SBM: Climbers have very fit and lean bodies; what other activities do you incorporate for your health?
Sierra: My main form of training is climbing. I do some light strength training at the beginning of my workout, but that is an off the wall warm up that is mostly for injury prevention. Constant climbing helps keep me in shape, but I have learned that diet is key as well. Regardless of how hard I workout, having a healthy and well rounded diet is key to performance and appearance.
SBM: How often are you climbing on a weekly basis?
Sierra: I climb 4-5 days a week. My schedule isn’t set in stone, which I like. I usually climb as many days on as possible until I am totally beat, take a rest day, then begin the cycle again.
SBM: You are a Roxy Sponsored climber which is a major achievement. How did your road to sponsorship come about?
Sierra: Being sponsored by Roxy was something I had dreamed about for many years. I believe they ended up contacting me through a mutual connection. I was 16 at the time, so it was an incredible opportunity.
SBM: Where was the most exotic place you have climbed to date?
Sierra: The most exotic place I have climbed was either in Oahu or Maui. I am in love with all Hawaii climbing and think that it is very unique and beautiful.
SBM: What was the scariest climb you have ever been on?
Sierra: The scariest climb I have ever been on was a shallow water solo in Maui. The climb itself wasn’t very hard, but there was a high surf advisory that day so the waves were pounding on the rocks. Plus the shallow water was littered with sea urchins. I was so scared of falling and getting pushed into the rocks or landing on a sea urchin!
SBM: What does it mean to you to be an athletic female?
Sierra: Being an athletic female means being a strong woman, not only in sports, but in life as well. Athletic females are about pushing the limits in all areas of their lives.
SBM: What are the girliest things you carry in your climbing pack?
Sierra: I always have chapstick with me. That isn’t very girly, but my climbing bag usually stays pretty climbing focused.
SBM: What are your future plans/goals?
Sierra: Right now I am attending Arizona State University. I am planning on getting my degree and continuing to climb professionally during and after college. My main goal in climbing is to help it become a more mainstream sport. I would love to be remembered as someone who helped make climbing more popular.
SBM: Who is your biggest inspiration in life?
Sierra: My grandma is my biggest inspiration in life. She had a tough upbringing but is the most kind and positive person I know. Everyone who meets her absolutely loves her. I hope to be remembered as fondly as she is when I am older.
SBM: What would you offer as advice to girls who want to follow in your footsteps.
Sierra: I would tell girls to follow your dreams! Climbing is an incredible sport and with hard work, anything is possible. If becoming a professional climber is your goal, join the climbing gym and climb as much as possible. Work hard, stay positive, and have fun!