Member of the Month: Tony Lima

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By Jason Bove.

Like father, like son…like names? Our next installment features friends, family, adventures, and adult gymnastics! In our lives, we have many choices. Some of these help us carve out what is important to us as we try to figure out who we want to be, and what we need to do to get there. The sooner you start trying to figure this out, the longer you have to enjoy what you have become. Take chances, prioritize things, and get yourself out there. 5-4-3-2-1…

Tony Lima is a name that has been very common to Sacramento Pipeworks over the years. In fact, the father and son’s sharing of the family name has sometimes even confused the staff! Who brought whom to the Pipeworks family first? Was it Dad that brought you into the gym or vice versa?

Pipeworks isn’t the only company that’s been confused by me and my dad. My dad even managed to get my REI dividend a year or two ago. I’m still trying to get his to this day. My dad started coming to Pipeworks all the way from Grass Valley after work to spend time with me. I was so excited to show him the ropes and get him on a top rope. A lot of my memories with my dad are of him teaching me how to do something, so it was really rewarding to share my climbing knowledge with him. Climbing with my dad is great time for us to catch up, laugh, and enjoy time with each other.

Have you and your family always shared outdoor adventures, and, if so, do you feel that this inspired the adventurer in you?

I was fortunate to grow up in the country, where my after school entertainment was the creek in the backyard. I would spend every day of the summer at the creek fishing, trying to catch crawdads, and picking blackberries. I would take a whole day just to walk up the creek as far as I could go. I would wade through miles of mud and water getting stabbed by blackberry bushes and dodging orb web spiders, having a grand time. I know this is what sparked my love of being outside and exploring. I also did a fair amount of boy scout camping trips as well. Surprisingly, I didn’t start hiking and really exploring California until I turned 22. I had been working at my family’s retail store, The Tool Shed, and going to school full time when my friend invited me on a hiking trip to Feather Falls. It seems so simple but it really changed my direction in life. I eventually joined a meet-up group called Young and Active and started hiking every weekend. It’s made me a much happier, and healthier, human.

Getting outdoors and enjoying life seem to be very important to you. It has also seemed to inspire you to get other people outside to do the same. This being said, what can you tell us about your website, Living to Adventure?

Living to Adventure is my place where I try to share the lessons I’m learning in my life or ways I’ve saved money to do more exploring, like the time I switched my phone provider to Google Fi and got my phone bill down to $30 a month. I really enjoy the process of reflecting on an experience and writing about it to try and learn from it, so why not put that online? Through the articles I’ve posted I’ve learned how to be more vulnerable and authentic, which I think is a huge benefit to sharing my thoughts online. I try to keep the perspective that if one thing I write helps one person other than myself, then it was worth putting out there into the world. So far a few of my friends have switched their phones to Google so I’d say I’m fulfilling the mission!

You are fortunate to call Davis, California home base. How did you come to reside there, and what is your favorite part about living in this northern California town?

I was living in Chico after going to the Butte Fire Academy and I came to visit Tyler Kersey back in Sacramento. We went swing dancing at Midtown Stomp and I met the beautiful Morgan Pate, who is now my girlfriend. Our first date was climbing at the Emeralds up in Bowman. Morgan is in her fourth year of veterinary school at UC Davis, so when we decided to move in together we found a place there. One of my favorite parts about being in Davis is going to adult gymnastics nights, where I embarrass myself trying learn how to do handstands or flips off of the bars.

Life is full of choices, and luck has it that you have been granted an all-inclusive vacation to the destination of your choice! The only stipulation is that you can only bring along gear to take part in one sport. Which thrill-seeking hobby of yours takes precedent, and where in the world does this award take you?

I recently listened to the audiobook The Emerald Mile, which describes the history of the Grand Canyon and the stories of the men and women who have explored it. Inspired by that book, I would happily pack all my friends into my Pontiac Vibe and drive out to Lee’s Ferry and send it down the Colorado. More and more I am learning to place my highest value on quality time spent with the people I love, and that’s why I’d like to go rafting.

I mentioned gear in the last question, because as sports enthusiasts, we probably have a whole closet or two full of miscellaneous equipment. Interestingly, you also play a role in helping those that may not have the gear they need to enjoy the sport they want to try. Explain the Gearmo app that you are involved with. How does it work?

Two local midtown residents, Stefan Ganchev and Daryl Thomas, have been creating Gearmo for the past two years and I was lucky to get involved in the project this year. Gearmo allows you to create a profile and post any gear you want to rent or sell to your local community. You can then rent or buy gear from other users on the platform. The aim is to be able to do more with less. The app is growing and continues to gain users in the Sacramento area.

What do you believe is the biggest challenge for people trying to live the life they want to versus living the life they have?

This question makes me think about prioritization. We all have limited time, money, and attention so we must prioritize if we want to live the life we want. I think that looking at our finances can have a unique way of showing us where our priorities are.

I try and break my life down into three main components: personal, professional, and relationships. At the beginning of the year I’ll ask myself the following for each category: What three things made this year great? Then I try and make those priorities happen. It works for me.

The other challenge that can hold me back is the fear of failure. I remember Tyler asking if I wanted to take my lead climbing test every day for two weeks before I could muster up the courage to go for it. When I start to hesitate when I shouldn’t, I tell myself “5-4-3-2-1” to interrupt my brain while it’s trying to make an excuse to not do something that I should. I picked this up from Mel Robbins and it has been pretty helpful for me.

CRAGS is a community of climbers in the Sacramento area that, for years now, has worked with the Access Fund to protect our local and non-local climbing areas. Working with them now, you are instrumental in helping raise more awareness. What’s new with the organization these days, and what do you think is the best part of being involved in such a group?

I’m really excited to have just begun getting involved with CRAGS. I have benefitted from the work CRAGS has done to open the Auburn Quarry and to improve access trails at Lovers Leap, just to name a few of their projects. I learned to climb in both of those areas and it wouldn’t have been possible without an organization like CRAGS to make sure they stay open.

Most recently, CRAGS took part in an adopt-a-crag at the Donner Black Wall. We worked on improving a climbers trail to some of the more popular routes on Black Wall, including One Hand Clapping. CRAGS is planning more adopt-a-crag volunteer days and planning on doing a showing of the Dawn Wall film this year.

The best part of being involved with CRAGS is the quality of people you meet who are volunteering their skills to keep local climbing areas open and accessible. If anyone wants to get involved they can “like” the CRAGS Facebook page to stay updated on upcoming events, or donate to CRAGS to become a member.

Waking up in the morning, how do you get ready for the day, and what keeps you motivated to keep on doing what you do?

I have to start the day with a glass of water. I put a pinch of sea salt and lemon slice in it too if I want to get fancy. Next I try and get into the sunshine and get moving by going for a quick jog. I’ve been turning my shower to ice cold and doing some Wim Hof breathing for the past month and I love it. I feel more alert, and seem to have more discipline in the areas of my life that I normally struggle with, like eating way too much ice cream. Although, I did eat a huge bowl of frozen yogurt last night at 11:00pm so I must need some colder showers.

Lastly, it seems kind of odd for me to be asking you questions when, in fact, you are used to being the one asking the questions! Tell me more about the Campfire Questions card game, and what inspired you to take on this kind of endeavor?

Campfire Questions are a deck of 120 questions designed spark engaging conversations with anyone. One of the first reasons I printed the cards is that I wanted a way to start more meaningful conversations without feeling awkward asking a “deep” question. Turning it into a game takes the pressure off of the questioner and turns it into a fun activity. I love seeing how excited people get when a question triggers a story they love to tell or need to tell. Voices perk up and great conversations often commence after one or two questions. They have been a hit with my friends and family so I’d like to share them with a broader community. If anyone wants to grab a pack, they are available here for $12. I’m also hoping to have them available at Pipeworks soon.