Lisa Harmon: Member Spotlight


“Heights aren’t my fear”, says Lisa Harmon. “It’s the falling”. Still that didn’t stop Lisa, a fifty-two year old mother of her two boys who works in code enforcement, from gamely signing up for our learn to lead class. Her enthusiasm and determination were obvious to everyone in the class, and Lisa was was surprised by some of the things she learned.

“For starters, top rope belaying isn’t the same as lead belaying, she explains. “It’s actually scarier than climbing.”

We caught up with her in this installment of the our Member Spotlight.

1. Where is “home”?


2. What’s the best thing about living in Maine?

Being so close to the ocean. I’m not a surfer, but it’s so peaceful. I don’t think I could live anywhere that’s more than 20 minutes from the ocean.

3. What’s the worst thing about living in Maine?


4. How long have you been climbing for?

The first time I tried it I was 47. My sister introduced me at the Philly Rock Gym. I was completely hooked. I became a fanatic. We came right after Salt Pump opened.

5. What makes climbing unique and/or different from other forms of physical activity?

For me, I feel like different routes challenge different muscles. So, after a route gets set, you go try it and you go home with new sore muscles… There’s also a lot of encouragement, from all around you. It’s just way more fun then a regular gym.

6. What is your biggest climbing goal for the next year?

Laughs…Cathedral Ledge. I’ve been to the top once on a motorcycle, but I’d like to climb it this year. I just learned to lead and that was my biggest challenge ever.

7. What is your biggest non-climbing goal for the next year?

Probably more family time. Plan another vacation.

8. If you were completely immobilized in a hospital bed for a year, what hobby would you do?

I’d probably do what I do now…Watch climbing videos. And looking for more tropical vacations.

9. What’s the hardest you’ve tried recently?


10. What’s the hardest you’ve laughed recently?

Falling. The problem is, when I laugh hard because I’m scared to death.

11. Who or what inspires you to try hard?

My age… Most of the people I see climbing here are younger than me, most of the people I climb with are younger than me. Most of the people in my lead class were in their 20s and I’m going to be 53. I have to push myself until I can’t. My body’s telling me I’m 53 and my soul’s telling me I’m a lot younger than that.

12. What’s your greatest strength?

Not having a fear of heights. That helps with a lot of stuff, like shoveling the roof.

13. What’s your biggest weakness?

I don’t think I’m in the physical shape I could be. I feel like i have the upper body strength, but the rest of me…. Something is missing. I guess, I need to learn how to become stronger.

14. Why do you climb?

This is the time I don’t think about anything else…This is my wind down. It totally draws me in. If I can’t climb, I get crappy. If I have a bad day, this is where I want to be.