Fourteen year-old Scarborough local Robbie Panta has been climbing less than a year. Last January, a friend suggested they visit Salt Pump to try climbing together. “I’m really energetic,” Robbie says, “and I like to play games and run around doing things, so climbing seemed like it’d be fun.” Robbie’s other sporting activities include soccer, cross-country, and The Gym Dandies, a local youth program providing instruction in the circus arts. Soon after he tried climbing, however, Robbie knew he was hooked.
Lucky for Robbie, he lives close enough he can ride his bike to Salt Pump, where he can be found most days after school, either practicing as a member of the Team Salt Pump or just hanging out and climbing on his own. He’s quickly progressing, but knows new challenges await.
“I’ve only been climbing outside once, with Coach Matty,” says Robbie. “It was very fun and kinda painful on my fingers. It made me want to do more!”
1. Where is home?
2. What’s the best thing about living in Maine?
3. What’s the worst thing about living in Maine?
Nothing. Can I change that? Cold weather.
4. How long have you been climbing for?
Almost a year now.
5. What makes climbing unique and/or different from other forms of physical activity?
It’s unique because it’s a whole new body formation and it takes different types of straight and balance. It’s fun to do with friends.
6. What is your biggest climbing goal for the next year?
Umm… Probably start lead climbing, outdoors.
7. What is your biggest non-climbing goal for the next year?
I’m not sure.
8. If you were completely immobilized in a hospital bed for the next year, what hobby would you do?
Probably read books.
9. What’s the hardest you’ve laughed recently?
This is a little complicated. My friend was trying to climb, and our other friend was joking with him, and he ended up falling off in a funny way.
10. Who inspires you to try hard?
Coach Matty. Even though I’ve only known him for a little while, he motivates me to train and get stronger. He’s a good role model.
11. What’s your greatest strength?
12. What’s your biggest weakness?
Controlling my feet.
13. Why do you climb?
Because it’s very fun, it gets you stronger in many different ways.