Irina Kuzmenko: Professional Rock Climber Talks About Her Climb to Top 10 Female Boulderers in the World
May 16, 2022
Irina Kuzmenko is a Russian Professional Rock Climber. She is ranked as the eighth 2021’s Top 10 Female Boulderers in the world. She is Bouldering European Champion.
Women Fitness President Ms. Namita Nayyar catches up Irina Kuzmenko is an exceptionally talented Russian professional rock climber, here she talks about her fitness routine, her diet, skin care, hair care and her success story.
You were born in Saint- Petersburg, Russia. You started rock climbing in 2008. Later you became a professional rock climber. This propelled your career to the height where you have been at the top of the world as a leading rock climber player. Tell us more about this journey of hard work, tenacity, and endurance?
I was born in Siberia, Krasnoyarsk city. Then I moved to Moscow and after three years of living in Moscow I moved to Saint Petersburg and live here to this day.
From the moment I started rock climbing, I fell in love with this sport. I could spend 4-5-6 hours a day in the gym and each time it seemed to me that I wanted more and more. Perhaps this fanatical attitude towards climbing played a big role in what I managed to achieve in the sport.
When I started climbing, the coach who coached me thought that climbing wasn’t very suitable for me and everyone around me was sure that in a week I would quit this activity, but I was stubborn and didn’t want to listen to anyone, because I was in love with climbing. Half a year later I won the Junior Championship of Russia. From that moment it became clear to everyone that I wouldn’t stop doing climbing.
At the end of 2014, I suffered a serious spinal injury as a result of a fall from a tree (I know, I know ;)). This year was a turning point in my career because I spent 1.5 months in bed. I could not get up, and the doctor said that I could say goodbye to professional sports forever. Naturally, I did not listen to him and tried to recover as quickly as possible.
When I first got on my feet after the injury, I felt very weak. My body lost all the muscles, I had to re-teach my body to walk again and live a normal life. Then followed four months of hard work to recover. Fortunately, I was surrounded by excellent specialists who helped me not only recover, but also become stronger.
In May 2015, I already competed at the Russian Championship and was close to getting into the final (lost one attempt) and finished with 7th place.
From 2015 to 2018 I lived in Moscow and it was a hard time. I was trying to get over my mental fear of falling and decided it was time to start my career in bouldering, which completely contradicts my story. After all, bouldering is much more dangerous than sport climbing (climbing with the rope).
At the end of 2018, I moved to St. Petersburg and climbed my first V10 boulder, in second month the first V11 boulder. In 2019 I climbed my first V13 boulder and I became the first female V13 for Russian climbing it.
You won the Bouldering European Championship Bronze Medal at Zakopane, Poland in 2019. Tell us more about this winning and what had been a catalyst to achieve such spectacular winning in your rock climbing career?
Ohhhh! I’ll never forget this time in Zakopane!. We went to these competitions with my boyfriend by a car, we didn’t have enough money. We didn’t have any expectations. We just wanted to show good climbing and enjoy the moment. The boulders suited my style very well, but also were those that did not suit me, so I had to fight my fears and jump, jump, jump!
After I stood on the podium, there was a lot of gratitude in my head and heart for the moment, people and myself! I thanked the universe that despite this long journey, I was able to get closer to what I want. Naturally, victories motivate for new victories! Thanks a lot!;)
8a.nu has ranked you as the eighth 2021’s Top 10 Female Boulderers. You had a strong season climbing 12 double-digit boulder problems. Of these, three were rated V13. You climbed all over the world this year and even took third at the European Championships. What’s more, you climbed The Arch, a stunning V13 in South Africa. Elaborate more about this exceptional achievement of your basketball playing career?
In 2019 I got the Bronze in Zakopane, did the first V13 in South Africa and a same year 8a.nu has ranked me as the 4th 2019’s Top 10 Female Boulderers. Then in 2020 (horrible covid year) I was 8th in 2021.
Well, I couldn’t expect my small accomplishments to be recognized in the climbing world. I received special attention after the first female ascent of Dreamtime Stand V12 (Cresciano, Switzerland). Imperceptibly for myself, my mission has become to show women that those things that seem impossible at first are actually possible! And I’m also very grateful that it happened. To this day, I try to carry this idea to the masses. Inspire strong women and be inspired by strong women.
This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President womenfitness.net and should not be reproduced, copied, or hosted in part or full anywhere without express permission.
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