Tyler Landman ’13, who just earned a spot on the U.S. National Bouldering Team, explains that his sport is different from the sort of climbing that involves ropes. “Bouldering comes down to short bursts of really difficult movement more than endurance. With bouldering you’re able to hone in on the most difficult and complex movements.”
A neuroscience major, he found that his avocation dovetailed with his academics. “Climbing has taught me a scientific way of thinking and problem solving because you spend a lot of time failing. You have to constantly be assessing the tactics you use, or your sequence, or your way of grasping onto the rock to overcome the failure.”
Before going to medical school in the fall, he’ll be competing in the World Cup Bouldering this spring—although he won’t be wearing the Stars and Stripes. “I’m actually going to be competing for Great Britain,” he says. “I was born in the U.K. and grew up in the U.K. My parents are American and I had a bicultural upbringing. I love climbing everywhere.”
Landman was delighted with the terrain he found near Wesleyan: “I never expected there would be high-quality climbing that I could go to before or after class. That was really special.
“I was also lucky to find others interested in climbing, who pushed me to stay motivated and not just get totally absorbed in my studies, which is the direction I’d start to go in when I was studying for a test. I was lucky to have friends to remind me how important climbing is to me and how it brings balance to everything I do.”