If you ever need advice on handstands ... then Adam Hughes is your man. Former assistant manager at Summit Dallas, this handstand master has recently taken over duties as the General Manager of Summit Denton, after its official opening this past Monday. If you don't understand what I mean by the handstands ... just spend some time at our new gym and you'll see Adam serenely bust out a few in his down time, when he isn't busy running Summit's first-ever built-from-scratch gym. He's a great guy and a perfect fit for Denton, so why not read up some more on what makes this guy just so ... Adam.How long have you been with Summit?
I started working at Summit in April of 2014. I was working at a physical therapy clinic out in Keller, but I was looking for something to offset my membership costs at the gym, so asked Chris (current GM of Summit Dallas) if I could take on some hours. Eventually I left the clinic and just worked at Summit. I acted as the GM in interim at Summit Carrollton from about late September to the end of October, as well.
How did you start climbing?
I had climbed a couple times while I was in the military, but it was mostly when I got out of the military and I started climbing with my brother. My brother had bought a lot of gear and then went off the deep end, and I trailed behind him. So me and him bought a bunch of gear, like ropes and draws and started climbing at Mineral Wells and Paradise on the Brazos. I almost ripped my finger off the first time we tried sport climbing out at Paradise, because this metal ring I used to wear got caught in a hold and I had to rip it out while falling. Yeah, we didn't really know what we were doing.
Favorite climbing area?
Shelf Road — because I have never never been to a place that is so full-on from the bottom to the top. If something at Shelf Road said it was 12a, then it was 12a from first pull until you clipped the chains.
(Disclaimer: Adam "never remembers the names of routes," so he does not remember the name of this particular route, but he does remember the movement.)
It was stupid levels of rad. It was out at Paradise on the Brazos, and you had to climb up this dihedral and then have to traverse out six feet before your next clip, so your clip is in the middle of the dihedral. If you shank it on the way out, the fall is straight out and into the corner. It was one of the most terrifying and full-on, and one of the scariest positions I have put myself in.
Favorite Summit memory?
I have a lot of memories at Summit — it's hard to say that this one is better than any other one. I am gonna give a variance here. My favorite memory was coming in every Saturday morning and lead climbing with a close group of friends. We called ourselves climb Team Alpha, and it was awesome to have that constant community kind of thing. We always had a bunch of people that would come in and ask us questions, and that was part of the way that I became involved in the wider community at Summit.
So ... what's up with the handstands?
How I got started doing handstands is when I would come down off the lead wall at Dallas and I would practice trying to push up into a handstand. I kept at it and it drove me crazy that I could not do it.
Handstands are now the one posture in which I am literally doing nothing but being in that posture — and that’s it. I am breathing and I am paying attention to what is going on in my life. I am not being conscious or aware of anything ... except for all things. That's really what is for me. It's a meditation pose for me. When you see me handstanding in the middle of a room by myself for 15, 20 seconds, that’s 20 seconds where I am full on meditating.
Little known facts about Adam?
He is a former member of the U.S Air Force, and worked as a physical therapy aide.
He has a climbed a bunch of 14ers out in Colorado — his goal was to complete all of them, but eventually got kind of bored of climbing mountains and dedicated more time to rock climbing.
He once drove from Arlington to Wyoming in one solid 26 hour push, during the week of his birthday to go camping in the wilderness.
He has his eye on a certain dog being kept at the Denton Humane Society — once he finally makes the move from Arlington to Denton to be closer to his gym, he plans on melting his icy cold heart with a canine addition to his family.
He is an accomplished yogi, and has completed Summit's Yoga Teacher Training Program. He has chosen not to teach, however, because he wants to further his own practice first. His father is a Southern Baptist Minister ... so according to Adam, he has spent a lot of his life "in pursuit of philosophy, to learn the meaning of life, and to be entirely in the moment."
So there it is! A lot of stuff you probably did not previously know about Denton's brand new GM. You finally got to learn the origin of his handstand hobby, and how to melt his heart (hint: be a cute dog.) Next time you see Adam, ask to see his handstand and don't ever, EVER wish him a Happy Birthday. Just don't do it.