Announcing this week, the new GM of Summit Carrollton, Ahmed! You probably heard him before you saw him, because he is a notoriously loud guy, and very fond of jumping on top of things to project even more. He has been with the company for an age (Even before Kyle and Stan and Chris owned the gyms!) so has seen a lot of things in his days at Summit ... and has a lot of stories that are in no way fit to print. But I was able to collect some publishable interesting facts from Ahmed, so learn you some stuff about this guy! How long have you been with Summit?
I have been with the company for 9 years. I am including the days when Tim Carroll owned the place. I started just randomly climbing at Summit when Tim owned it, and after 2 months of climbing I went up to the GM and was like "Hey man, get me a job." And he was like, "Cool, start on Tuesday."
And that’s that. I have been with the company on and off since then.
How did you start climbing?
In 2006 I was on the cross country team — I was just a super skinny, nerdy kid — and some of my buddies on the team were climbing at Summit Grapevine. They were like, "You should come on by and see how this whole climbing thing works for you!" And I got my ass kicked my very first day but I just fell in love with it after that.
Favorite climbing area?
I love Pace Bend when the water level is up.
Anything in Muir Valley. Like, all of them.
Favorite Summit memory?
This was awhile ago, but it was a weekend that I had off — so I was not thinking about climbing or working or anything like that — and there was a party that a certain employee was scheduled for that weekend. But she just up and left us, like, the day of. She was like, "I am not gonna be there, can you help me fix this situation?" Now I had free tickets to a Talib Kwali Red Bull Sound Select concert thing, that had two stages. It was badass, so I wanted to go to that. But that’s when she called us asking us about getting her party taken care of. I was at the concert, having the best time of my life but also texting her like, "Leave me alone!" I was not the manager or anything — she just knew that I would take care of it. Immediately after the concert it’s me and another employee Julian just texting everyone to find someone to cover it. The party needed a girl host and there were no girls available, so we ended up switching people's schedules around, some real manager sh#%. Everything ended up going pretty smoothly by the end of that, but we definitely stared daggers at her after that.
Little known facts about Ahmed?
Ahmed is a first-generation American. Both his parents are from Guinea — his dad still lives there, but his mother raised him and his five siblings here in the U.S. So he can speak pretty good French, the official language of Guinea.
During one of his trips to visit family in Guinea, he was stopped late at night by rogue military personnel as he was trying to get home. They demanded he and his cousin's passports, or they would not let them pass. Of course Ahmed wasn't having it and started mouthing off to them. Obviously a potential for disaster, but luckily a drink guy stumbled up and offered the militia members $100 to arrest a guy he had passed on the bridge for insulting his mother. They obliged, and Ahmed and his cousin were able to carry on their merry way.
He's been in the Ninja Warrior finals not once, but twice. AHMED AS SEEN ON TV! But he has never watched the footage of his performance because he's afraid of looking and sounding "weird." (Spoiler alert: that's everyday for you, Ahmed.) Ninja Warrior finals always takes place in Vegas, so he's pretty confident that his festivities the night before (aka getting "riggedy-riggedy wrecked," totally paid for by Ninja Warrior) might, in some way, have hindered his performance.
He is a member of the U.S. National Adult Speed Climbing team ... so he's pretty fast.
The only instrument he can play is the harmonica. Which is an incredibly random instrument. He claims to be much better than Bob Dylan ... which are some fighting words, right there.
When he was a very small child, he used to have an obsession with being locked inside of things, Houdini-style. But instead of trying to escape, he would just hang out in these really small, enclosed spaces until he told his brother to get him out. So one day, he had his brother zip him up inside his mother's suitcase in the closet. But his brother accidentally locked Ahmed in the closet in the process. Since the closet only locked from the inside, the only person who could save Ahmed was ... Ahmed, who was zipped up inside a suitcase. Ahmed said that all in all, he was probably stuck inside for about an hour before his mother figured out and was able to free him.
He actually went to Westpoint for a year! He described the fact that he made it in as "hilarious." As he approached the end of high school, he said he had given himself only two options as to what he was going to do with his life — either Westpoint, or a male stripper. He chose the former, and after attending Westpoint for a year, he decided it wasn't for him because he got in trouble there ... a lot. He's not a huge fan of being told what to do. If you got in trouble at Westpoint, they would make you "walk hours," which basically meant walk back and forth on the campus green in your full dress uniform with your gun for up to five hours at a time. There was always a bunch of people walking hours on the weekends, and bviously these people are all fellow troublemakers, so they found ways to make walking hours fun. Even though they were not allowed to talk to each other, when one would walk by the other, they'd whisper "snake" and then an epic, silent game of snake would break out. The first player would gobble someone up, so they'd fall in rank behind that person, then they would lead and "eat" someone else. By the end of their walking they would have made a giant train of walking cadets, but since they weren't talking it was basically within the rules.
Alrighty, so there's Ahmed! He's a great guy and a very loyal employee, so he is gonna be great as Carrollton's new GM. Although I will say ... talking trash on Bob Dylan is ground for some demerits ... but you can't really punish Ahmed because he will just find some way to make it fun. Anyways, make sure to introduce yourself next time you see him behind the desk at Carrollton!