Delaney Miller

Quick Facts:

Born- April, 1995

Hometown- Frisco, TX

Began climbing: 2007

Height: 5'4

Ape indix: +2

Best Competition Results: 1st USA Women's Lead Nationals 2013, 2014, 2015 // 7th place lead World Cup 2014, 2015

Proudest Outdoor Ascent: P1 Delicatessen, 8b+ 2017

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MY STORY

Each morning, I awoke to the sight of red-bricked houses lined side by side with well manicured yet –– browning grass and picketed fences. I gazed silently out my dull bedroom window, my neighborhood view framed by thin tree branches that hung heavily in the still summer air. Those early morning hours were stifling as the sun rose and ignited an unbearably blue sky. Frisco, Texas existed in a perpetual state of muted stability, characteristic of perfectly ordered, quintessential cookie-cutter suburban life. Like most suburbia, all of the kids, including me, road the streets on their bikes or played football and soccer on the nearby paved cul-de-sacs. As darkness sank in and cooled the hot cement, my brother and I were called into the house for supper, a home cooked southern meal followed up with a heap of ice cream. We would retreat to bed afterwards to begin the cycle anew.

At the age of twelve I discovered climbing indoors. The gym, hidden amongst the promenade shopping centers and community parks, was a secret escape from the blistering Texas heat. In this chalky, enigmatic haven, my best friend chose to have her thirteenth birthday party. Despite my incredible ignorance for the sport, I felt confident and cheeky. I smirked as I marched to the steepest climb in the gym in my over-sized lace up tennis shoes and rental chalk bag. It took just one climb for my likewise over-sized ego to be shut down. My confidence transformed to anger, to hurt, and finally to a sharp desire for redemption. Climbing shoes and chalk dust quickly replaced my soccer ball and cleats. Climbing wasn’t just fun for me, it was a qualifying opportunity, a chance to prove to myself that I was not just another southern kid in another southern city. I begged my parents to take me back to the gym, I worked with coaches after school and on the weekends, and I sat in gym for long hours just staring down walls. At the age of thirteen, one year later, I was fourth in the nation for my age category in sport climbing.

In high school I operated everyday between four a.m. and eleven p.m. My parents named two stipulations in exchange for their continued climbing support: one was maintaining my grades, and two was getting involved in my high school, via participation in a club or sport. They wanted me to stay balanced in my goals and to have the best college opportunities. I understood and accepted their conditions, especially because I knew I wanted to leave Texas upon graduation. I yearned to exchange the endlessly flat and dry landscape for mountains. Everyday I woke up, I studied, I went to cross country practice, to class, to climbing practice, and finally home to do homework and pass out. It often felt like I was tumbling face first down a steep, treacherous hill. Many people would question how and why I maintained my commitment to climbing despite the tests, cross country meets, and family issues that arose. I chose to believe in myself and persist in my endeavors because I refused to give up any of my goals. It was hard work, but I graduated valedictorian of my class, school record holder of the women’s mile, two mile, and 5K, and I won two women’s SCS National climbing titles.

My passion for climbing still grows with each year. I’m the same cocky punk that I was when I first walked into that strange climbing gym in Frisco, Texas, but the meaning of the sport continues to shift and grow as I mature. My adventure continues. I carry on challenging myself and leaning into the storm of hard decisions. I create chaos and opportunities. I choose risks because risks make for a better adventure. Welcome to my crazy story, connected by a billion coincidences and circumstances that I elect to pursue –– besides, that’s what makes it all so good. 

 
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