What do Craigslist, Dave Nunley, Shakira, water slides, air hockey, and chili peppers have in common? You will just have to read the next feature to find out. If you need a friendly laugh, genuine hug, or beta on that impossible 13a, look no further than the Gallagher’s! It takes all kinds of people to make a climbing gym feel like your home away from home, and nobody will welcome you like this family! Today, we have the pleasure of digging deeper into the lives of other extraordinary individuals, and reading about some things you may have never known about them, or never wanted to ask.
Member of the Month: Couples Edition – Diana & Ryan Gallagher
Bove) Word on the street is that you two met while searching for roommates on Craigslist. Can you tell us more about that story?
DIANA: I had just gotten in to Nurse Practitioner school at UCSF and had been living in Berkeley, but wanted to move to SF and ideally live with students. I saw a really funny posting on Craigslist from a guy who was searching for a roommate. He said he was a med student and it would be with him and his best friend from med school. I thought, “That might be fun!” When Ryan answered the door I thought to myself, “Uh oh…this could be trouble.” The roommate “interview” went great and he told me he had to interview some other candidates that week and he would get back to me. He made me wait a week and I found out later that he had never interviewed anyone else after me! He found out I was a climber and he had a pair of climbing shoes in his closet that he had never worn. So, our first roommate outing was to Mission Cliffs! We connected right away. I had never dated a roommate before, but decided to make an exception for Ryan. And I’m glad I did!
RYAN: Girl answers ad for roommate. Boy’s eyes pop out of his head when girls shows up on doorstep. Girl moves in anyways. Boy falls in love. Girl gives in. Boy and girl get married.
B) How hard is it to schedule time to exercise and climb while you are both very busy juggling family life, work expectations, and personal time?
DIANA: It was harder in the beginning when we first had Eliana, trying to figure it all out. But now we are definitely getting better with the juggling and life balance. It still gets hard when Ryan works multiple shifts in a row. We do hope to have a 2nd baby though at some point, which is going to throw it all off again! But Luna (our dog) is a pretty good babysitter…
RYAN: Having a child and loving climbing is about enough for me. The trick is squeezing in everything else. Coffee and drumming up your mind into a state of hypomania is essential!
B) As the Pipeworks facility has grown considerably since you first became members, what changes have you found most enjoyable?
DIANA: Definitely the bouldering area. Because of a knee injury, I didn’t boulder for a long time. But after having Eliana, I realized that bouldering is a lifesaver with a baby. You can get a great workout in a short amount of time, and it is also much easier to baby swap while bouldering. Because of my injury, I just choose problems wisely. I try to only do hard problems when the crux is low and I have no qualms about not finishing a problem if the top is difficult! I just down climb on big holds 🙂
RYAN: I like the new Pipeworks mostly because of the size itself. Now, fellow member Dave Nunley can actually fit inside!
B) If Hollywood were to make a movie of your lives, what actors do you feel would best represent you in the film?
DIANA: This is a tough one, but maybe Shakira? Okay, I know she isn’t an actress, but she is a singer which is almost the same these days anyways. Even though I am only half Mexican, Ryan would definitely call me a “passionate Latina.” (And yes, I do know that Shakira is Colombian!) But the reason I choose her is because she is also a mama and has to constantly juggle a lot with her career, passions, and family life. Also, I LOVE to sing and dance. I was a singer when I was in high school and I’m always one of the last ones on the dance floor at a wedding, although my hips don’t move quite like Shakira’s! 😉
RYAN: Robin Williams would be ideal!
B) What event(s) had the biggest impact on your lives, either together or separate, and why?
DIANA: This is an easy one: ELIANA. Becoming a mother to another little being is a miracle. It is beautiful, challenging, and rewarding all wrapped up into one. The love you experience for your child is unlike anything…it runs so deep. Eliana is constantly teaching me about how I want to live and who I want to be on a daily basis. And it just keeps getting more fun as she gets older! Ryan and I keep asking each other, “How can it get better than this?” And then it does.
RYAN: My Grandpa’s audacity to bring me on the Palos Verdes Marathon at age 9. That was a game changer in my development. Since then I’ve never much believed in most limits.
B) Please finish this sentence for each other: I love it how he/she ________________.
DIANA: I love it how Ryan loves Eliana. I’ve never seen a father so affectionate with his daughter before. He just can’t stop kissing her, even when snot is running down her face!
RYAN: I love it how Diana sings.
B) If you could choose your most important contribution to the community, what would it be that you want people to remember you for?
DIANA: Another difficult one! But I would say the work I do. I’m a Nurse Practitioner and work with members of the community who who are highly stigmatized. Many of my patients are homeless or uninsured and are addicted to drugs (i.e. heroin, or other opiates such as Vicodin or Percocet) but who are in recovery, or at least trying to get the help they need to recover. Many of my patients have mental health issues. Addiction is complex and affects all types of people, from the homeless person on the street to the high powered lawyer who lives in the Fabulous 40’s, or even his teenage daughter. There is a lot of discrimination and misunderstanding in this field in our society. But these people I work with are trying to get better. Some succeed, some relapse. Whenever I tell people that I work in addiction recovery, their first response is, “Wow, that must be hard.” And yes, there are difficult aspects of it, but it is definitely more rewarding and interesting than difficult. My patients are good people, and treat me with a lot of respect. Those who are in the midst of active addiction are completely different people than those who are in recovery for addiction.
RYAN: I’m still learning how to be the person that I’d want to be remembered for; much of which I learn from people right here in this gym (and I’m not talking about climbing).
B) If tomorrow you found out that there was an extra $15,000 in the bank, how would you choose to spend it?
DIANA: I want to give an answer that is fun and exciting, like we would take another sabbatical from work and go travel and climb. But realistically, we would probably do something boring with it like pay off loans.
RYAN: Not sure, but I think it would involve water slides and air hockey.
B) Which season would you say is your favorite, and where would be your favorite place to enjoy it?
DIANA: The fall in the sierras. The colors are incredible, and it is the best time to climb!
RYAN: Fall in the Red River Gorge.
B) If you were to pick out a fruit or vegetable to best resemble each other, which would you pick out and why?
DIANA: Ryan would be a kiwi. Hairy on the outside, but super sweet and soft on the inside.
RYAN: Red chili pepper–Because she’s a hot mama!