Where are you originally from? I was born in San Diego, California, but spent most of my childhood in a small town in Oregon called Molalla. When I was 13, my family and I pulled a reverse Oregon Trial and moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where my mom is originally from.
How long have you lived in Chattanooga? I moved to Chattanooga in October
of 2020, so coming up on two years. I started rock climbing in Kansas City about three years ago and read that Chattanooga was the place to be for outdoor bouldering, so I packed up my car with everything that would fit and set off on a very terrifying and exciting journey.
Tell us about your childhood: My childhood was fairly “normal”; bickering with my younger brother, Saturday morning cartoons, and believing that my Beanie Babies collection would one day be worth millions. Growing up in Oregon, we spent a lot of time hiking, camping, and going to the beach. The beaches there aren’t exactly palm trees and sunshine, but I always loved our days spent wandering around little beach towns and searching for sand dollars along the shore. Our parents gave us opportunities to explore the world around us and embrace nature with curiosity and kindness.
Do you have a nickname? My grandpa calls me Summy Donut. My friends and family call me Summy, Sum, or Sumsum.
When were you introduced to yoga? A very good friend of mine got me into yoga in 2012 after we graduated high school. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but it slowly became a part of my day to day.
How do yoga and the community play a role in your life? Yoga and the community play a bigger role in my life now than they ever have before. I’m at a time and place in my life where I am surrounded by people who uplift one another and understand that individuality is just as important as being a part of and supporting their community. Yoga and this community have provided so much for me here already and have been a safe space during difficult times.
What pose do you love the most? I love playing with any balancing poses. Most recently my favorite balancing pose is Eagle, Garudasana. It’s a tricky one, but so fun and versatile!
What is your favorite quote?
“People get built different. We don’t need to figure it out, we just need to respect it.” – Princess Bubblegum from the TV show Adventure Time.